#AnambraDecides: Will Senators, Reps pull strings along party lines?

OrderPaperToday – It is fact that election is a war of some sorts. In the Anambra governorship election of November 18, 2017, members of the federal legislature from the state are likely to square up with one another in a battle for political supremacy and deliver their areas to their respective parties.  But with antecedence of betrayals, lost loyalties and sour grapes from the primaries that produced some of the candidates, will lawmakers really work for their parties or against? This is one question the battle on the field will provide answers to. Going by the current composition of the National Assembly contingent from Anambra State, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has 10 Reps and a Senator; while the All Progressives Congress (APC) has one senator and a Reps who is incidentally the party’s governorship candidate (Mr. Tony Nwoye. The third party to reckon with, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has a Reps member.

Tony Nwoye and the APC…

A former president of the National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS), the APC candidate is not a political novice. He is a former chairman of the Anambra State chapter of the PDP and was a candidate in the 2013 gubernatorial election. If the election is going to be decided by lawmakers, Nwoye stands a very slim chance because he defected from the PDP to the APC, so it is assumed that he would be viewed as a traitor. In the Senate, Nwoye’s party has Senator Andy Uba, the man Nwoye refers to as “my boss.” But Nwoye defeated his boss at the primary election to emerge flag bearer.

With Uba refusing to ‘whole-heartedly’ embrace his former protégée, Nwoye may fall short of a critical constituency for votes. The candidate lamented failed attempts to get the blessing of his ‘boss.’ He said: “I have reached out to all of them. The only person I have not reached out to is my boss, Sen. Uba; you know when he is your boss, he remains your boss. I have called him on phone severally. I served him loyalty when I was chairman of PDP, he was our governorship candidate and I leave the rest to God. He is the only one who has refused to talk to me. I called him, have sent text messages to him. I have even gone to his house but he did not open his gate for me. He is the only person who refuses to see me up till this moment.” Uba is from Anambra South Senatorial District, and his early and unequivocal endorsement of Nwoye would have been very vital as his area remains a contentious battle ground in the coming election.

Oseloka Obaze and the PDP…

This election has a lot of personal history in play. Obaze served as Secretary to the State Government under the current administration of Willie Obiano; and in the former Governor Peter Obi government. Obi is known to be the main force behind Obaze against his former godson, Obiano, whom he helped install in office. In terms of numbers of lawmakers, Obaze seems to be the clear winner, with 10 members of the House of Reps and  a Senator in the PDP. Besides, he stands to benefit from continuous fall out between Uba and Nwoye. His party’s lawmakers cut across the 3 senatorial districts in Anambra state, and Anambra North which remains the main battleground gives him a slight edge as Stella Oduah represents the area in the Senate as a PDP senator. However, bearing in mind that Senator Oduah and Reps member Linda Ikpeazu contested the primary against Obaze, with allegations of imposition still hanging in the air, the candidate’s support could be in number but not necessarily in actual strength. Recall that the aggrieved aspirants wrote a petition calling for cancellation of the primary which prompted the PDP National Caretaker Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi to issue a press statement on the 16th of September, 2017, urging all aggrieved aspirants to put the primary election behind them. The outcome of the election would tell if truly they did or not.

 

Willie Obaino and APGA…

If lawmakers were to be the ultimate decider in this race, then the incumbent governor should not bother running because he has only Reps member, Gabriel Onyenwife as his only man at the National Assembly. However, the Governor cannot be written off so fast, as he stands a chance to benefit from the fallout from APC and PDP primaries.

Consideration for support…

Because politics is dynamic with variety of uncertainties involved, legislators are going to be careful to have their own man in the Government House as the whoever wins the election won’t be contesting in the 2019 general elections and may be powerful enough to determine their fate should they want a return to Abuja.

 

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