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The race for the November 2017 Governorship Election in Anambra is in full swing. Incumbent Governor Willie Obiano widely construed to be holding the ace, given the paraphernalia of the state apparatuses at his behest, National Daily can authoritatively reveal that the incumbent governor is beginning to fret over plans to drag the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, who is also a former Governor of Anambra State and a former Senator in the National Assembly.
Aspirants from the different political parties seeking to unseat Obiano include Osita Chidoka, Ifeanyi Uba, Andy Uba, Chike Obidigbo, Godwin Ezeemo, Tony Nwoye, George Muoghalu, Oseloka Obaze, Alex Obiogbolu, Barth Nwibe and Obinna Uzor.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) dominates the list of aspirants fighting for governorship ticket in the November polls.
Meanwhile, National Daily investigation revealed that certain stakeholders in Anambra State, including former Governor Peter Obi, have reached the conclusion that none of these aspirants can match Obiano or stop him from winning the election for a second tenure.
Reliable source from the state disclosed that the elders are mounting pressures on Ngige to join the governorship race. The belief is that a candidate like Ngige has leadership charisma, high political capital and experience that can alter the political equation in Anambra State against incumbent Governor Obiano.
Our source disclosed that the coming of Ngige is beginning to give Governor Obiano some concerns and that the governor is gradually developing phobia.
The incumbent governor, National Daily gathered, is beginning to review his strategies in order to make appropriate adjustments, counter the return of Ngige, then, consolidate the chances of his re-election.
National Daily further gathered that the Catholic Church is on collision course with Anglican Church over the candidate to support in the Anambra election. Moreover, the Catholic Church is also split between Obiano, Peter Obi and Ngige who are strong members of the Mission in Anambra State. The Catholic Church controls the highest number of voters in the state.
A stakeholder in Anambra polity was of the view that the APC needs to conduct transparent party primary to nominate its candidate if the party really wants to give Obiano a good fight.
They maintained that the ruling APC must do everything possible to avoid post-primary crisis in order to avoid the electoral misfortune encountered by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
Former Governor Peter Obi was said to have visited Ngige to convince him to pick the APC governorship ticket, promising to lubricate his personal political machine to support the Minster. Obi was said to have vowed to make sure Obiano does not return for second term; insisting that he will do anything for Willie not to come back.
The power tussle in Anambra is further complicated with the massive support Professor Charles Soludo is giving to Obiano. Thus, Soludo is also reinforcing Obiano’s political machine to alter the power configuration in the governorship polls. Invariably, what obiano may be losing in Obi, he regains in Soludo.
National Daily investigation further revealed that Soludo entered into an unwritten agreement with Obiano to join forces together in the November election while Obiano will work for him at the end of his second tenure. “Soludo feels it will be cheaper for him to fight Obiano’s successor than competing with Obiano as an incumbent; knowing that Obiano will use government resources against his opponents,” a stakeholder from the state said.
Further investigation by National Daily found that Obiano is strong in the state and according to a stakeholder, “wining him is a tall order. The only thing APC can do to remove Obiano is not to have election and write result, but MASSOB will deal with them.”
All the political structures of government in Anambra State, including appointments from the Commissioners, Special Advisers or Assistants, to the state civil service unto the local governments are firmly under Obiano’s control. All these were said to be rooted in grassroots followership.
Our source maintained that Obiano has done very well on security, agriculture and development of infrastructures. “Security in Anambra is unparalleled. All groups are with Obiano,” he said; adding: “workers don’t joke with Obiano, they are with him 100 per cent. Workers get their salaries on 26th of every month.”
He further said that, “Ojukwu has 100 per cent influence in the Anambra election. Billboards of APGA has Ojukwu’s pictures beside Obiano everywhere.”
“It may not be easy to beat Obiano; he is the man to beat in the election. Obiano tries to carry everybody along,” it was declared.
Meanwhile, Ngige is yet to officially declare for the governorship race.