Polls: Obiano Faces Litmus Test Of Popularity

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Governor Obiano

By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka

As Anambrarians prepare to head to the polls on Saturday, one paramount question in the minds of people is whether the state Governor, Willie Obiano’s political fold, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) will be able to pull the strings like it did at the conclusion of the 2017 governorship election in the state.

The election which seems more like a work over for the governor gave him a sweeping victory of 21/21, but soon after the victory and commencement of a second four year tenure, the house built on the foundation of “Onye aghana nwanne ya’ meaning, do not leave your  brother or sister behind started developing some visible cracks.

The crack may not be far from the crisis that followed the party’s primaries. Many party members and loyalists who trusted the party to conduct a free and fair primary election were schemed out through power play. Among them were the wife of the late Biafran warlord who was the face behind the party before his death, Chief Bianca Ojukwu, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, among others.

While these two major contenders moved on with their lives, Ubah pitched tent with the Young Progressive Party, YPP and ended up winning the senatorial seat of Anambra South against two power brokers in Anambra politics, Chief Chris Uba and Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu.

The rest of the aspirants who felt short changed went on to form a group known as APGA Aggrieved Forum. Following the formation, the group demanded that they be refunded the money they spent to purchase their forms for the primaries.

The call fell on deaf ears as nothing was done to pacify them. But, close to the February 23 presidential and national assembly elections, some of them broke away from the group and rejoined APGA, pledging allegiance to the party.

That move could sway the raging storm as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) returned in a grand style and swept the polls except for Anambra South Senatorial zone where Ubah won and Anambra East/west federal constituency which was won by Chinedu Obidigwe.

With the presidential and National Assembly elections over, the aggrieved members of the party returned to again register their anger and frustration.

At a recent press conference in Awka, the group threatened that unless their demands were met, APGA should expect a tsunami beyond what was recorded in the National Assembly elections come March 9.

Addressing journalists after a brief meeting of the Forum,  their spokesperson, Onyeka Mbanaso called for the resignation of the national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Oye saying that APGA is heading to destruction if Oye continues to steer the ship.

According to him, the party’s national chairman lacks what it takes to win elections even as he noted that they cannot abandon APGA after commuting to its build up.

The group urged the state governor to  listen to their demands and find a way of solving it or be ready to lose the state assembly election.

 “We are giving Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano 9-days ultimatum to sack the national chairman of the party, Chief Victor Oye and cause him to refund monies he extorted from aspirants during the primary election.

“What happened in last Saturday election(national assembly election) where APGA performed poorly is a preamble of what will befall the party during next week House of Assembly election across the 30 state constituencies if necessary action is not taken.

“We the aggrieved members of this party are calling on our governor, Obiano who is the leader of the party and other concerned stakeholders to sack Chief Victor Oye.”

 In a swift reaction to the call for his sack, Oye dismissed them as not having the wit to sack him.

He further described the aggrieved members as insignificant. It is said that a great man is known with how he handles emergency.

To this end, the strikers have once again set the ball rolling to see whose shot will hit the back of the net.

Though APGA’s biggest opposition, PDP appear to have relaxed in their hot pursuit of taking away power, the governor unsettled. In his usual approach, he recently called a meeting of APGA members at the Ekwueme square to find a way of holding on to the majority number in the House of Assembly.

Though it could not be ascertained if the aggrieved members have settled, another meeting was also held with the state workforce. At the meeting, Obiano appealed for total votes from the state workforce for APGA.

He said that having majority of lawmakers on his side will give his ease to consolidate on the good works his government is doing.

He also promised to be the first governor to pay the new minimum wage. It was gathered that the meetings were predicated the fear that PDP is once again at home with the electorates.

Feelers have it that at a private meeting of APGA, the fear of the governor being impeached in the event that PDP win majority of the assembly seats.

The governor’s fears may not be far fetched a PDP house majority may not be down with working with a marked enemy.

But the issue of money politics can not be ruled out here. Obiano may be able to divide the opposition majority by buying his way into their souls, thereby giving him a safe landing for the remaining two years he has in his kitty.

Until the last count, there is an underlining fear that the journey of APGA may be heading to abyss.

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