In Anambra, governorship elections despite pre-election tensions and prediction of dooms always end on a peaceful note. Within the past 16 years, we have zero record of litigating the outcome of governorship elections and there are reasons for this; no individual’s ambition no matter how inordinate is bigger than the aspiration of the State, no citizen of the State is powerful enough to wrestle the entire state to the ground and no one want to be seen as a distraction to the progress of the State. In Anambra we see ourselves as brothers, we quarrel like brothers and settle our political differences like brothers.
Any keen observer will notice that through out the voting period leading to the declaration of a winner, the people displayed unprecedented patriotism, courage, patience, decorum and sacrifice. They played their parts in deepening the culture of peaceful election.
Our politicians respects the people’s wish no matter how uncomfortable they may be. To go contrary to any of the above unwritten codes is to invite the wrought and anger of the people, a battle no single individual had ever won.
For the reasons of the above, I expect all the candidates in the last governorship election to congratulate the winner. I commend those who have followed this tradition. I expect Dr. Andy Uba in particular to follow suit; I expect him to be a gentleman, pick the phone and call his brother Professor Charles Chukuwma Soludo, congratulate him and wish him luck.
The campaign is over. What we are praying to God is for a good and renewed Anambra with Soludo taking charge. Andy shouldn’t end his political career brawling , yelling and kicking. He can still govern Anambra if it is the will of God and at God’s own time. He should be thankful to God for all his life accomplishments. God has been fair to him despite him being the least of righteous of men. As a private citizen he can still be useful to the state.
We the people do not want the incoming government to be distracted. We need peace and unity. Having personally perused through Soludo’s manifesto and the NEEDS document which he midwifed, I am convinced that his government will be powered by big big citizens, people who are passionate, who will help translate his visions into concrete reality. Thank God we have that visionary leader in Soludo.
Soludo’s victory is not just a victory for Anambra. His landslide victory has put the rest of the Igbo nation on notice. It has put both APC and PDP in Igbo land on notice. It is not just our people that are looking up to him with hope, the rest of the Igbo nation are looking up to him. They believe that Anambra has made the right choice and that the choice we have made will be a litmus test for the rest of the Igbo states to emulate.
At the last tally , Soludo won in 19 of the 21 local governments while Andy Uba and Ozigbo won one local government respectively. Soludo polled 112,285 votes as against Uba’s 43,285. Surprisingly while Ozigbo who came second with 53,807 votes has conceded, Uba who came a distant third position has refused to concede victory. I have read the unsavoury rejection of the election by his spokesperson, Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe for obviously insane reasons. I have also read Uba’s reaction distancing himself from his spokesperson. Though he denied rejecting the outcome of the election , he didn’t concede victory either.
In-case he didn’t know why he lost this election; I will offer him some free post-mortem advice: Imposition and impunity contributed immensely to his abysmal failure. The primary election which brought him in as APC candidate had K-leg which. It caused huge division in the party. The matter is awaiting judgement in court. The real owners of the party never forgave him for the wholesale stealing of the primary election. The aggrieved party stakeholders ensured he lost where APC would have easily won were the party united.
The sins of his younger brother who led the kidnap and abduction of a sitting governor including burning down government facilities remain his undoing. Many still believe he provided cover for his brother who up to date was never prosecuted nor sanctioned for his grave misconduct. Both him and his brother are yet to apologize to the state and atone for their sins. And as long as that unfortunate issue remain unresolved, it will be difficult for any of the Uba’s to govern Anambra State.
Pairing Uba against Soludo in a contest was a mismatch. He stood no chance. The Arise TV debate knelled his coffin. Only an insane population will chose to elect him as governor in an election that parade the likes of Soludo and Ozigbo. So, coming third as he did was in my view a good and commendable performance.
Uba ran a disruptive campaign strategy which added excitement to the drama of the election. He successfully poached chieftains from other parties with the hope that the big names will help him commandeer votes. What he didn’t realize was that he was being scammed. It’s no surprise that all the big wigs ranging from the deputy governor to the least person who defected couldn’t win their polling units. They also lost their local governments showing that they either had no electoral value or they were political cons. I believe Uba was scammed.
On the campaign trail, his campaign focused more on the failings of out-going Gov Obiano who by the way was not on the ballot. Focusing on Obiano was a mistake made not just by APC but also by other parties in the contest. Unlike Soludo’s campaign , they failed to advance their own agenda, they failed to engage the people on real life situations and everyday problems. The average Anambra person was not as interested in the failings of Obiano as they were interested in his would-be successor. To win the votes , you must first win the arguments. Uba failed to win the arguments.
Uba particularly made the point of mainstreaming the state into centre politics his campaign mantra. What he never understood was that the people are disillusioned with the centre. The see Abuja as oppressive , inept and overbearing. Thus, ptching on the strength of mainstream politics was a bad idea for people who ordinarily want a weaker central government or outright out of the federation.
In an opinion poll conducted by Kevin Charlyn and Kimberly Associates prior to the November 6 election , Andy Uba’s popularity was rated 31%. A different opinion poll by HICC projected him as a likely winner. His popularity rating had dropped sharply since after the election and nosedived to a single digit since the news broke out that he rejected the outcome of the election which was adjudged by all observers as free, fair and credible. Stretching the argument against the election any further may mark the beginning of more political disasters for him and APC especially as 2023 is by the corner.
People are reasonably apprehensive of him in the belief that he may be rehearsing the script played out in Imo where his alter-ego in a legal twist that is currently hurting Imo and our justice system became a winner from 4thposition. Imo has not known peace since that charade. Many insist that Anambra is not Imo, an indication that they will not tolerate the Supreme Court Imo scenario in Anambra.
In various communities in the State men and women are gearing for a fight should the Uba family do anything to undermine the wish of the people. The only option left for Uba is to concede victory to Soludo, wish him well and make himself available if need be to be of service to the State. Anything short of this will leave him lonely, a sore loser and number one enemy of the people.
By Clem Aguiyi