Governorship elections in Nigeria come every four years. It is normally an opportunity for the electorates to mark the script of the governor and the ruling party, because the four years of governance is considered an examination for them.
It is the people who are the examiners that will mark the script and score them according to how the governor and his party have performed.
In most cases, when the governor or his party are not sure of their performance or even when they are sure, but not sure that the people are convinced with it, they have to go out to showcase their performance or out rightly meet the people, sometimes one on one to try to convince them on their performance and capacity to do more when re-elected.
Unfortunately for them, at such times there are many others who also want the seat who will also go out to try to convince the people that what the incumbent has done is nothing compared to what they would have done where they the ones in office.
This scenario is what is currently playing out in Anambra State and next week the people will have the opportunity to score their governor.
Has Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano done well as the governor of Anambra State in the last four years that will qualify him to be scored pass by the people and therefore re-elected?
For the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), his political party and their supporters, the answer is an emphatic yes and very worthy of re-election, but to many others who are seeking to unseat him either for themselves or for those they support, Obiano has failed in this last four years and deserves to be booted out.
Fortunately, the scoring of performance or decision on who occupies the Anambra Government House does not fully lie with the politicians, even though many of them think it does,
because they believe in their capacity to influence things in their favour whichever way, but the bulk of the decision actually lies with the people, the electorates and on Saturday, November 18, they will file out to decide on their future and elect a governor who will direct their affairs in the next four years.
The questions now is who among the about 37 candidates of the various political parties will it be? Who is worthy to wear the crown that the Anambra people is about to bestow?
Can the people trust Obiano with another four years or will a new king be crowned? And if they are to pick another who will it be?
Well, even though the choice of who will be the next governor of Anambra State squarely lies with the people of the state, it is important to look at some of the notable candidates from among whom the people will have to make a choice and saddle with the responsibility of ruling the state for the next four years.
It is worthy to note that while some of the candidates are in the race for the crown and are serious about getting elected into the exalted office, many are there just to find relevance in the political setting of the state and the nation,
others are there just to catch fun and others for the nuisance value they bring into the race, while yet others are there to pose a stumbling block to some other persons who they may think without obstacles have a good chance of emerging.
So, whichever category a candidate falls, it is left for the electorates to see through their intentions and cast their votes in accordance with the individual conviction, in line with what they believe serves best their own interest.
Tony Nwoye, APC
Tony Okechukwu Nwoye is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.
Nwoye, born in 1974 is a medical doctor turned politician; Nwoye started his political career as a medical student at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, where he functioned in different capacity as a leader.
A man with many first, he was the first medical student to become the speaker of the student union house of representative in the University of Nigeria.
He also served as the national president of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS). He was the first and only Igbo student to have attained that height.
He rose to state power as Assistant Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Anambra State PDP in 2005 and by 2006 at the age of 31, he became the Chairman of the State Executive Committee of the Anambra State PDP, making him the youngest State Chairman of a major political party in the entire nation.
A former member of the House of Representatives representing Anambra East/West constituency of Anambra State, Nwoye is also a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2013 election in Anambra State, but later joined the APC where he won the ticket to again run for the office of the governor.
For the governorship seat, Nwoye stands a good chance to unseat the incumbent, infact he seems to posse a better chance in the race besides the incumbent because of a lot of things that falls in his favour.
For a start, Nwoye is holding the ticket of the ruling party at the centre, the APC, so he has the federal might to his advantage.
He also has people in the state that can be described as political heavyweights as members of his party in the state, such persons as former governor and current minister for Labour, Dr. Chirs Ngige, he also has the like of Sen. Andy Ubah among many others to rely on for support.
This is also besides his political experience, either as a student activist, running for party leadership in the state, contesting for the House of Representatives and also governorship.
Chief Willie Obiano, APGA
The emergence of Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) prior to the 2013 election shocked many members of the party and beyond.
Though he was described by many as an unknown quantity as far as politics in the state is concerned, he struck a feat that is rare in politics.
Chief Obiano holds a B.Sc. Second Class Upper in Accounting from University of Lagos and an MBA in Marketing also from same university, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Chief Willie Obiano was John F. Kennedy Essay Winner 1974 at CKC and holds a national Merit Certificate for outstanding service during his NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) in Benue State.
He is the President AMP (Advance Management Programme) of Lagos Business School for Ten years running and also a 2006 BNV (Building New Ventures) CLASS member of Harvard Business School, Boston USA, also Standard University.
Obiano started his banking career as Officer in First Bank in 1981 from where he moved to Texaco Nigeria Plc as Accountant. He was promoted 4 times in his eight-and-half-year-service at Texaco to become Chief Internal Auditor.
He is a specialist in Bunkering, Lube-blending and Refinery Audits. He was part of the team that audited Texaco Refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1989.
He joined Fidelity Bank from Texaco in 1991 as Deputy Manager and head of Audit and rose to become General Manager in 2002 and Executive Director in October, 2003 and was still in this position when he resigned to contest the governorship in 2013.
In the last two years, Obiano’s achievements in the area of returning sanity to Onitsha, which is the commercial capital of the state, his achievements in restoring security, the area of education and the one project per community initiative will likely speak for him at the election.
However, it should be noted that along the line he has made for himself some formidable political enemies, like the former governor, Peter Obi who was responsible for his emergence as governor in the first instance among others and that may make things a little difficult for him.
But, it is believed by some political watchers that he is likely to be victorious at the end of the day.
Oseloka Obaze, PDP
Oseloka Henry Obaze born in 1955 is a former United Nations diplomat who has served across Europe and Africa, an international civil servant with the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, administrator, writer and politician.
He is the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Anambra State Governorship Elections.
Prior to working at the United Nations, Obaze worked as an international civil servant with the Nigerian Diplomatic Service from 1982-1991.
Following his resignation from the United Nations, Oseloka Obaze was appointed as Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, from June, 2012 till June, 2015 by both former Governor Peter Obi and incumbent Governor Willie Obiano.
In addition to his roles as the Secretary to the State Government, Obaze served as Board of Trustees Chair of both the Anambra State Flood Disaster Emergency Fund and the Anambra State Flood Disaster Relief Coordination Committee.
He was a delegate to the South East Zonal Review of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution held in 2012 and Chairman of the Anambra State Government Handover Committee in 2014.
Oseloka played leading roles in returning his Alma mater, Christ the King College Onitsha and other mission schools in Anambra State from the government back to missionaries who were their initial owners and raising over N25 million towards revitalisation projects at C.K.C. Onitsha
Obaze first came into politics in 2013 at the state level when he contested for the governorship of Anambra State under All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), but was disqualified by the party on the basis of voters’ card technicality.
Though Obaze’s task of clinching the governorship seat in Anambra State this time will not be easy, his chances are enhanced by the mere fact that the forces that ensured victory for Obiano in 2013 are currently queuing behind him,
the only snag being that at the time they stood behind Obiano the incumbency factor was at play, but now, that is not the case, as Obiano enjoys the advantage of incumbency, which always has a lot to do in Nigerian elections.
Godwin Ezeemo, PPA
Godwin Chukwunaenye Ezeemo, a graduate of Marketing from the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State is a man with his hands in many pies, including being the Chairman, Orient media group, Orient export, Orient daily newspaper, Orient mega radio station, Orient Energy Review, Honeywell hotel and tourism, Business Potters, Union haulage Ltd, Sokka Ltd, among others.
The Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area, born politician is the governorship candidate of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA).
Born in 1954, Ezeemo a devout Christian, who has organised programmes in his local area to promote Christianity and denounce indigenous religions, is also an established philanthropist and founder of Ezeemo Trust for the Less-Privileged.
A notable community leader, he founded and headed the Ugo Age Grade of Amanasaa, Umuchu. He also chaired the Works Committee of the Age Grade that carried out the perimeter fencing of Girls’ Secondary School, Umuchu, (now Pioneer Secondary School), built doctors’ quarters at General Hospital, Umuchu and Perimeter fencing at Umuchu General Hospital.
He also built and donated the Police Divisional Headquarters, Umuchu, sunk boreholes and laid reticulated water pipelines in Umuchu, and single highhandedly built St. Peter’s Anglican Church (Zion City) Umuchu.
His philanthropic impact has been felt in all Christian denominations; Anglican, Catholic, Salvation Army and Pentecostal churches.
A seasoned and refined politician no doubt, but the concern is whether his philanthropic activities mostly in and around his community will be enough to sway the entire state to cast their vote in his favour, more so that he is running on the platform of a political party whose strength even in the South East is not really visible anymore.
Osita Chidoka, UPP
Osita Chidoka is one young man that has remained an inspiration to many members of the younger generation and even his age mates who yearns to be like him.
Born in 1971 in Obosi, he bagged a Bachelor of Science degree in management in 1995 from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).
He also obtained his graduate diploma in Marine and Ports Management from the National University of Singapore in 2002 and a Masters Degree in Transport Policy and Logistics from the George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, United States of America in 2006.
Chidoka emerged the best Youth Corper in the entire Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 1996, where he served his father land.
He later worked in the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and then served as Personal Assistant to the Minister of State for Works and Housing as well as Minister of Transport.
He was later elevated to Special Assistant to the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Legal Matters.
He was also appointed Senior Advisor, Government and Business Relations to Mobil Corporation. In 2007, he was appointed Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) at the age of 36.
His quest for breaking new grounds was recognised, and another position, the President, African Group of International Road Safety Organizations was given to him.
It is however on records that, he is the youngest Nigerian to ever head FRSC in that capacity.
Chidoka was later appointed Minister of Aviation by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, becoming the first Nigeria to transit from managing road traffic to managing air traffic.
Today, he is the candidate of the United Progressive Party (UPP) for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.
There is no doubt that Chidoka has an impressive credential to run and make impact in the Anambra governorship race, but the question is, can he fly with the platform that he has chosen?
Many believe that where he to be on the platform of the APC or PDP, he would have given the APGA flag bearer a good run for his money,
but that with the UPP that is not only a fairly new political party, but without any solid structure and political heavyweights, beside the founder, Chief Chekwas Okorie, who had earlier nurtured the APGA to limelight, the race will be tough for Chidoka.
Adaeze Okafor, APDA
Another interesting development in the Anambra governorship race is the emergence of Mrs Adaeze Okafor, an Architect, who emerged as the candidate of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), becoming the first ever female candidate of any political party in Anambra governorship election.
Adaeze holds a B.A degree in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, BSc and MSc Architecture from Enugu State University of Science and Technology, and California Teaching Credential from National University, Los Angeles.
Though nothing much is known about her political history, the fact that she dares to venture into the race considered by many as a dangerous terrain is enough reason to give her kudos and also the fact that she has become a frontrunner for other female politicians, she has showcased what is possible.
Perhaps the boldness to step forward may actually be the whole thing about her foray into the race, as she is running on the platform of a relatively new political party that is not known to have enough political base.
However, whatever happens, she has set the stage both for the women folks in the state and for the party in other elections across the country.
Yul Edochie, DPC
Yul Chibuike Daniel Edochie, Nigerian actor, son of another Nigerian actor, Pete Edochie is the candidate of the Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC) in the Anambra State governorship election.
Born in 1982, Yul was raised both in Lagos and Enugu. A graduate of the University of Port Harcourt, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts, Edochie’s claim to the race is believed to only be based on his popularity as an actor and son of another actor.
Yul Edochie’s declaration was made in anticipation of a Not Too Young To Run Bill passed by the Senate, but was however made official on the 22nd of August 2017, when he picked up the nomination form of the political party Democratic Peoples’ Congress and was eventually the flag bearer and gubernatorial candidate of the party to run for governor of Anambra State.
Yul is however believed to be testing the political waters with a view to playing important roles in the future, but for the coming governorship election in Anambra State, he is not yet prepared for the race, some political watchers said.
Other candidates in the race who may spring surprises include Uju Uchendu Ozoka, AA, Nwezi Felix Amechi, AGAP, Oby Kate Okaforf ACD, Akunwata Ejoh Ojiba, ACPN, Paul Chukwudi Obianaso, ADC, Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, ADP, Nweke Chukwudubem, APP, Ohanugo Ikem Cecil, BNPP, Emmanuel Uchenna Nwibe, DA, Onuorah Basil Onyeachonam, GPN.
Others include Samuel Osita Oraegbunam,HDP, Ndife Franklin Ikenna, ID, Rufus Okeke Sunday Ezeokolonkwor, KOWA, Christian Okechukwu Enemuo, LP, Okafor Onyeka Christian, MMN, Praise Okechukwu, MPPP, Chinedu Uzoma Okpalanma, NCP, Benneth Abaniwu, NDLP, Felix A.R. Obi-Okafor, NEPP, Okafor Charles Ogbonna, NNPP, Val. Okey Oguejiofor, NPC.
The list also includes Nnoli Amechi Justin, NUP, Agbata Martin Ikechukwu, PDC, Henry Ikechukwu Onuorah, PPN, Kenneth Ejike Modezie, PPP, Stephen Obiorah Mbah, PRP, Ifeanyi L. Obalum, SDP, Stanley Uche Ezeanyaku, UDP, Ozoemena Nonso, YDP and Nnaemeka Ifeoma Ezibe, YPP.
The scoring of performance or decision on who occupies the Anambra Government House does not fully lie with the politicians, even though many of them think it does, because they believe in their capacity to influence things in their favour whichever way, but the bulk of the decision actually lies with the people, the electorates and on Saturday, November 18, they will file out to decide on their future and elect a governor who will direct their affairs in the next four years.
It is worthy to note that while some of the candidates are in the race for the crown and are serious about getting elected into the exalted office, many are there just to find relevance in the political setting of the state and the nation, others are there just to catch fun and others for the nuisance value they bring into the race, while yet others are there to pose a stumbling block to some other persons who they may think without obstacles have a good chance of emerging.