Anambra perhaps more than any other state in Nigeria has been notorious with political godfatherism. The influx of money in Anambra politics by the trio of Andy Ubah, Chris Ubah and Emeka Offor in 2003 and the subsequent kidnap of the then Governor Chris Ngige set a dangerous precedent in the history of godfatherism in Nigeria. Hoodlums sponsored by these godfathers burnt government buildings including ABS radio and TV stations when Chris Ngige rejected to mortgage the soul of the state to them. Our own Chinua Achebe later qualified these godfathers as politicians with plenty of money but very low IQ.
The November 2017 Governorship election in the state have once more raised serious questions about the damaging effect of godfatherism and the unfair use of federal government resources by governing political parties to gain an advantage over their opponents. The allegations that the current APC governorship candidate Dr. Tony Nwoye was chosen by moneyed interests, Arthur Eze and Orji Kalu, is not only troubling but dangerous.
I have kept my ears to the ground and I have heard the sound of black ant. Here is how we got Tony Nwoye as the APC candidate for November election:
Orji Uzor Kalu was given the mandate to deliver southeastern Nigeria to APC in preparation for the realignment of forces in the 2019 presidential election. The reward is that his charges with EFCC will be dragged out forever. At the same time, he was promised numerous federal government contracts and a say in who becomes the APC Presidential candidate in 2023.
He has so far “delivered” on the initial goal of pulling in some “prominent” Igbo politicians to APC including Ken Nnamani, Sullivan Chime, Jim Nwobodo, Andy Ubah, Chief Arthur Eze, Chuma Nzeribe etc. In return for this, he was giving the freehand to pick the APC Governorship candidate in Anambra State. He subsequently “dashed” that right to Chief Arthur Eze, who is an uncle to his wife. Now, the vultures are once more hovering over the state, waiting to devour our commonwealth, should Tony Nwoye win.
So, yes, you should be terrified about the possibility of Tony Nwoye becoming Anambra State Governor. Anambra state should not according to Chinua Achebe be turned into “a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom.” Orji Kalu cannot give Ndi Anambra anything good. He turned Abia state to a wasteland. He gave Abia State the worst governor in forth Republic in the person of Theodore Orji. Ndi Anambra should, therefore, let Orji Uzor Kalu know that we are not Abia State.
In a Facebook message on why he joined APC, Orji Uzor Kalu said that “President Muhammadu Buhari personally promised me that all the contractors in the South East will return to sites before the end of November. I joined the APC because President Buhari has fulfilled the promise he made to me and we are hopeful he will do more.”
While we await the completion of these projects and not just “returning to site”, Mr. President has done more for Orji Uzor Kalu including the award of several Federal Road contracts to his construction firm SLOK Holding. Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) recently awarded and funded SLOK Holdings to reconstruct the Umuahia-Uzuakoli federal road as well as Uzuakoli-Ozuitem road. Does that qualify as a legitimate reward for the failed gamble at taming Nnamdi and netting some former PDP politician to APC in the southeast?
The reason why I deem it fit to provide this information to Anambra State electorate is my conviction that it is vital to the efficient functioning of the marketplace of ideas, and advancement of the democratic process in my state. My concern here is that because the federal government spending unlimited amount of funds, they are overly influencing elections and damaging the integrity of the democratic process.
Even though I agree with Orji Uzor Kalu that “it is better for the Igbos to sit where other Nigerians are sitting”, Ndi Anambra will not sale our state to APC, Uzor Kalu, Arthur Eze and Andy Ubah in order to sit with other Nigerians. Doing so will pose the danger of political corruption in favor of the interests of few. Moreover, is Dr. Ngige, Dr. Ogbonnia Onu, Osita Okechukwu, etc. our sons not sitting with other Nigerians?
Chief Odigie-Oyegun’s threat to Ndigbo that “Until we manage to bring few states (from the southeast) into the mainstream of progressives’ politics, we may not see the end of this continued cry of marginalization” is not acceptable. Stop spoon-feeding us with seductive “progressive” propaganda. How can an alliance with Andy Ubah, Chuma Nzeribe and Uzor Kalu be mainstream politics? Why should we mortgage the soul of Anambra State to Arthur Eze and Uzor Kalu? Common!
Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, was blackmailing the people of Anambra to vote the APC when he said “Unless you go into the ruling party and make meaningful contributions, you will then have the moral standing to ask `why don’t we have this or that?’’ Can’t Chief Nnamani see that Tony Nwoye and Andy Ubah is like throwing Anambra State down the drain?
One whose father was killed by a bush cow does not use a bush cow’s horn for drinking wine. Dr. Chris Ngige should, therefore, be ashamed of himself for ganging up with another set of godfathers ready to devour the wealth of the state. If we let Arthur Eze and Uzor Kalu have their way in November, there is a danger that the Anambra citizens will be perceived as a people where the wealthy can gain unfair access to power while the poor are marginalized and voiceless.
So, today, I want to stand in solidarity with those who are speaking out against godfatherism in my State. Anambra State should not become a bellwether for how the money of a few has come to dominate our democracy. So come November 18th, 2017, we should stand in solidarity to deliver a clear message to the godfathers that secret money and deals should not be able to drown out the voices of the Anambra people.
Giving birth to a retarded child and frequent loss of newborn babies are brothers. APC and PDP are brothers. I hope that Anambra citizens will let the godfathers like Arthur Eze, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Peter Obi know that that Agu Awka is not for sale.
You can email Churchill at Churchill.firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi