Come March 17, 2014, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State will be bowing out from office having served his people for two terms. Govenor Obi who contested the gubernatorial election in Anambra State on the platform of All Progressives Grands Alliance (APGA) in 2003 came into office 33 months later, following the ouster of Dr. Chris Ngige of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) through an Appeal Court judgement.
Before Governor Obi took over the mantle of leadership in Anambra State his predecessor, Dr. Ngige, a physician of notable standing had successfully carried out a surgical operation on the sickly state as a result of the malaise of maladministration occasioned by the visionless leadership of Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju. It was while the state was recuperating under the able hands of Dr. Ngige who had embarked on a number of developmental projects that power was transferred to Governor Obi on March 17, 2006.
Although Governor Obi was a successful businessman before he ventured into politics his election into the exalted office was facilitated by Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the founder of APGA, the Ikemba Nnewi and Eze Igbo Gburugburu who commanded the respect of the Ndigbo. Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu, an adorable leader of his people hailed from Anambra State, and for his sake Anambra State was delivered to Governor Obi twice on the platform of APGA.
However, Governor Obi has been able to provide purposeful leadership to the people of Anambra State in the past seven years.
According to observers, his development programme, Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) which was unveiled in the days of his administration has taken care of some of the developmental needs of his people. Apart from ensuring prudence in the management of the state treasury, Governor Obi has made remarkable impact on the health and education sectors as well as youth empowerment. Indeed, history will have him as one of those who left enduring legacies in Anambra State.
But one thing that is very common with politicians that have occupied elective positions is their unquenchable thirst for power. For a man of his political status observers are of the view that Governor Obi will be aspiring for a national office.
Speaking at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Asata, Enugu recently, Governor Obi said he would quit politics at the end of his tenure.
“For me, I have come to the end of it. I want to quit and rest. However, I have been praying to God that for the sake of the good people of Anambra State, please give them somebody like Peter Obi”, he said.
As Governor Obi’s tenure is fast winding up, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the Anambra State gubernational poll for November 16, this year. Consequently, governorship aspirants of the major poltical parties in the country have lined up for the juicy office.
While it was easy for Governor Obi to win election in 2003 and 2010 through the enormous support and influence of late Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu the coast appears to be hazy for APGA in the forthcoming election due to the intra-party wranglings that pollarised the party for a length of time. Fortunately, Governor Obi and the embattled National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh have resolved their differences, but they need to redouble their effort so as to reposition the party to regain the confidence of the Anambrarians. In fact, Governor Obi should rise to occasion by proving skeptics wrong that APGA was buried alongside the Late Ikemba.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) equally has a chance to win the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State if the warring factions in the party will sheathe their swords and work together for their common good. Presently, the party controls two Senatorial seats and a sizeable number of seats in the House of Representatives and the State House of Assembly. It is therefore, incumbent on the party leadership at the national level to ensure that the right thing is done for peace to reign.
Recently, business mogul, Ifeanyi Uba declared his intention to contest the gubernatorial poll on the platform of the Labour Party. Although, he is being dismissed in certain quarters as political neophyte, observers are of the view that he could spring surprises because of his financial musile which is a major factor in politics.
Also in the race is former Governor Chris Ngige who is currently the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly. In a letter dated July 24, 2013 and addressed to the Senate President, David Mark, Senator Ngige formally notified the Senate of his intention to participate in the gubernatorial election.
“Mr. President and distinguished colleagues, in the last three months or so, I have been incundated with calls, text messages and visits by many people from my home state, Anambra, and the messages had remained the same, ‘we need you back home as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of our State come March 17, 2014.
“It has been a very difficult decision for me to take and I have consulted extensively with my family, political associates, colleagues and the people.
“My people think that I would be better as their governor again. They have asked; they have eajoled; they have persuaded; they have demanded; they have called and they are praying that I answer their call to come and govern the state again.
“I have had the honour and privilege of serving them in this capacity before from May 2003 – March 2006.
“They were kind enough to send me to this Senate to show me immense goodwill they have for me. It is therefore, not a personal ambition any longer for me to become Governor of Anambra State.
“However, the cry and the demand of my people have been a source of incredible pressure and have increased tremendously with the release of the election timetable two weeks ago by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“I have concluded consultations and now find it necessary to officially inform this Senate that I will be an aspirant and hopefully a candidate in the election.
“Please wish me luck and pray for me, even if you are not of my party. I am of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) stock, but for this journey I intend to use the vehicle of Progressives – our newly merged political party – the All Progressives Congress (APC)”, he said.
The Anambra gubernatorial poll is indeed gaining momentum, it is our hope that the electorate will be guided by their conscience in choosing the right person for the job.
‘Reps Passed 88 Bills In Two Years’
The House of Representatives has passed 88 bills out of 1407 bills in the past two years, its spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) has said.
The House clocked two years on June 11 and has two years left.
Mr Kalu had earlier released different data on the status of legislative activities. However, The Tide source is yet to independently verify this latest data.
Mr Kalu had claimed that the House considered 853 bills and 41 of them passed, in the previous statement.
According to the new statement released on Friday, a total of 554 bills were introduced between June 2020 and June 2021. It was a sharp decline considering that the House introduced 853 bills between June 2019 and June 2020.
Although the decline could be blamed on the outbreak of Covid-19.
“The accurate number of bills considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021 is 1407 out of which the House has passed 88 bills.
“Additionally, the accurate number of motions considered by the 9th House of Representatives as of June 10, 2021, is 730 out of which the House has made 98 resolutions on security issues.”
The data released by the lawmaker shows that while the introduction of bills has been easy, the progression of bills has been very slow.
A total of 942 bills are awaiting second reading, only 327 bills have been referred to committees, and 79 are awaiting committee of the whole consideration.
Within the same period, 730 motions were considered by the House. However, out of the 663 referred to committees, only 40 reports have been laid, and only six have been considered by the House.
Legislative activities suffered a great deal in 2020 due to the breakout of Covid-19. The National Assembly was shut down for about two months between March 2020 and May 2020.
At a point, the plenary was reduced to once a week.
However, the lawmakers did not help the situation by embarking on holidays at the slightest opportunity, thereby missing deadlines on passage of key legislation.
Also, a review of the legislative agenda of the House by The Tide source shows that the lawmakers are far behind in fulfilling their agenda.
Accord To Contest In 12 LGAs
Accord Party plans to contest only in 12 local government councils and 37 local council development areas at the July 24 council polls in Lagos State.
Its Publicity Secretary, Dele Oladeji, told newsmen in Lagos, yesterday that the party chose to contest only in its areas of strength rather than dissipate energy across the state.
He said Accord Party would contest chairmanship and councillorship seats in Somolu, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Igando-Ikotun, Agbado Okeodo, Agege, Alimosho, Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu, Oshodi/Isolo, and Ifako-Ijaiye LGAs/LCDAs.
Oladeji said that the party had a good outing in these councils at the last council elections in 2017.
“We are set for the election and we are competing in our local governments of strength where we won in 2017.
“We are set to repeat the same feat and even win more than the eight councillorship seats we won in 2017 to become the only opposition party in the local government administration in Lagos State,’’ he said.
Oladeji said that the party was ready to go to court wherever its mandate was stolen as it did in 2017 local government elections.
“As against 2017 when we went to court only in few areas to get back our rigged mandate, this year, we will go to court in any number of local government areas where our mandate is perceived to have been stolen through rigging.
“As the only opposition party in the local government’s administration of Lagos State, we have retained the abiding hope of Lagos residents as the alternative party.”
Okorocha Cautions Igbos On Secession
The Senator representing Imo West, Rochas Okorocha, has cautioned the South-East against their agitations for Nigeria’s breakup.
Okorocha warned that Igbos would be the worst hit if Nigeria breaks up.
The former Imo State Governor spoke in Abuja while addressing some women groups yesterday.
Okorocha stressed that the South- East should push towards fixing the country and not its disintegration.
The lawmaker stressed that Igbos are nationalistic in nature, hence they should dismiss the urge for Nigeria’s disintegration.
He said: “It is only an Igbo man that goes to a place and remains put in that place, buys a land and builds a house for his family without feeling insecure. The Igbos will lose more if Nigeria divides.
“Most Nigerian leaders who were successful had one thing or the other to do with the Igbos. It is either they married Igbo women or had some links with them. I can call names like, former President, Obasanjo; former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Buba Marwa, just to name a few”.
South-East groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and the Movement for the Actualization of Sovereignty State of Biafra, MASSOB, have been agitating for the disintegration of Nigeria.
IPOB led by Nnamdi Kanu has been in the forefront, calling for Biafra’s actualisation.
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