Experts Named Key Issues to Influence Governorship Elections in Anambra State

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A not-for-profit research group — the Centre for Democracy and Development — has revealed a special report dedicated to the upcoming election is Anambra State.

The experts named the main key issues, which can resolve the elections in the state, which will take place in November 2017.

The key issues are power rotation, godfatherism, intra-party disagreements, and the campaigning for the breakaway of Biafra State.

Anambra State is traditionally considered the commercial, social, and economic center of the south-eastern region of Nigeria. That is why Governorship elections in Anambra State have always been burdened with controversies.

Experts of the Centre for Democracy and Development studied elections in the state starting from 1999. They concluded that together with the old-going conflicts, new and even more severe problems are now added to that dangerous political cocktail in the state.

Power rotation

The study says that the rotating of important political positions to various geographical locations within Anambra state is another key factor that may have an effect on the outcome of November elections. Such a zoning was the biggest political determinant in the state at the dusk of the tenure of the immediate past governor, Peter Obi.

The significance of zoning in the election is underlined by the fact that all the candidates of the three major competing parties in Anambra state (T. Nwoye – the All Progressives Congress, APC; Mr. Obiano – the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA; and Oseloka Obaze – the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP) represent the North of the State.

“No agreement has been officially made on zoning amongst different political parties. However, their leaders are supposed to be silently investigating the issue, each trying to zone the election of their candidates to Anambra north, – the report declared, – and it has already become clear from the finished primaries of the APC, PDP, and APGA, that the State election will be directly contested amongst the top-3 biggest parties and candidates from the Anambra North senatorial region. What will influence the final winner, will narrow down to zoning, religion, party affiliation, rural–urban base and federal power,” concluded the report authors.

Indigenous People of Biafra and the attempt to boycott the November Election

Political analysts are sure that the call of IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) to boycott the elections may be the key problem for the upcoming elections. The group had already declared that no elections in the state would be held by the time the government of the country agreed to the breakaway referendum in the state of Biafra.

According to the newly released report, such an active call for elections boycotting might immediately boost violence in the state, which could grow into the region militarization. Owing to this, people could get frightened. Therefore, the turn out will be low during the poll.

“Such a danger by the IPOB head may inspire fear in the voters’ minds who might not appear to vote on the day of the governorship election,” the authors of the report write. Moreover, the result of the turnout will definitely show the real level of Mr. Kanu’s influence and IPOB’s reputation in the south-east of Nigeria.

Intra-party conflict

At the same time as most important political parties in Anambra state are thinking about how to win the November election, their odds may be hindered by the unsettled intra-party crisis. According to the study, the catastrophe bedeviling the ruling APGA began just after the party’s National Executive Committee led by Martin Agbaso voted for no confidence in the party’s chairman, Ike Oye, and suspended him and two other national officers for misbehavior.

“The crisis keeps on being unsettled with two factions, led by Chief Martin Agbaso and Victor Oye. Each of them announces different dates for the primaries for the nomination of APGA candidate for the election. The primaries have finally been conducted, and candidates have come out with current Governor Willie Obiano,” the Centre for Democracy and Development`s report declared

Correspondingly, the discordant primary of the APC between Mr. Nwoye and Mr. Uba can negatively influence the party’s odds during the November election.

Is the Independent National Electoral Commission ready for the Elections?

The electoral commissioner for Anambra state, Nwachukwu Orji, should do his best to organize the election. Since July 7, 2017, he only has 130 days to make everything work properly during the elections. He has confessed recently that proper logistics was the fundamental trouble of INEC during the forthcoming elections. According to the report exports, it means that late commencement of voting and accreditation, and the delayed delivery of electoral materials may occur because of the poor logistics only.

Among the other INEC future problems are the multiplicity of candidates and voter registers, the threat of violence, and litigation.