BY CHIEF TONY ONYIMA
Perhaps Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (Ikemba Nnewi) did foresee the class act that was the performance of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on November 18, 2017,
when he stated that “history is nothing more than a movement, a statement, an act by certain individuals who have found the ability to make time stand still; whether they be young or old, they are the bold and the brave”.
And Governor Willie Obiano did make history, not just by winning with fifty-five per cent of the total votes cast but he won in all the 21 local government areas. Obiano also had more votes than all the other 36 contestants put together. There are other remarkable and unprecedented slants to the win.
The election witnessed 37 contestants; perhaps the first in the country. Apart from the fact that the margin of victory was comparable to no other before it, the spread was never bettered in the history of the state.
So far, the impact of the election has continued to reverberate across the country. Analysts have tried to find possible reasons why APGA’s victory run was unstoppable in all the 21 local government areas of the state, beating its closest rivals and their sponsors. Not one of the godfathers was spared humiliating defeat in their local governments. Some were beaten even in their polling booths.
For the first time, the idea of a relational politics resonated with the people in their belief that APGA was their own (Nke a bu nke anyi). The belief was so strong that reports said that even the elderly were insistent on thumbing their fingers on the Cock- the APGA symbol.
The sweeping victory is also being viewed as a fitting tribute to Ojukwu’s legacy and stature in Igbo political history. With the rekindled interest in APGA, made possible by the good works of the governor, the possibility of winning the entire Southeast is high with possible inroad into the other zones of the country. The party has made outstanding impact on governance in the last 13 years. This impact is made evident in the face of the countrywide economic recession that disabled governance in many states. When many of the state governments were finding it difficult to discharge the least function of state, the APGA government, led by Chief Willie Obiano was posting impressive performance.
It was the reward of the exceptional achievements in office that the governor and his party reaped on November 18. The state has now been hoisted on a pedestal of development which, if sustained in the next four years, will make other states green with envy.
One of the greatest advantages of the victory was that it dealt devastating blow to politics of godfatherism in the state. It marked a paradigm shift and set a new agenda of reward for hard work.
On the part of the governor, the victory places an enormous burden of responsibility on his shoulders as he is not only expected to deliver good governance, but to offer political leadership to a people whose politics has since hit the nadir. He is without doubt an embodiment of the collective aspiration of the silent majority who seem lost in the maze of national politics.
With what he has achieved in security, agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and human capital development etcetera, it is expected that the next four years will witness exponential growth in these sectors and many more legacy initiatives. Now is the time to collate all the promises made on campaign stumps and begin to articulate policies around them, particularly when he has only four budget cycles to fulfill those promises.
It is hoped that the national economy will improve. That will give him added advantage to prove to Ndi Anambra and indeed Nigerians that his earlier achievements were no fluke.
BY CHIEF TONY ONYIMA