Anambra ElectionsColumnsOpinionOPINION: In 2023, Will Anambra North Be Business As Usual?

Avatar PilotnewsFebruary 16, 2022

Anambra North has produced some of the finest politicians of national repute in the past. But Governor Obiano is the first governor of Anambra State from the zone. With his exit in about a month, observers are keen to see how the coming election outcome will differ from the past two elections in which Obiano was in charge.

In Anambra North, Sen. Stella Oduah has held sway for eight years as the senator representing the zone. Stella has a lot of goodwill and sagacity. But her performance in the senate has not been impressive. Mostly absent, neither heard nor seen most of the time. Ahead of 2023, it is not readily clear what she intends to do with her political capital. Maybe, it is time for her to take a bow, maybe not.

Hon. Chinedu Obidigwe representing Anambra East/West federal constituency was in charge of executing Governor Obiano’s political wishes; a job he did to the satisfaction of Obiano. Although he has now moved on as available information suggests that he has not been anywhere around the governor, since last year December. Obidigwe is uncharitably silent since the election of Prof. Soludo.

It is rumored that he is interested in Anambra North Senate. Clearly, Hon. Obidigwe is an ambitious and hard-working man whom providence has been generous too, but does he has what it takes to stand where Sen. Okadigbo of blessed memory stood? Your guess is as good as mine. There are some who even question his election to the House of Representatives in the first instance and raise doubt as to if he should be reelected. But then, Hon. Chinedu Obidigwe has enormous goodwill which is easily converted to political capital and that might help. But also Tony Nwoye, a proven grassroots politician from the zone is also said to be interested in the senate.

Mrs. Eberechukwu Obiano on the other hand is said to be interested in contesting the Anambra North senate seat. As of now, that Mrs. Obiano wants to contest the election can no longer be considered a rumour. What is not clear is why she is interested in the seat. Although Mrs. Obiano has action and can be a political force, can she stand sabotage from their once-trusted allies, because as it stands, it might be even difficult to get APGA ticket to stand for the election.

In 2019, Mrs. Obiano was the arrowhead that stopped Lady Bianca Ojukwu from getting APGA ticket. The question people are asking now is if it was not good enough for Bianca Ojukwu, why is it good enough for her? Add to it that she does not represent the new breed of leadership that the people are eager for. From the foregoing, it is going to be a most heated contest in Anambra North; a test of financial muscle, of popularity, and political skills.

In the Anambra North zone, Ogbaru federal constituency has Hon. Chuchu Onyema is serving his third term in the House. Hon. Onyema is popular in Ogbaru as a grassroots politician and mobilizer, but whether he is going to return to House of Representatives or move up to contest for the senate is a question that must be answered before he faces imminent diminishing return which will ensure he does not go back to the House of Representatives in 2023. Onitsha North and South federal constituency have Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu is their representative.

While almost invisible in the Green Chambers, she has maintained a fairly good relationship with her constituents. Her return to the House will be a tough walk, especially if APGA and APC present credible candidates with proven capacities. Finally is Oyi and Anayamelum federal constituency whose incumbent is Hon. Vincent Ofumelu. Hon. Ofumelu is a young entrant who appeared to have been overwhelmed; maybe just one more absentee representative. This is Anambra’s story at the National Assembly; a sad commentary for a people who pride themselves in human capital, quality, exposed and capable individuals.

Certainly, Anambra deserves better. All the incumbent lawmakers in the House of Representatives are either not seen, not heard, or they are performing somewhere around below average. Many do not even have any foot holding in their constituencies. While just about one or two who are actually trying to do something meaningful have already outlived their relevance and will be counted as spent forces in 2023. For the senators, the three senators are performing below average. Ifeanyi Ubah as a first-term senator appears to be making more effort than Sen. Oduah who is a ranking senator, yet, their outing has remained unimpressive.

Anambra State cannot continue in this direction. It is not enough to have a Governor who is ready to serve, if Anambra federal lawmakers are competing in failure, then, there is absolutely no point in returning them. Lawmaking is a serious business and those who appreciate the seriousness of the job should be sent by the people to go and get the job done. This is what Anambra voters must do in 2023.


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