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The Opinion Poll On Anambra Election — 18th October 2017



By OBIDI BASIL OKECHUKWU

In a recent opinion poll conducted by the O’ Best Political Research Group, on the Anambra State gubernatorial election coming up on  November 18, it was predicted that the incumbent governor, Mr Willie Obiano of  the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), would win the governorship election with a landslide. Specifically, Obiano will coast home with 50% of the votes, beating the runner-up, (Mr Oseloka Obaze of the PDP) with a margin of 25%.

According to the study, Oseloka Obaze polled 25%, Obiano 50%, Chief Osita Chidoka of the United Progressives Party (UPP) 5%, Dr. Tony Nwoye of the APC 15%, while Mr Godwin Ezeemo of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and other candidates together polled 5%.

The factors going for Oseloka Obaze outside his personal accomplishments are the Peter Obi support and the PDP structure in the state and in the South East generally. Dr Peter Obi, who is a former governor of Anambra State and who paved the way for Obiano to win  the governorship election in 2013, is  not a push-over in Anambra State politics.

Nonetheless, his popularity and political influence are waning and have diminished considerably since he went on a collision course with the incumbent governor.

As for Chief Osita Chidoka, he is a gentleman, highly educated and well travelled, a former minister in Jonathan’s government and an intelligent man. However, his political platform – the UPP – has little or no structure at all in Anambra State. So, it will be very difficult for him  to win enough votes with only his charisma going for him. He is a patriot, no doubt, because he believes that the Igbo have a right to self-determination and  that the labeling of IPOB as a terrorist organization is a misnomer that is semantically anachronistic.

The Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate- Godwin Ezeema – and his running mate, Stanley Nkwokah, are people who have investments in Anambra State to stem youth unemployment and boost the economic development of the state. Dr Tony Nwoye – the APC governorship candidate’s mantra is “let us reconnect to the centre and join the mainstream politics in order to exit from marginalization”. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be resonating with the good people of Anambra State, though he is a mass mobilizer. What then are the factors that are going for the Working Willie and which are responsible for his high and impressive rating  by our polling research group?

The Obiano government in Anambra State has made the state to be reckoned as number one among the 36 States of Nigeria in food security. Today, the state has started exporting  some farm produce including vegetables to other countries, including the US and EU. For a long time, the people of Anambra State abandoned agriculture and have been deep-neck in trading activities. The Obiano regime is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to harness all the resources of the State, including its agricultural resources. The issue of security is where Obiano has recorded the greatest achievement. He has fixed the insecurity in the state.  Methinks that the primary duty of government to the citizenry is   the protection of lives and property of the nationals and others living in its territory. In this area, the Obiano Administration is being praised to the high heavens. Onitsha used to be a no-go- area in terms of insecurity, armed robbery, kidnapping and ritual murder.

Today, it is a different sing-song in Anambra. The glory of the commercial town has come back thanks to the Willie Obiano government’s commitment to the fight against crime and criminality in the state. What Obiano has done  in Onitsha is a miracle and many Nigerians from far and wide have lauded his efforts in this regard.

Willie Obiano government is known for paying workers of the state promptly. This is  no mean achievement in this era of recession where many states owe their workers 3-5 months’ salaries. Peter Obi was also paying workers promptly during his time. What makes the difference now is that during  the Peter Obi administration, Nigeria did not experience recession, so it was  easier  for him  to pay Anambra State public servants promptly. Obiano is not the type who takes pleasure in seeing  his people reel in economic hardship and that is why he made prompt salary payment one of the cardinal principles of his regime. Obiano promised to increase the allocation of funds to each of the one hundred and seventy-nine communities (179) from N20 million to N50 Million under the Choose-Your-Project-Funds in his second tenure. This gesture would ensure greater development in all parts of Anambra State because the issue of neglect of any community would  not arise. Communities would be the ones to neglect themselves when they allow their leaders to blow the funds or when they choose to share their allocations or apply them to fictitious projects. Many respondents during  the poll said they would vote for Willie Obiano as a result of these community development strides. The Obiano Community-Empowerment Initiative of dolling out N20 million to every community on quarterly basis for  the funding of home-grown development projects is an idea that is entirely novel in the history of our own political evolution.

Another factor going  for Obiano is that his government has relied on hired professionals  in the execution of all of  its projects rather than the use of touts. The use of professionals of proven integrity has equally resulted in the increase of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N500 million monthly to N1.5 Billion monthly.  Obiano is widely believed to be a man of uncommon honesty. Many people believe that quality leadership trait in him has paid off in the area of delivery of high-quality roads and other infrastructural facilities. Obiano’s transformation of the educational sector has produced  results. WAEC analysis of students with 5 credit passes at the Senior School Certificate Examination has shown that students of Anambra State who obtained up to five credit passes were 60% in 2013. This impressive performance has continued to be on the increase leading to 75% in 2017. It is  the Obiano educational reform that made Anambra State produce  the Best teacher in the whole Federation. The elated governor gave him a million naira. Anambra people want to leave   the state to a new set  of administrators with  new hands  and new heads. Obiano fits this bill. In addition to this is the necessity to continue with the economic master plan of the Obiano Administration which has the potential of transforming the state into an economic-cum-industrial giant within the next four to five years.

The Obiano Administration has benefitted my own community, Umudioka, in Dunukofia LGA in the area of  provision of street lighting system all the way from Onitsha to Awka  via the old road. This has helped to reduce crime in the area, especially during festivities. This has never happened before. Nontheless, the election will be keenly contested in Anmabra Central Senatorial District where Peter Obi hails from. Governor Obiano, according to the study done by O’BEST PRG in conjunction with World News, may not get enough votes here unless he re-strategizes and reconnects better with the people from this zone, because the people  are alleging that Willie Obiano’s government has marginalized their zone in his appointments and spread of projects.

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