Anambra 2021: Why Anambra Must Reposition for Mainstream Politics

Evidently, Uba’s concerns for the welfare of the downtrodden has never shifted from a priority at any point in time.

By Ichie Mike Ejezie, FCA, FCTI

Ichie Ejezie PhD, a financial expert wrote this piece from Ihiala, Anambra state

Quintessentially, Anambra State is one of the states in the southeast geopolitical zone in Nigeria created in 1976 from the former East Central State. It was nicknamed ‘Light of the Nation’ which translates to ‘Ife be on account of exploits it is characterized with from creation. Amongst statesmen, it has produced is the first ‘president of Independent-Nigeria’, Owelle Nnamdi Azikiwe, ‘the Zik of Africa’ (1904-1996). Others are Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, Chuba Okadigbo, Chinua Achebe, Dora Akunyili; all of the blessed memory, among other dead and living. From the entrepreneurial angle, Anambra boasts of Innoson Automobile Plant, numerous industries, trading, import/export concerns that distinguishes it from others. 

By these uncommon records, arguably, the state has become the trendsetter, centre-point in the S’East region which therefore comes with serious implications. In fact, if not the status of Lagos as a megacity, economic-hub of Nigeria with strong federal presence, Anambra should be the leading light in the entire southern region. Suffice to say that Anambra should reposition itself for epicenter politics rather than functioning as lone-ranger it has played lately. Anambra cannot continue to play politics of isolation overlooking nationalism and statesmanship it is characterized. In fact, plethora of investments by indigenous people of Anambra away from the state leaving the state to operate below capacity economically is something that should give concerns to any indigenous broadminded grownups. And the most dangerous part is that most things that affect Anambra extends to other S’East states.

In the national arrangement, S’East is one of the three major ethnic nationalities sharing same status with Southwest and the North. Unfortunately, S’East has retrogressed beyond proportion, and practically exited the major-three group. To start with, it is only the zone that has not produced a president for the country. This demands a reverse. Due to these imbalance, APGA was formed as a regional party to unite the Igbos like the Southwest. Incidentally, the blueprint crashed due to greed of some persons leading to its survival in only Anambra with endless crisis. That led to Plan-B (embracing a strong national party – APC). Providentially, two states – Imo and Ebonyi are presently flying the APC flag alongside many bigwigs including Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; former Abia governor and presently Senate Chief Whip. Strategically, Anambra ought to team up for all necessary lobbies. Amongst APC action-plans in Southeast is to drain rivers for economic growth, and then reposition for presidency in 2023. Thus, the battle to fly APC flag in Anambra becomes imperative.

Again, the number of youths without jobs or skilled but financially depowered to establish good businesses should propel any selfless and sensitive persons to think deep about gigantic challenges facing S’East region for ages. Meanwhile, the APC ruling government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has persistently rolled out robust economic empowerment programmes for the masses particularly the youths. The communication gap has continued to add pressures leading to unbearable dirges over marginalization. Politically, particularly in any developing nations like Nigeria, a governor in the opposition will always meet hurdles accessing incentives from the ruling government.   In fact, even if other S’East states should remain in the opposition, such will not augur well for the ‘Light of the nation’ vis-à-vis economic impacts. Thus, Anambra should ineludibly be repositioned for mainstream undertakings.

Due to the protracted disconnect, majority of the population in the southeast have not benefitted from most of federal policies as they have not been effectively carried along as expected. This gaffe has continued to increase poverty in the region thereby escalating insecurity which is now at alarming stage. Anambra as the cursor owes a burden to expose the weak to available opportunities, and in extension stimulate other states in the region for vast exploits. As a state with large number of entrepreneurs, investors, artisans and capitalists, these actors need to be connected to the centre for needed supports through the governors, and not to wallow in seclusion.

Objectively, Anambra in epicenter position or mainstream politics is the right way to go. From the outcome of the recent primaries conducted by APC in the state, a former Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Andy Uba has been endorsed by the collective wishes of Ndi-Anambra in the ruling party to fly APC flag for the forthcoming November 6 governorship election. Apart from having served meritoriously as a distinguished senator that represented Anambra South in the 8th Senate, earlier in 2007, Uba was once elected governor of the state but his tenure was interrupted by judicial verdict which sacked him from office. In other words, the APC flagbearer has garnered experiences both in the Executive and Legislative arenas.  

Whilst in the Senate, Uba sponsored numerous Bills that were successfully signed into law and operative accordingly towards improving the welfare of the people of Nigeria.  The Bills include the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Bill; the Nigerian Railway Corporation Bill and the National Inland Waterways Authority Bill. Others sponsored by the governorship hopeful are yet to scale through. These records attest that Senator Uba has never been a backbencher at any given point he was given a mandate. And this therefore supports the argument that Uba has the capability to advance the economic fortunes of the state to a zenith point. The task to salvage Anambra should be measured broad-mindedly, and not narrow-mindedly, let alone adopting frivolities and pulldown syndrome. 

On personal traits, apart from the fact that Senator Uba is a man of the people - grassroots person, it is inarguable that he has sustained good records in the public sector. People that had an opportunity to get close to the dude can attest to it. Evidently, Uba’s concerns for the welfare of the downtrodden has never shifted from a priority at any point in time. Peoples’ welfare particularly the weak should matter. With our collective efforts, it shall be well with Anambra State.

Ichie Ejezie PhD, a financial expert wrote this piece from Ihiala, Anambra state