Anambra State will experience hi-pitch political activities this year as it holds its governorship election in November 2021.
NewsOnline Nigeria understands that the political theatre is already charged as some leading aspirants and issues that will likely dominate the state’s polity have been unveiled.
Even before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) blows the whistle, many aspirants have been identified in the leading political parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC) and the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The aggressive push of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) in Anambra makes their aspirants important stakeholders watch just like the aspirants of the older leading parties. Considering that many aspirants are still expected to join the ones already on the stage in the four political parties and the others, it could be said that 2021 promises to be very interesting politically in Anambra State.
The major governorship aspirants that will likely dominate the political scene this year include but not limited to:
Even before the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, declared interest to contest in this year’s governorship election in Anambra State on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), his name has been mentioned by many as Governor Willie Obiano’s favourite to succeed him.
Soludo is not entirely new in the politics of Anambra State. In 2009, when he contested to govern the Southeast state, his campaign, especially his pledge to make Anambra State the Dubai and Taiwan of Africa, made him very popular.
Given his stature as an economist and banker of national and international repute, and the alleged support of the incumbent governor, it is certain that Soludo will likely be one of the politicians that will dominate the politics of Anambra State in this election year.
Valentine Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), is considered by some informed observers of Anambra State politics as one of the most visible governorship aspirants on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2021 race.
Since his emergence on the scene, Val has left no one in doubt that he means business, notwithstanding the formidable political structures and the ways of the conservative old lords in Anambra PDP. Insiders said he has so far strengthened his strong academic and corporate experience credentials with the solid grassroots political platform he strategically built in Anambra within 2020.
His use of modern communication platforms and other innovations to market his ambition may have enduring impact on the electorate, especially the youth. Besides his strong presence on print, the internet platforms, television, radio and the billboards, Val’s programmes, like Walk4Health and Walk4Peace, may help to shape the campaign styles of Anambra 2021 governorship election.
Most commentators agree that Val has truly emerged an aspirant to watch. Many say he has done well so far. It remains to see how he will relate with the established political lords in his party and the state to win the ticket and the seat.
Iyom Uche Ekwunife, fondly called Adadioramma, is the Senator representing Anambra Central.
Considered by her admirers as one of the most visible female politicians in Anambra State, Senator Ekwunife has, before now, contested for the governorship seat twice. She also represented Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives for two terms before moving on to the upper chamber of the federal legislative House.
Given her experience and the followership she reportedly enjoys over the years, observers expect her to participate in this year’s contest.
Another politician that is expected to play a major role in this year’s political contest in Anambra State is Hon. Tony Nwoye.
His exploits during the 2017 governorship election in the state, when he flew All Progressives Congress’ flag, has set him aside as one of the leading grassroots politicians in the state.
Highly experienced in the politics of Anambra State, Tony, a former National President of the National Association of Nigeria Students, was a PDP leader in the state before defecting to APC.
Notwithstanding losing out twice in his bids, both in PDP and in APC to govern Anambra State, Nwoye has remained focused. He continued his political service by representing Anambra East and Anambra West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
So, as the scene for a fresh contest for Anambra State’s governorship seat unfolds again this year, Nwoye is expected to play a major role both in the primaries and in the state contest.
Chief Godwin Ezeemo is one of the first politicians to make public their intention to contest this year’s governorship election in Anambra.
Not new in the politics of Anambra State, Ezeemo’s name in the governorship contest in the state dates back to 2009. He has also traversed the political parties in the state, including All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), PPA and PDP.
Observers say Ezeemo is coming to the race with everything in him. That being the case, he is expected to be one of the politicians that will dominate the political scene in the state this year.
Since Senator Ifeanyi Ubah defected to the then little known Young Progressives Party (YPP) and used its platform to win Anambra South Senatorial District election, the party has become an important stakeholder in the politics of the state.
Today, Ubah’s interest in the governorship race is believed to be one of the things that will dominate the politics of Anambra State.
His political interest and weight came to public notice first in 2013, when he contested the governorship on the platform of Labour Party (LP).
Since then, the interest of the Nnewi-born oil magnet in the governorship seat and in the political service to the people had never waned as he traversed other political platforms like the PDP and APGA before defecting to YPP.
The scene is set again. As political parties and politicians set their best foot out, observers are keen to see the role Ubah will play.
George Moghalu, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress, is not new in both national politics and that of Anambra State.
Having served as party secretary, national auditor, he is rooted both in the politics of APC and in national politics.
Before then, he also contested for the governorship of Anambra State on the platform of All Peoples Party (APP).
So, his associates say Moghalu is fully prepared for the contest this time around. It would be recalled that in the 2017 governorship election in Anambra, Moghalu’s name featured prominently, but he suddenly withdrew from the contest when many observers did not expect him to do so.
Some reports said his withdrawal then was in obedience to the zoning policy.
The scene is set again, and this time, it is believed Moghalu will feature prominently.
And many others
Besides the few aspirants mentioned above, there are many other leading politicians and aspirants that will dominate the politics of the state this year. As we enter the year, events will unveil these major actors and issues.