In about one year from now, another staggered gubernatorial election will be conducted in Anambra state. Against this backdrop, political activities have started in the state, albeit in a subtle manner.
Apart from the incumbent governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, there are strong indications that certain individuals who ran against him in 2013, and some new entrants would participate in the contest.
That notwithstanding, Governor Obiano is already enjoying tremendous advantages over his potential rivals.
Besides the advantage of power of incumbency, his performance has been adjudged credible by most citizens of Anambra state and other Nigerians as well as foreigners. Little wonder he is severally and continuously being endorsed for a second term by many groups in the state.
One of the latest groups to give its nod to the governor's second term quest is the over three hundred thousand-member Anambra state branch of the Southeast Women of Substance. The historic endorsement of the governor, which drew a mammoth crowd of unprecedented proportion, occurred on Monday, October 30, 2016 at the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka.
The Women of Substance anchored their reason for the endorsement on what they described as the governor's sterling performance in the socio-economic life of Anambra state in his less than three years in office. They particularly expressed happiness with the prevailing peace and stability in the state due to the water tight security provided by the present state government. The women also said that the female gender sensitivity of the Obiano administration is unequalled in the annals of Anambra state history.
Another very powerful and relevant group, which also, last month, publicly gave its unequivocal blessing to the governor's second term bid, is the Old Aguata Union, OAU. It is instructive that the OAU endorsement of Governor Obiano took place at the Ekwulobia Township Stadium in the approving presence of a former Vice President of the country, Dr. Alex Ekwueme; the first democratically elected governor of the state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife and a former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Emeka Sibeudu.
The endorsement was cemented with the conferment of the chieftaincy title of AGUNECHEMBA on Governor Obiano by a consortium of all the traditional rulers of the Old Aguata Union, drawn from Aguata, Orumba North and South local government areas. The OAU pleaded with the governor to also support the quest of Anambra South Senatorial district to produce his successor in 2022, as a mark of reciprocity for their backing of his re-election ambition.
Another prominent group that has given its approval to the governor to actualize his second term quest is the Anambra North Council of Traditional Rulers, in addition to the council of traditional prime ministers in the state, while the body language of the Anambra State Association of Town Unions, ASATU as well as Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, ASMATA are suggestive of their eagerness to, sooner than later, endorse the governor for another term in office.
Other very important and relevant organizations poised to supportively ask Governor Obiano to throw his hat into the ring for the governorship contest in 2017 are the state branches of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC. These trade unions are already praising the governor to high heavens for his numerous achievements, especially as it concerns his rare ability to promptly take care of workers welfare in this era of economic recession in Nigeria, a period when more than twenty- seven state governments in the country are owing their employees and retirees several months of arrears of salaries and allowances.
As a matter of fact, Governor Obiano has no baggage to hinder his ambition. Pleasantly, his accomplishments are legion. Therefore, his image makers are not saddled with Herculean responsibilities to market him to the Anambra electorate in next year's gubernatorial poll. This is because a very good and quality product markets itself. Forward ever, backward never.