By Kelechi Abonuyo
The 2023 general election will be an election like no other in Nigeria’s political history. The electorate has sworn to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, arising from the current problems Buhari’s poor leadership brought upon Nigerians.
At sub-national levels, Nigerians are now more inclined to people with the right and necessary skill-sets to take them out of the woods than to parochial sentiments of partisan politics, ethnic, religious and zonal shifts. Nigerians want to employ candidates with the right education, right attitude and right type of persons. So, political parties will have no serious influence on the outcome. The so called political structure, used by dubious/rogue politicians to dissuade and taunt Nigerians and those with necessary skill sets, will mean nothing in 2023 general election. The status-quo will be upset, and many surprises will be thrown up, to stare on our faces. In the end, only those with the right message, not necessarily political history, will carry the day. Afterwards, therefore, with the forthcoming paradigm shift, a new era will be upon us, and Nigerians will live stably and happily once again.
Across Nigeria, and Imo State especially, not all candidates in Labour party will make it with Mr Peter Obi, whose candidacy made the party of workers fashionable and attractive. Imo people are watchful and sensible. They saw when rogue politicians changed guards, like Necodemus at mid-night, in the guise of Obi-dients. They also noted the shameful conduct of party primaries, which threw up some woeful persons standing elections. The integrity of these processes continues to hurt them, continues to be their bane.
Being in the eye of the storm, much of a social commentator, is not a required, specific qualification. Times do change. The times we are in Nigeria requires a humane, tactful approach to every problem. It requires collaborative effort, with respect and understanding, to face the hydra-headed problems. The ability to provide solution, without making a hue and cry out of it, without fisticuffs with officials or even seen to have done it, is a critical virtue in present times in Nigeria. Nigerians need persons who may bring about change without force, without causing frictions in between the arms of government. Collaborative, concerted effort is the way, and Mr Peter Obi is a perfect example.
As the Director-General of the New Nigerians Anchor Point (NNAP) – a socio-political conscious association of credible Nigerians, it is my duty to hint on NNAP’s mandate to expand the consciousness of Nigerians. It is our duty to point to Nigerians the possible way to go, in the spirit of the present times, when it cost the earth to be a Nigerian, more so to live in Nigeria. NNAP is pushing to elect credible Nigerians to positions of trust, to leadership positions at every level, in every arm of government.
In Imo East senatorial zone, we are conscious and paying attention. At the moment, four (4) candidates are in the consciousness of NNAP.
High Chief Chyma Anthony is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Imo-East senatorial position. Over time his fascinating chieftaincy title, Odiuko Na Mba or simply Odiuko, modulated his real name. For what he represents, many see him as the frontline contender. His skill sets, education, attitude and type of person are laudable. He brings change quietly, without the usual Nigerian politicians’ reportage, without aiming to gain much political capital out of it. He has been a long time advocate of the poor masses, which makes him endearing. His numerous humanitarian works had been as a private citizen. As a former contender to the job role, he has followership as quiet as he is. By his type of person, he uses small words to describe difficult big situations, which is why many match his approach with that of Mr Peter Obi, whom Nigerians want to elect as president as from February, 2023. For one thing, his political party, APGA, is heavily in the psyche and consciousness of Imo State people, who are mainly Igbo. Chief Chyma Anthony, an English trained Lawyer and business man, practices his profession in Abuja, the seat of government.
Sitting Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi, formerly of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is running under the trending Labour Party. He lost his “return” ticket in unclear circumstances in PDP. Afterwards he jumped ship. Many think he had not performed creditably well, which is why his popularity dropped significantly. At the time of his primary election, PDP was in disarray with internal rancor and fracas. Citizens believe that Senator Onyewuchi benefitted from the system of party structure, with which big parties perpetuated their anointed candidates, regardless of their lackluster performance, in the era when Nigerians didn’t have choices. His other qualifications are not yet known to NNAP.
Chief Uche Onyeagocha is the candidate of PDP for the position of senator for Imo East. He is visible, but combative. He was the secretary to the state government. The citizens have varied opinion about him. Many believe he is too combative, confrontational in a rather tensed security situation in the state. Having attained an honourable status, people are worried about his skill sets in handling knotty issues as hot as security matters, without stoking the embers of disaffection or emboldening criminal elements. Obviously some things are rather sorted behind closed doors in order to offer governments at all levels a helping hand. That’s not being silent. It is tact. That’s the collaborative effort by people who seek high level positions as the senate. Recently he was declared persona non grata by a group of persons in the state. To resolve the present predicament, all stakeholders are important and should align in harmony.
Chief Alex Mbata is of the All Progressives Congress party (APC). APC is the ruling party both in the state and at the federal, where its officials ran Nigeria aground. The party is a big baggage in Nigeria and more so in southeast, and with an entrenched level of disdain in Imo State. Most of its members have switched loyalty. Those that are still hanging on, held by government appointments and patronage, do so with tight lips. It is now a difficult thing to be a member of the party. It is for this reason that the party’s candidate is no longer being discussed in political circles. Had Chief Mbata been from the southwestern part of Nigeria, he would probably have had hope of victory at the polls. But in the Igbo dominated southeast of Nigeria, the people don’t come back to their vomit. Chief Mbata has obvious credentials suitable for his aspiration, but the disgruntled people of the zone are not bothered, even if he attains divinity.
NNAP will continue to live true to its mandate: the Vision and Mission. In the coming months NNAP shall make far-reaching assessments based on skill-sets, education, attitude and type of person of candidates, make pronouncements in order to help steer the electorate to correct judgment. Having suffered so much in the past 7-years under government at all levels, we leave no stone unturned towards taking back our lives, with every opportunity.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org