- Anambra South and their choice must be given the opportunity to govern, argues Oseloka H. Obaze
In Nigerian politics, expediency always takes precedence over morality. Honour is also in short supply.
Regrettably, this has become the standard. As the Anambra State Governorship election on November 6, 2021 approaches, the issue of zoning has become a focal point of contention for most parties.
This is especially true for my party, the PDP. For someone who expects a semblance of morality in politics, it should not be.
The question is whether Anambra South senatorial zone can produce the next governor after Anambra North senatorial zone has governed for eight years (2014-2022) and Anambra Central senatorial zone has governed for eight years (previously).
Without equivocation, my stance is that we should leave Anambra South alone until 2022. I was born and raised in Anambra North. In 2013 and again in 2017, I ran for governor of Anambra State, urging the state to move north. While in APGA and later in PDP, I did so.
To prevent any misunderstanding, I wrote an op-ed article in 2013 titled “Understanding Why Anambra Has to Go North.” As the PDP candidate in 2017, I campaigned on the promise that if elected, I would only serve one four-year term and that the seat would revert to the South.
That position was implicit in the understanding/agreement that power will shift to the South in 2022.
Those who now conveniently dispute the comprehension are just half-witted. However, while I received some support from the Anambra South power brokers and moneybags as the PDP 2017 nominee, the fact remains that the majority of the Anambra South power brokers and moneybags did not support my candidacy.
Their rationale; simply, they could not contemplate honour in politics and therefore, did not believe that I would honour my four-year service commitment once elected.
They were completely wrong, and Anambra State has suffered as a result. Despite choosing Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe, a female from the South, as my running mate, and despite her political pedigree, I did not win the hard-fought 2017 gubernatorial elections.
Still, that fact does not negate my principled position and my commitment to honour that implicit–and to some explicit-rotational understanding, which explains why I am not running for Anambra State Governor in 2021.
My decision not to run, mirrors that of Senator Ben Bruce in 2018, not to run for another senate term in order to respect extant rotation and “as a man of honour interested in the well being of my people,” or in my case, my State. That I’m not running in 2021 does not mean that some qualified aspirants from Anambra Central and North will not run. It’s their call.
It’s a matter of personal choices and values. We cannot chastise them for running, since they will point correctly to several aspirants from the Anambra South running when it was the turn of Central and South.
Those who argue that the three Anambra Senatorial zones have respectively had their turn of governorship and that the process should be thrown open, also have a valid argument.