BY CHUKA UBAH
The end may have come for the political journey of former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, at the hands of Governor Willie Obiano.
The defeat of the PDP in the November 6, Anambra State governorship election is seen by political observers as a personal defeat for Obi. The PDP’s candidate in the election, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, was Obi’s personal choice. Ozigbo’s nomination immediately triggered the exit of five gubernatorial aspirants from the PDP.
The result of the November 6, 2021 poll won by the APGA’s Professor Chukwuma Soludo marked the third crushing defeat for Obi in the State since 2017 at the hands of APGA led by Willie Obiano.
Mr. Peter Obi, who nurses vice presidential or presidential ambition, first suffered stinging defeat at the hands of Obiano in the State governorship poll of 2017. In the election, Obi’s handpicked PDP candidate, Oseloka Obaze was beaten to a distant third position after Obi had sworn to stop Obiano’s reelection “with the last drop of my blood.”
Analysts say the former governor may have misread his low political weight with the pattern of voting in the southeast in the 2019 presidential election in which Obi was PDP’s vice-presidential candidate.
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Dr Magnus Ihekwere, a university don, said the votes cast for PDP in the southeast in the election were not for an individual. “Those were protest votes against marginalisation by Buhari’s government. It didn’t matter who and who were on the PDP ticket. The votes were built on sentiments for another Ekwueme after 35 years.”
Another analyst and former councillor in Idemili North Local Council, Hon Ike Okafor, agrees. Okafor said the result of the House of Assembly election in Anambra State, a week after the 2019 presidential poll, showed who was on ground in the State. Governor Willie Obiano led APGA to win 24 out of the 30 State assembly seats.
Pundits contend that the latest defeat of Obi and his candidate in this year’s governorship election was a strong indication of his non acceptance by the state electorate.
APGA easily won the election on the combination of Governor Willie Obiano’s achievements and Soludo’s qualifications.
Obi’s consistent losses have exposed his actual worth outside of the media, opines Madam Joy Nwuka, a trader. “Politics is not making noise in the newspapers every day. They said they brought Obiano into politics. But see how Akpokuedike has been winning.”
The fear of Obi’s continued slide into political oblivion is high given the unwritten rule of Nigerian politics that a politician going for top political office must first deliver his base to his party in elections.
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