The Choice Before Anambra Central Voters in 2023
By Ebuka Onyekwelu
Anambra Central might be the most interesting of all the senatorial zones in the coming election year. In APGA, support has been sharply divided among the three frontline senatorial aspirants; Sen. Victor Umeh, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo and Uzuegbunam Okagbue. The incumbent senator, Sen. Uche Ekwunife is rumoured to be angling to change party so she can position to re-contest. Generally, Sen. Ekwunife has a sense of political balance and that has kept her going, but now, the times have changed. Anambra Central may also have a presidential candidate or aspirant in PDP, in the person of Peter Obi the former governor. The former governor, if his presidential aspiration fails to take a flight, may try his luck in senatorial contest which has been rumored is the reason Ekwunife wants to leave PDP. But if Obi becomes PDP’s Presidential candidate, there will be massive bandwagon effect in favour of PDP considering that the presidential election and the National Assembly election will be held the same day. On the other side is Sen. Umeh who was National Chairman of APGA for over a decade and then took a stint at the senate but could not return in 2019. He is heavily interested in going back looking at developments. Perhaps, Dr. Chris Ngige might as well join the race for Anambra Central senate. One very common denominator is the fact that Anambra Central seems to be revolving around career politicians. For instance, Sen. Uche Ekwunife has been in the picture for some time and while she may be doing her best, the people can afford to try something else. Our politics has not matured so much so that a lawmaker should stay in the legislature for long. Besides, our lawmakers end up doing just same routine the longer they stay in the legislature and loose every sense of allegiance to the people until another election season. For Sen. Umeh, the honest question really is if he should be contesting for senate again? Second question is, what does it cost to be a statesman and stay away from partisan politics? But if Sen. Umeh is still convinced he must give it a shot, then, he should be ready to accept that he just might be demystified.
It is my conviction that Anambra Central needs fresh ideas and this must come in form of new entrants into the political ring. What this means is that Anambra Central, like other zones, should go for a new senator as well as fresh members of House of Representatives and most certainly not the usual figures. This time, it has to be someone new, a man or woman who has demonstrated strong will and capability to lead. This man or woman must not be in his 40s, 30s or 20s to pander to the not-too-young to run mantra, but he or she must have demonstrable energy and passion to serve and get things done. If he or she has youthfulness, then, it is an advantage that should energize his or her ability to serve competently. Apparently, Uzuegbunam Okagbue who is serving as the Chief of protocol to Governor Obiano and later, Deputy Chief of Staff was added to his portfolio, comes to mind. Uzu, Umunnachi in Dunukofia Local Government Area in Anambra Central born, has what it takes to not only bring fresh ideas into play, but also he has proven competence as an astute manager, focused and goal oriented. For eight years, Uzu maintained the code of his office and never was seen or heard, he simply does his job with total commitment. Anybody who has interacted with Uzu can attest to the sharpness of his strategic mind and can easily see why the governor’s protocol has remained the most outstanding and professional team in the government throughout Obiano’s administration that is nearing its eighth year. Uzu himself conducts his activities with decorum and utmost professionalism and people can freely attest to this fact. It just might be better for Anambra Central to try something new, a man or woman who is not a spent force and definitely will not resume at the senate as his retirement plan. Shouldn’t people like this be better senators than the usual names that might have exhausted their ideas?
Then on Anambra Central House of Representatives, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo representing Njikoka/Dunukofia/Anaocha federal constituency is warming up for the Anambra Central senatorial race. Hon. Dozie it does appear, has not given a fair account of himself as a federal lawmaker and he is not grass rooted, though he has been around for a while and has name recognition. Hon. Sam Onwuaso representing Awka North and South in the House of Representatives is nearly invisible in the House. He has not shown any demonstrable clarity of his job as a federal lawmaker, hence should not be sent back to the House. For Idemili North and South federal constituency, Hon. Obinna Chidoka is not doing an impressive job. If not that he appears just more organized, he is almost in the same league with Hon. Ifeanyi Momah of Ihiala federal constituency. Without a doubt, Anambra federal lawmakers it can be seen are dragging worst performing lawmaker with each other. Anambra Central senatorial zone must do something different in 2023, in the very best interest of the zone and its people.
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