By Ogbuefi Comr Harris Chuma
How long will ndi Anambra have to wait to elect their Local Council Leaders after a decision by the ruling party in the state the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA to halt the process that would have given the grassroots participatory authority in the governance process. For several years now, Anambra state have not witnessed local Council’s polls, and to the APGA everything appears to be normal, but the locals are not finding it funny.
The unpopular selection and appointment of Local Governments Caretaker Committees, Transition Chairmen is no longer fashionable, at best should be jettisoned, discarded, and thrown into the dustbin of history. How would one explain it, that citizens of the most peaceful and well secured state will be denied the democratic rights to choose their own governments at the grassroot level.
It’s rather unfortunate, terribly wrong to regard persons calling for the restoration of the democratic system of governance at the Local Councils as enemies of the times.
The question for APGA and other registered political parties is who have most to fear? who is afraid of Local Councils polls? Who is running scared about the exercise? Whose interest is being defended, protected, or challenged? Who must we appease before the Local Council elections dates are fixed? Who is working against our political emancipation, growth and development? Ndi Anambra, until we begin to ask pertinent questions, the real actors behind the scenes will not cease to hold the people to ransome. As a people with common destiny, we should elect to discontinue waiting for the timed out clock to announce the commencement of the Local Councils polls, we should stop listening to the rusty megaphone that never rattled their conscience nor challenged the statusquo.
In recent times, pundits have posited that there is a huge sign that the APGA appears most at risk of losing ground if the Local Councils polls are held before the next gubernatorial election in 2021. The unchecked feeling that the intra-party crisis in APGA would not guarrantee a successful outing at the LGA polls, is a fallacy, me thinks APGA is unbeatable in Anambra, due to its ideology, high performance rating, and large followership. But, the opposition parties hold that APGA is no longer on a high in Anambra. They hope to profit from APGA’s misfortune.
With Anambra South feeding fat on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah the Igwe of YPP, and Hon Chris Azubogu the new face of PDP, Anambra Central is presently divided into four power blocs, the Senator Ekwunife godmother of PDP, the Mr Peter Obi godfather of PDP, and the indefatigable Senator Victor Umeh the APGA war machine cum ogbunigwe, and the Senator Ngige godfather of APC, while Anambra North is up for grabs between Senator Oduah of PDP, Hon Tony Nwoye of APC, and Hon Chinedu Obidigwe the APGA crown Prince.
It would be political naivety to say that less stress is all that would be needed to deprive APGA of the biggest prize of all, its overall control of Local government Councils.
However, APGA’s prospects look best of all in state constituencies. By the standards of House of Assembly elections in 2019, the party performed relatively well. The party won 80% per cent of the Anambra-wide vote. Despite the use of a Caretaker Committes at the local Councils as representatives of APGA, the party retained control of the State House of Assembly as well as few other federal house of representatives seats.
APGA’s chances of winning another overall majority in the local Council elections remains high even if the party was to face LGA elections in the face of it’s internal conflicts.
In Anambra, Local government elections used to be PDP’s forte, until many of the party’s supporters were converted to APGA. The Local Councils polls will not give much reason to anticipate a revival of the PDP’S fortunes.