The Road to #AnambraDecides 2017: Issues, Facts and Matters Arising! –Ishola Adebayo

November 17, 2017

History plays a role and shapes our future. Today, I share with you critical issues, facts and matters arising as the people of Anambra State prepare to exercise their franchise in electing its 14th Governor & 7th Democratic Governor on Saturday, November 18, 2017.

According to George Orwell; “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims…but accomplices.”

Anambra State with a population of 5.53 million (Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, 2016) is one of the five states in the South-East Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria and was created in 1976. Enugu was carved out of Anambra State in 1991. It consists of twenty-one (21) local government areas with Akwa serving as its capital.

As the five front runners for Anambra Guber poll – the incumbent All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) which controls the federal government, the United Peoples Party (UPP), and the Progressives Peoples’ Alliance (PPA) – in rounding off their campaigns, pundits would have began an uneasy permutation about the possible outcome of Saturday’s contest with no one ready to place a bet on any of the five leading candidates: Willie Obiano (APGA), Oseloka Obaze (PDP), Tony Nwoye (APC), Osita Chidoka (UPP) and Godwin Ezeemo (PPA).

The political debate organized by Channels Television in partnership with EiE Nigeria, Policy Legal Advocacy Centre & National Democratic Institute (NDI) in which the five candidates participated in, appears to be generating some kind of effect that could spring a surprise on Saturday. But everything will depend on how the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security operatives decide to handle the exercise. For the security flash points, it is observed that there will likely be election day violence and post-election violence in some locations such as IPOB strongholds Ekwulobia, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ihiala, Ozubulu, Ubuluisiuzo, Okija, Ekwusigo, Nkpor, Obosi, Ogidi, Awka and Agulu. The Election Day violence will likely result from clash between IPOB members and security agencies if non-coercive security approach is not deployed. It is possible that post-election violence could crystallize if APGA loses the election to APC.

In deciding who gets elected as the Governor of Anambra State come Saturday, November 18th, the citizens have to make a choice between the 37 INEC Approved Candidates that would participate in the November 18th governorship election in the State.

Over 2.1 million Registered Voters are expected to vote in the 4,608 Polling Units across the State with about 6,200 Smart Card Readers deployed by INEC for the election. There are over 21,084 policemen needed and 2,128 Adhoc Staff to be deployed by the electoral umpire in Anambra State.

With the economic recession currently pervading the country, Domestic Debt Profile of Anambra State as at December 31, 2016 stood at N4 billion with External Debt profile of $85.4 million as at June 30, 2017. The State is currently running with the Budget of N115.5billion for the year 2017.

Some of the critical issues that engulfs Anambra State, the Light of the Nation ranges from Unpaid bursary allowances for Anambrarian students in tertiary institutions, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) crisis, Fulani herdsmen clash with host communities, Poor urban planning and lack of good access roads in Onitsha, Epileptic power supply in the industrial city of Nnewi and Osumenyi, Nnewi South, Poor drainage system in Ezira, Nanka & Obosi communities which has led to erosion and flooding.