Leadership (Abuja)

30 January 2010

Nigeria: Anambra Decides - the Contestants, Their Chances

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Obi successfully challenged his impeachment and was re-instated as the governor on 9 February 2007 by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu; Etiaba handed power back to him after the court ruling. He once again left office on 29 May 2007 following general elections.

Obi returned to the courts once more, this time contending that the four-year tenure he had won in the 2003 elections only started to run when he took office in March 2006. On 14 June, 2007 the Supreme Court upheld Obi's application and returned him to office. This brought to an abrupt end the tenure of Obi's successor, Andy Uba whose April 14, 2007 election the Supreme Court nullified on the grounds that Obi's four-year tenure should have remained undisturbed till March 2010.

Unlike other governors in some parts of the country who have long taken charge of their domain, Peter Obi's quest for this has remained elusive as he has found it difficult to conduct elections in the LGs for the four years he has been in office. Hence, the near absence of a lack of structure in the state for him.

APGA his platform has been embroiled in factional crisis that has indeed affected its fortunes , largely made so by the insistence of the Chekwas Okorie faction to continue to lay claim to its leadership.

Why consolidation of power continues to be a problem for Obi, the Agulu born business guru, is being accused of running his campaign under ex war veteran, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu.The support APGA had in the past has been seriously depleted. This is just as the allegation of placing embargo on employment in the state continues to trail him.

In terms of his contribution to the State, Obi has indeed contributed his best towards uplifting the state. Whether he rides on this to relaunch a come back is what continues to be the guess of many.

Chris Ngige

Born August 8,1952, Ngige was governor of Anambra State in Nigeria from 29 May 2003 to 17 March 2006. He is the candidate of the Action Congress (AC).

Ngige, a medical doctor by profession graduated from the University of Nigeria-Nsukka in 1979. He immediately went into the civil service, serving at the National Assembly and State House clinics at different times. He retired in 1998 as a deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Health.

Ngige turned to politics, becoming a founding member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). By 1999, he was assistant national secretary and zonal secretary of PDP in the South East region of the country.

Under controversial circumstances was he elected in 2003 before he quickly broke ranks with his self-styled 'political godfather' after an unsuccessful attempt on 10 July 2003 to illegally remove him from office through a fabricated letter of resignation which the state assembly accepted.

All that is bygone now as again, the Action Congress has nominated him as its standard flag bearer for the poll. Breaking away from the PDP, he managed to move some structures of the PDP with him.Though highly appreciated by the Anambra electorate and called ONWA, how he will battle the Uba brothers and some heavy weights in the State remain a big challenge as it is said that all may become governor , except an Ngige as he is largely feared.But he may sway the magic wand to his favour.

Prof Charles Soludo

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