Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Anambra Decides - the Contestants, Their Chances

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Beyond the pomp and pageantry that has characterized their respective campaigns, salient issues rather than the fun of the campaign that unexpectedly have been peaceful will determine who wins the election. While it may be safe to say that the campaigns have been peaceful, it still remains to be seen whether the elections proper shall in turn be free and fair. The major contestants and their chances are herein x- rayed:

Peter Obi

The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, gubernatorial candidate in the election can perfectly be described as a cat with nine lives. He is a tale of an obscure politician, only known as a reputable entrepreneur, who arrived and distorted the political equation of the state.

Born on July 19, 1961, Obi attended Christ the King College, Onitsha where he completed his secondary school education. The incumbent had been governor from 17 March 2006 to 2 November 2006 and then resumed his tenure on 9 February 2007.His rival, Ngige, was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the 2003 election.

After nearly three years of litigation, Ngige's victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on 15 March 2006. Obi then took office on 17 March 2006. On 2 November 2006, he was impeached by the state house of assembly after seven months in office and replaced the next day by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy, making her the first ever female Governor in Nigeria's history.

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.

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