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Nigeria's 4th Republic democratic dispensation has been a nightmare for the average Anambra resident because of a string of political and administrative crises that have practically rendered the state ungovernable since the Obasanjo presidency. Governor Mbadinuju's administration was virtually crippled by a running feud with the Emeka Offor PDP faction for almost the duration of his tenure. Prevailing atmosphere of tension and uncertainty led to a state of insecurity, economic paralysis and unprecedented deterioration of quality of life for residents of Anambra state. The PDP ultimately saw the wisdom in not presenting Mbadinuju again for re-election and instead cleared the way for Dr. Ngige to replace him. The present Anambra state administration is dogged by doubt about its legitimacy since the APGA gubernatorial candidate, Peter Obi, is determined to use the Electoral Tribunal to prove that the incumbent governor stole the people’s mandate and therefore, unqualified to govern the state. Since July 10, 2003, a previously subterranean power struggle within Anambra PDP came to the fore with an attempt to unconstitutionally replace Dr. Ngige as the state’s governor by a faction led by Chief Chris Uba. The embattled governor has nominally gotten the support of his fellow governors of the Southeast. But his nemesis, Chief Uba, has reportedly teamed up with PDP zonal leadership in the Southeast, with connivance of the presidency, to force the incumbent governor out of office.

Senator Wabara, the Senate President, was reported to have initiated an effort to end the escalating political crisis in Anambra state before the first week of 2004. The ad hoc team assembled to resolve this political logjam is almost entirely made up notable PDP chieftains. Perhaps, the inclusion of past and present Ohanaeze Ndiigbo leadership is intended to imply authentication of this effort by the Igbo apex body through the backdoor. From the composition of this ad hoc team, it would appear that Senator Wabara sees the current political crisis in Anambra state as strictly an intra-PDP affair. This thinking is in consonance with public position of President Obasanjo who, at the very outset, asserted that the “coup” to unseat Governor Ngige was an internal PDP matter which ought to be resolved within the party. Many still consider the events of July 10, 2003 as a bona fide criminal activity which ought to have been dealt with through a legislative judicial enquiry or criminal prosecution of those concerned. It is apparent that, since no visible move has been made till date to seek legal recourse, the powers that be remain adamant in their conviction that partisan political solution is the only way out.

To make the effort at resolving Anambra political crisis worth the time and energy that shall be devoted to it, one must first appreciate the true dynamics of what’s really happening on the ground. Isolated intra-party resolution of factional vendetta between Dr. Ngige and Chief Uba loyalists may not engender the needed stability and congenial atmosphere that will help to put Anambra state government back on an even keel. There are reasons to suspect that failing to include ongoing tussle between aggrieved former APGA gubernatorial candidate and the incumbent governor shall detract from whatever peace arrangement that can be worked out amongst the warring PDP factions. This period would have been an ideal opportunity to also reach out to the opposition parties in the state, particularly APGA, to seek mutually acceptable closure to the rancor that followed the last general elections.

It would have been a great move to include Dim C. Odumegwu Ojukwu as a member of the group that shall be tasked to find lasting solution to Anambra political crisis for two major reasons. First, as a kingpin in APGA and a former presidential candidate for that party, Ikemba Nnewi is well placed to help to bring about a negotiated end to the protracted legal battle in the Electoral Tribunal challenging the April gubernatorial election result in Anambra state. Secondly, as the convener of Igbo National Assembly (INA), his involvement in resolving this crisis will likely hasten the process of reconciling his new apex group with the newly elected leadership of Ohanaeze Ndiigbo. We don’t really have the time to address multiple problems that afflict Alaigbo in a piecemeal fashion if there is a possibility of killing the two proverbial birds with one stone. If the objective is to remove all impediments that militate against effective governance of Anambra state in an expeditious manner, the intra-PDP feud and disagreement over outcome of the general elections ought to be tackled simultaneously or in tandem.

A lasting solution to ongoing crisis in Anambra, under present circumstances, can best be attained by adopting the spirit of compromise. Long-term interests of political figures involved shall be best served if they seriously consider stepping back from their entrenched positions and prepare themselves for a give and take with their perceived bitter “enemies” for the sake of welfare of the electorate that they claim to serve. Without mortgaging Anambra state coffers, the governor must find the means to reach out to key power brokers in PDP that put him in power whose cooperation is a sine qua non for success of his tenure as governor of Anambra state. Chief Uba and his supporters must understand that holding the government of Anambra state hostage because of personal disagreement with the incumbent governor may turn out to haunt him politically and economically down the road. We persuade Peter Obi and APGA to reconsider persisting in their quest to unseat the present state administration which has now been in power for almost 7 months. There is no guarantee that pursuing the tribunal proceedings to their logical conclusions shall produce an outcome that is radically different from the status quo. Enough politicking has already been done to last us for some time to come. Let’s now sheath our swords to allow for a refocus of attention on attending to the people’s business in Anambra state.


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