The March 18, House of Assembly election in Anambra State has pitted former Anambra State governor and Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, and the incumbent governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo.
Though Prof Soludo did not give Obi any chance in the presidential election as he had predicted that only the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, respectively, were in the race, the outcome of the election must have shocked him.
Soludo had predicted that Obi may win Anambra State as a ‘homeboy’, but would not win up to three states. But in the released results, which are still being contested as being heavily rigged, Obi won same 12 states like all of the other two top contenders. In Anambra State, Obi also swept about 97 percent of the entire votes cast, leaving doubt about what may happen on Saturday, March 18.
This has caused a panic in the camp of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, where Soludo is the national leader of the party.
In a video that went viral last week, Soludo was seen addressing his constituents in Igboukwu, Aguata Local Government Area.
He told them that lawmakers don’t construct roads or build hospitals.
“That is my work. The most important positions in the state are Governor and Deputy governor, and once these two get in, the door will shut. That is why you need to elect someone from our party, so that he can always remind me of the infrastructure in your area.
“If you vote for anyone else, the person will stay on the corridor while we make plans for the state, and we will only pay them their salaries, they will not get other pecks of office,” Soludo had threatened.
In another fora, the governor was quoted as saying that having members of the House of Assembly from other political parties will derail his job and hinder development in the state.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party is not relenting in their bid to sweep the 30 seats in the Anambra State House of Assembly. Senator Victor Umeh, a Senator-elect on the platform of Labour Party, in a radio programme last week, lashed out at the governor, stating that he had no reason to fear impeachments if he does the right things.
Umeh also accused the governor of looking for a rubber stamp Assembly that he can control, while urging the people to ignore him and vote only Labour Party candidates in the election.
On the other hand, Mr Peter Obi who needs to show his dominance in the state by replicating his victory at the presidential election in the House of Assembly race, is also not relenting. Last weekend, Obi held a closed door meeting with all Labour Party House of Assembly candidates in Anambra. During the meeting, Obi charged them to victory, while urging Anambra voters to vote for LP candidates only.
In his interview with journalists, Obi said there was no need for Soludo to be afraid of working with LP lawmakers. He said there was no plot to use LP lawmakers to impeach him, but he only needed to do the right thing at all times.
Obi charged the candidates work with Soludo after victory, while adding that what was paramount to Anambra people is development.
“If we have good schools, good hospitals, that is my concern, and we know that LP candidates are the most competent. So I charge the people to vote for LP candidates only,” he said.
Reacting to this, the Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Christian Aburime said:
“That call was meant to deceive Anambra people. Obi cannot be talking about development in Anambra and also be talking about asking Anambra people to elect lawmakers from the opposition party to work with Soludo.
“He worked with a legislature that was dominated by lawmakers from the PDP, when he first came in as governor, and he knows that it was not easy for him. He even suffered impeachment because of that, and we hope it is not the same thing he wants to set Soludo up for.”
He called on Anambra people to ignore Obi’s calls and vote massively for APGA, so that Soludo’s developmental strides in the state will continue.
DAILY POST reports that there is apprehension in the state, especially within the government circle, which believe that a majority seat for the Labour Party in the state may spell doom for the government in power.