By Chisom J Omeokachie
Come November 18, 2017 thousands of registered voters in Anambra State will pour out to their respective polling units to cast their votes for their preferred gubernatorial candidates. The state is the home to Nri, the ancestral homeland of Ndigbo.
Everyone looks out to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and peaceful election in Anambra that could inspire hope to other future elections in the Federation.
Anambra is home to many prominent men and women who have and are still playing great roles in the growth and development of Nigeria. It is the home of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Nigeria’s President; Odumegwu Ojukwu of the Biafran fame; Chike Obi, the great mathematician; Chinua Achebe, award winning writer; Dora Akunyili; fearless anti-drug czar and former boss of NAFDAC; Ifeanyi Ubah an oil magnet, innocent Chukwuma of renowned automobile manufacturer Innoson motors, to mention a few.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC has assured the people that the forthcoming election will be free and fair. He also said that the commission will deploy 6200 card readers to the various polling units in the state and continue with the use of e tracking.
So far with 37 political parties, the people of Anambra have a variety of qualified men and women to choose from the array of brilliant and competent candidates for the position of the Executive Governor of the State.
Among the 37 candidates, there are a few that are more prominent than the others. They include the incumbent Governor Willie Obiano bearing the flag for All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the ruling party in the state. Another candidate is Chief Obaze Oseloka who is contesting under the umbrella of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Tony Okechukwu Nwoye, the flag bearer for All Progressive Congress (APC). All these men and others have impressive credentials and manifestoes that could potentially get them the governorship seat in Anambra state. It is important that the electorates should by know get abreast with the profiles and manifestoes towards exercising their franchise in choosing the rightful candidate.
Meanwhile from all indications, the major frontrunner for the election is the current Governor, Chief Obiano of APGA who is from Aguleri in Anambra East LGA. A professional banker with over three decades of working experience.
Similarly, the candidate of PDP, Chief Obaze Oseloka from Ogidi in Idemili North LGA is another major contender. A retired United Nations Diplomat with interest in various sectors of the economy is a renowned advocate for good governance and press freedom.
The flag bearer for ruling party APC, Tony Okechukwu Nwoye from Offianta Nsugbe in Anambra East LGA is a medical doctor and member of the Federal House of Representatives representing the people of Anambra East/West constituency of Anambra state.
Among the popular candidates is also the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, the flag bearer for United Progressive Part y(UPP). He is from Obosi, in idemili north LGA. He is a public policy advocate and a crusader on safety management.
Among female contenders is Hon Oby Okafor, a flag bearer for Advanced Congress Of Democrats (ACD). A Nollywood actress turned politician, she believes in promoting women’s representation in the political sector.
The battle for the Anambra State governorship seat is on and quite intense going by the array of aspirants already gearing up for the position across party lines. All the candidates have special and unique that can attract voters for their candidacy. It is therefore necessary to call on the people of Anambra to conduct themselves in most respectable and shun any act of violence or lawlessness. The women and youths, as most vulnerable should also be calm and cooperate with the law enforcement agencies and electoral officials during the election.
We should conduct ourselves in an orderly and peaceful manners devoid of violence and bloodshed.
Let the games begin and may the right man or woman win.
Chisom J Omeokachie
Department of Mass-Communication
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka