Editor's note: Public affairs commentator, Okosisi Nnamdi Iloduba, writes on the forthcoming Anambra governorship election with a focus on one of the contenders in the guber poll, Azuka Okwuosa.
Anambra state is eight months away from a governorship election, many are hoping will take the state to the next level. The people want nothing but the best because it is the only way the state can get to the desired next level. Therefore, the best for the state cannot be a neophyte, a learner. The state urgently needs purpose driven administration, led by someone with huge and wide political experience. At the point where the state is now, it cannot afford to have a schoolboy governor, who would become governor first and then begin to learn how to be a political administrator. Anambra state Government House is not a political science class. Our next governor should be an accomplished politician, with an accomplished record of national political experience.
The best for the state in the year 2021 cannot be another godson, a puppet foisted upon us and held on a leech by a godfather or godfathers. Anambra will no longer follow someone who is following someone else. Our next governor will be his own man and will be fully responsible for his actions as governor. The mere thought of godfathers in Anambra again conjures a horrific picture. Ndi Anambra can still recall clearly the chaos, impunity, retrogression, and ridicule the godfather cult subjected the state to. We are still healing from that combined assault of renegades on our infrastructures and therefore, any aspirant in the Anambra governorship race who is found out to be funded by a godfather or godfathers should be treated as an "abomination" waiting to happen and must not be allowed to happen.
Our best in this year's election is someone with forward approach to modernization, collective development, and general welfare. The worst are those who can only point backward to yesterday to recall whatever good they once nurtured. Yesterday was and will remain a terrible tragedy for ndi Anambra. However and courageously, we have moved on in search of a better state and any reminder of yesterday's woes will be seen as an insult, which we will reward with absolute rejection.
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For the above reasons, I believe that one of the aspirants in the Anambra governorship race, on the platform of the APC, Sir Azuka Okwuosa, is in the race for the worst reasons ever. The political experience he touts falls far below what is required of an Anambra governor today. He was a former chairman of old Nnewi LGA and former commissioner for works in Chinwoke Mbadinuju's administration. Anambra state needs a governor with national political experience, extensive clout, and formidable contacts, rather than Okwuosa's testimonial of yesterday's mediocrity.
Addressing a gathering of party faithful in his Oraifite home recently, he told them that he is confident in his aspiration because he has the backing of his billionaire younger brother, Dr. Emeka Okwuosa, the chairman of Oilserve Group and also the backing of Sir Emeka Offor, who for obvious reasons does not need an introduction. These two moneybags according to Okwuosa, are funding his aspiration.
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Then Okwuosa dropped the bomb that clearly showed him as yesterday's man, living in yesterday's world with only yesterday's memories. He told his dumbfounded audience, that as Commissioner for Works in 1999, he awarded a road contract that is yet unexecuted and that when he becomes governor in 2022, he will re award the contract. When I heard this story I shed tears for Anambra State because perchance, this lethargic politician could become our next governor.
In 22 years he didn't call attention to the road or criticized past administrations for abandoning the project. He did not consider prosecuting the contractor who collected the contract money and absconded. Now he wants to be elected governor in 2021 so that he will re-award the contract for a rural road he abandoned 22 years ago.
Thank God, we are no longer who we were in 1999. We were a different people then. This is 2021 and Azuka Okwuosa's ambition of taking us back to yesterday tells a loud story of his lack of relevant experience to be Anambra's next governor.
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Jerrywright Ukwu is a senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng based in Abuja. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also an active member of both the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. He spends his leisure-time reading history books.