In Anambra, APGA and PDP battle for control of House of Assembly | Independent Newspapers Limited
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In Anambra, APGA and PDP battle for control of House of Assembly

Posted: Apr 11, 2015 at 9:11 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chukwujekwu Ilozue Correspondent, Awka

Today, Anambra voters will not go to the polls to pick their Governor. They had done this last November 16, when they had their staggered election, orchestrated by their immediate Governor, Peter Obi who became the first Governor to retrieve his mandate in the Election Petition Tribunal in 2006.

Instead, today, the battle which will be fierce, will be on who represents the people in the House of Assembly. Since the in-thing in Nigeria is for members of the State House of Assembly to remove chief executives, that is, Governors whose faces they do not like, whether they are performing wonders in office or not; today’s election is seen as a battle that must be won by the sitting Governors, at least, that is the way it is understood in Anambra State.

Both Governor Willie Obiano and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) national chairman, Victor Umeh built this into their campaign to secure majority of seats in the House.  Both in different fora had appealed to Anambra voters to cast their votes for Okuko, that is, the cock to ensure that the Governor finishes his tenure in peace.

Umeh, in an interview during the week, called on voters to “vote for ‘okuko’  to ensure stability, vote for okuko to ensure continuity of the development stride going on in Anambra state and to vote for okuko to ensure that the Governor is not impeached by hostile legislature”.

In another forum, Obiano himself had canvassed for mass votes for APGA so that his administration will be stable and so that he will not need to spend public money meant for development on lobbying legislators to carry out their duty. To Obiano, all the seats will be won by APGA candidates.

But today’s election will be between APGA and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). If the election is held according to electoral guidelines, it will be keenly contested.  But if results are hijacked by soldiers and police men, the poll will be swept by PDP because it will degenerate to mere writing of results.

At the moment, majority of legislators in the House of Assembly are members of APGA and virtually all of them want to return and will be battling it out in the election today. When the House was inaugurated four years ago, APGA had about 18 of the 30 member legislature.

But many members of PDP defected to APGA to give it a solid majority. So, the question today is: will APGA continue to maintain the majority? Many people believe that Governor Willie Obiano’s performance in office so far will make it happen, but only voters will tell.