Posted by Okechukwu Aziatika | 27 June 2013 | 5,053 times
Anambra State is heating up once again. The heightening political activities in the state avail Awka the current news hype. A constellation of vibrant, ambitious, influential, rich, and mostly new breed political movers and shakers from the state are angling for the seat of the number one citizen of the state which is up for grab in March 2014. A line-up of this group and a close look at their credentials reveal the intimidating human resource endowment which is one of Anambra State’s most cherished heritages. Most states will turn green in envy of this array of prime respondents to the exigent politics of a state. A state which though contributing immensely towards the being of Nigeria, counts less in the sharing of the national patrimonies.
Though the list of these gubernatorial hopefuls is already bloated, interests still run wild. This piece however elects to respond to the recent fuss by the most veteran among the seekers of Anambra gubernatorial seat, Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige. It recognises his distinct posture amongst the many who seek to wrestle Governor Peter Obi’s seat from whoever might receive the governor’s anointing. Ngige is unarguably a household name in the politics of Anambra State. He is a brand you can ill afford to ignore. He parades a presence that compels attention as well as embodies the capacity to intimidate and scare lily-lived political opponents to scurry to a quick surrender rather than face the poll. Dr. Chris Ngige commands an attention that convinces the flippant that he (Ngige) is electorally impregnable. No one can deny him the aura that is akin to the precursory chill and scamper that announce the appearance of a dreaded masquerade in Igbo parlance. He has the glamour and the flair that entertain. The encapsulation of his theatricals raises the stakes for whoever challenges his political cause. The play of politics in Anambra in recent times however reveals that there is more to developmental politics than galleried garlanding or delusory rabble-rousing.
But Ngige’s mastery manifests more in the genre of wuluwulu politics, where he towers above every politician in the state. He would stoop to conquer, and in the glamour of conquest succumb yet to captivity like a lamb to the slaughter. But in all of these manoeuvres Ngige maintains a defiant voice of arrogance: a swagger in success and a bluff in travails. These characteristic contradictions he amply showcased during the complications surrounding his first shot at the office of Anambra State governor – when Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s failures provided him the privilege of the PDP’s slot in the 2003 Anambra State gubernatorial poll. No thanks to Professor Maurice Iwu’s Independent National Electoral Commission and the Presidency, Ngige, against every electoral moral, was declared the winner of the election. Before the bona fide winner of the election, Mr. Peter Obi, could void the erroneous declaration in court, Dr. Ngige had seized the moment to rabble-rouse his government into the consciousness of the people. He constructed roads almost only in his Idemili Local Government Area, which attendant self-gratification and public commendation none begrudges him – after-all, Idemili as a significant part of his larger state constituency should not be denied the patronage of a home governor.
But Ngige hit his optimal political height when, in captivity, he succumbed to the insecurity he freely bred. The anticlimax of a governor’s abduction and the cathartic effect of his removal by the Court of Appeal on Anambra State and its people confirmed him vane. However, indulging the decadent politics of this clime, Dr. Ngige, who should have been cooling his feet in prison for fraudulent electoral practices, has instead upped his visibility by contesting whatever election that is due in his constituency – senatorial or gubernatorial. And he has made a huge political capital of this corporate lax moral. While not done with litigations on the 2010 gubernatorial poll which he lost to Obi’s superior political status, he reached out for Anambra Central Senatorial seat which he negotiated beyond the electoral reach of a preferred APGA candidate, Prof. Dora Akunyili. While effusively sitting in the Senate, Ngige is covetously eyeing occupation of the Government House, Awka. For this mission, he spares nothing to any who appears indisposed to his power drive. He castigates, calumniates, maligns, claws, kicks and would gladly bite whosoever that may be.
It was therefore vintage Ngige whose desire for weird relevance propelled to accuse Governor Peter Obi’s administration of poor management of state resources. He chose to disregard the enormity of the infrastructural uplifts which are evident landmarks of Governor Obi’s administration. In keeping with the inconsistent tendencies of rabble-rousers, Ngige has been severally boxed into eulogising Governor Obi’s will to strongly found Anambra on solid econo-health and educational footing. But he would recant each time the uncanny spirit of calumny overtakes him. In any case Ngige is known to be consistently inconsistent. Even if our people are taunted for short memories, Ngige’s inglorious path to the Government House in 2003 remains green.
Now, why should Ndi Anambra risk another turmoil brewing between Dr. Chris Ngige, the opportunist, and the strong man of Yoruba politics, Alhaji Bola Tinubu, whose expansionist politics is taking fray and looking good to capture more grounds beyond the traditional Oduduwa enclave? While this writer in fact celebrates the Asiwaju’s firm control of his party machinery and his firm control of the states under his party, he makes bold to draw from the wisdom of Igbo elders in saying that ‘Okeke nwanyi di nti njo!’ Neither Asiwaju’s glorious lordship on Ndi Anambra nor the eruptions that would follow the people’s resistance to such plot would foster the growth of Anambra State. Let Ndi Anambra ensure a solution to the looming crises in option-Ngige, as the words of the elders exhort that ‘any tree whose fruiting would result to death should be closely observed so that it is allowed neither blooming nor flowering; else death is sure. Sometime ago I read a piece entitled ‘Ngige’s Warped Sense of History’; might be today’s would have better read ‘Poor Ngige’s Perception of History’. Either way, an appreciable sense of history is implored in Anambra’s march to sustainable statehood.
Given the plethora of laudable achievements recorded by Governor Obi’s administration, Ndi Anambra would not hesitate to queue behind whomever their governor identifies with for the capping of his glorious service to the state. I do not think Ngige will be so privileged.
•Okechukwu Aziatika writes from Adazi-Nnukwu •Photo shows Ngige.
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