The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998 produced the governor of Anambra State at the beginning of fourth republic, as Dr C.C Mbadinuju against all odds knocked off Prof ABC Nwosu during the party’s primaries to become the party’s candidate and later the eventual winner of the election.
Thereafter, following series of political crisis within the party and Anambra State and coupled with issue of non-performance, the erstwhile governor lost out to Chris Ngige who was originally aspiring to go to the red chamber of the National Assembly, during a primary that was fraught with intrigues.
Ngige could not complete his tenure as he was removed from office by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu and Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance became the beneficiary of the ouster of Ngige.
After losing power to the APGA, the PDP became a shadow of itself and all efforts by the party faithful and other stakeholders to upstage the new political party on the block did not produce the needed result.
The failure of PDP to put her house in order became the gain of APGA as Obi took his eight years tenure which was only momentarily interrupted by seventeen days reign of Andy Ubah of PDP.
After completing his tenure, Obi was also able to install a successor, Willie Obiano who from all indication will also try his luck to see if he could secure a second tenure just as Obi did. However many people in Anambra State are not comfortable with Obiano’s performance, when compared to the superlative performances of his predecessor. The belief in many quarters is that the shoes left behind by Obi are too big for the current governor of the state.
Thus, many in the state are looking for an alternative, and the PDP continues to reoccur on the lips of many who desire the change. APC is not considered by many, as it is seen as a party that does not have the interest of Ndi Igbo at heart despite all the defections of many top politicians to the party.
The major problem of the PDP whose wide acceptance in the state can be seen by the manner they have always won other elections, still remains their inability to unite and queue behind one governorship candidate. The party has been strangled with litany of court cases and anti-party activities which have been encouraged by the party welcoming back those who do anti-party or leave the party with juicy rewards. It is on record that whenever a candidate of the party emerges, every other one defeated during the primaries would do everything possible to undo the standard bearer of the party, often time claiming payback time for injury the candidate may have inflicted in the past. As a matter of fact, the primaries of PDP in Anambra State over time has assumed a matter of highest bidder as heavy money is expended to secure the party’s ticket with the non Igbo speaking elements in the national secretariat struggling to be part of the Anambra process because of the huge volume of money they would go home with.
As a result of all these, many factions of the party emerged with each acclaimed political godfather laying claim to party leadership, and voices of reason were relegated to the background with due process overtaken by a culture of impunity and reckless abandon.
But in the midst of the confusion and brigandage that became part of Anambra PDP in opposition, there remained few voices like that of John the Baptist in the wilderness crying for sanity and decency in governance and opposition. One of them in particular focused his own gun not on his party but on the APGA-led state government, presenting facts and figures that exposed the inadequacies of the government. Using Organiru Anambra movement which became the platform for like minds to constructively criticize the ills in the state and at the same time offer alternative for the good people of the state, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu became to APGA the face of opposition in the state as Anambrarians listened to him whenever he spoke out.
Many in his party, PDP were not listening to his calls for unity and transparency not because he was a poor man, but because his pocket was not as deep as those gladiators who attempted to kill and bury the PDP in Anambra.
Dr. Obiogbolu has served in various administrations within the state. At a time when many believed that the PDP-led administration of former governor, Dr CC Mbadinuju had little or nothing to show for its four years in government, Obiogbolu as the Chairman of Anambra State Local Government Service Commission shone like a star. The five star performance he posted in office is still unequalled many years after. Apart from clearing the backlog of salaries that besieged the local governments at the time of “zero allocation”, his commission went ahead to create over three thousand new jobs at a time Federal allocations were a paltry 300 million naira.
Many people who got employment in the commission through the creativity of Obiogbolu are now relatively big in their own right and they still yearn for a person like the Oganiru Anambra exponent to come and show the light and the way again. The civil servants especially in the local governments see him as a man of great intellect who is equally imbued with great administrative and leadership skills with the proven capacity to manage men and materials while taking them to greater heights.
Obiogbolu has put in an uninterrupted twenty five years into the governance and politics of the state. He is more famous as a politician than a medical doctor, and is good mixer and a bridge between the affluent, powerful and the downtrodden. He is the only politician in Anambra who can call most names of politicians in all the 326 wards of the twenty one local government area of the state without blinking.
Everything seems to be working in favour of the gentleman, Obiogbolu as most of the troublers of the PDP seem to have moved to the APC and other political parties and the coast is now clear for the party to do the needful.
The needful is for the hierarchy of the PDP to allow a popular and credible candidate to emerge as the standard bearer of the party in the November 18 Anambra governorship election. Obiogbolu has paid his dues as a party loyalist through thick and thin. His focus, strength of character, extreme organizational ability and strategic thinking are what Anambra State requires today.
Obiogbolu remains very passionately-committed to the betterment of Anambra. He has remained true to his conviction that Anambra can be better, always espousing ways and means the state can truly reclaim the light of Nigeria status. He is a role model to the youths, a friend of the traders as he has on many occasions taken on the government in power on issues that relates to their welfare. He believes that it is an aberration for a sitting government to celebrate payment of salaries and other allowances to civil servants which is a recurrent expenditure of government.
The PDP aspirant has a track record of philanthropic and humanitarian gestures not minding his mean resources, he is devoid of religious bigotry and a very firm believer in the concept of rule of law, and respect and support of law enforcement agents.
The popularity of the governorship aspirant came to the fore recently during the burial of his beloved mother. His Onitsha country home became a kind of Mecca as all the known political gladiators in Anambra who at one time or the other benefitted from the ingenuity and loyal party support of the medical doctor were all on hand to condole with him.
Anambra is on the verge of making history again, it is expected that the PDP will get it right this time by giving Obiogbolu the chance to be their standard bearer so that they can easily dislodge the incumbent Obiano who is from the same senatorial zone with him.
Any other formulae will lead to gnashing of teeth and wailing at the end of the day. Obiogbolu is the right man for Awka Government House and he is the PDP’s master stroke for the November 18election.
Alex Obiogbolu as PDP’s Master Stroke for Anambra – APROKOPIKIN