I watched this debate with keen interest and rapt attention. In fact, I had to pause an important issue I was handling to monitor the date; to show how I valued the debate.

If I were to be the examiner, the following will be my verdict:

Charles Soludo— Ist position

Strength:

Soludo dominated the debate. He spoke with so much confidence. He was very articulate and punchy; giving out statistics on most of the issues discussed, though Ozigbo of the PDP countered him on some of the statistics he provided. His profile as a professor and EX-CBN governor loomed larger and was intimidating. He mesmerized Andy Uba, exposed his intellectual bankruptcy and made him look not only dumb but like a political neophyte on internship.

Soludo paid little attention to Valentine Ozigbo of the PDP because he knew who his main challenger was—Andy Uba—and reduced the APC’s candidate to a rumble of ineptitude cum cluelessness. Even as someone who began his career internationally and had had a stint at the national level, Soludo understood dynamics of governance as related to Anambra State. He dissected every question thrown at him by the panelists.

On burning issue of Biafra, IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu. Soludo scored a golden goal here. He appeared to be the only candidate among the three who had not only studied the situation on ground but had made bold steps towards resolving the IPOB crisis. He was among the first Igbo group that visited Nnamdi Kanu in prison in 2017. I remember vividly that Pat Utomi was part of that delegation.

Weakness

Failure of Obiano’s government and the incumbent’s inability to manage APGA as one house, is a huge political liability to his party’s candidate. Soludo, from his mannerism displayed during the debate, appeared narcissistic and petty. He did not exhibit the excellence cum civility of a professor during the debate.

Valentine Ozigbo— Second Position

Strength

In terms of carriage, he did very well. He was more refined and well-behaved than other candidates. He spoke with elegance and confidence. He punctured some of the facts provided by Soludo. He is a chattered accountant with vast experience in the private sector. He is the youngest candidate of the three

Weakness

Valentine Ozigbo failed to understand the difference between a political debate and boardroom deliberations. In a political debate, sometimes you intentionally appear controversial just to trend. Some of Ozigbo’s ideas looked more cosmetic than practical—maybe it might be how he elucidated them. He solely focused un-strategically on Soludo; forgetting that forces backing Andy Uba are formidable.

Ozigbo did not appear like someone with street credibility. PDP, his party, is not in charge at the state level or at the center yet he is not fighting dirty. I wonder how he wants to get the needed attention. Peter Obi’s dominance of his campaign, is a turn off to a lot of other stakeholders. I guess he will be reap in another four years.

Andy Uba— Third Position

Strength

He is the candidate of the ruling party. Obiano’s inability to hold APGA together paved the way for Andy Uba to lobby a lot of APGA stakeholders to crossover to the APC. He has weakened PDP structure as well by poaching on its members. IPOB’s Sit-at-Home order, is going to work in APC’s favour. It will deter people from coming out to vote, thereby making it easy for election to be rigged by the government at the center.

Weakness

Andy Uba is intellectually inept—he lacks substance, appeared very uninspiring and unprepared. His articulation was very poor. The manner he ended his thoughts most of the times, made him looked dumber, naive and clueless. He is like Igbo version of Buhari coming to be rigged into office.

It still baffles me that someone with Andy’s exposure and connections could appear this archaic and inarticulate. If Nigeria is where things work properly, Andy should be withdrawing from this race before tomorrow. He was not qualified to be a candidate let a lone a governor.

AriseTV crew did a wonderful job. The ball is the court of Ndi Anambra to decide their governor.

Analysis by Chidiebere Nwobodo

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