By the end of today ,a Governor – elect will be announced for Anambra State. Prof Chukwuma Soludo of All Progressive Grand Alliance( APGA) has won 18 out 20 Local Government Areas already declared by INEC . But before we start celebrating the winner , it is important to learn a good lesson from the recent history .The humility of Late President Musa Yaradua should be copied for a new beginning. Late Yaradua in his acceptance speech acknowledged that the election that brought him into office was flawed and that he would do everything to ensure that the electoral process was fixed . He commenced the process before the unexpected happened!
Back to Anambra state 2021 election. A political group – Good Governance Ministry started preparing the minds of the electorates early last year through weekly radio program at Odenigbo FM and BVI Channel 1 YouTube as well as other social media platforms. Millions of naira were spent in trying to change the mindset of a people who believed that Nigeria electoral process cannot be redeemed .Many a time ,the Leader of the group – Asuzu Chinedu Peters was called names and castigated for working for an unknown Politician against the interest of Biafrans who were determined to boycott any election conducted by the Nigerian State. Majority of the people following Good Governance Ministry radio program thought that the program was being sponsored by a political moneybag .It is hard to convince a people who have lost confidence with everything and everybody in a polluted system .However, Asuzu Chinedu message of good governance and public accountability was aggressively forced down the throat(s) of a people who have lost hope and waiting for a new nation – Biafra.
As a key Promoter of the group, I noticed that political parties were not interested in political education or making efforts to educate their party members of the essence of having a purposeful and visionary Leadership. I did not notice political education going on at the ward levels among political parties. They were all waiting for money to be shared for votes! Buying and selling politics! People were not mobilized along ideological line thereby giving room for a non state actors to hijack public opinion which nearly marred the election .
Politics is local and the local people are driven by certain interest. Interest for immediate gratification or future compensation or imaginary State of ‘Eldorado’ . Because of non existence of trust, local people hardly trust any politician, hence they resort to immediate gratification . But ,it should be noted that the presence of a personality like Prof Chukwuma Soludo gave some level of trust and credibility to the entire process. In some polling stations , a political party agent gave as high as N10,000 for a vote but was rejected for a lower monetary inducement because of preference for a credible candidate. In many other places , money became the determining factor of who wins! Party brand also played a role. There were people who believed that Ndi Anambra have rejected certain political party but with money, many accepted it and even voted for the party.
It ,therefore ,should be noted that a credible ,visionary and welfare driven Political Leadership is a solution to the dangerous trend of voters’ apathy and money politics .The incoming Governor should be humble enough to acknowledge the decay in our political system and take honest and immediate steps to fix our politics . Our political system at the state level is really broken and must be fixed without fear or favour. As President Obasanjo told his numerous supporters during his acceptance speech to consider any money donated during his campaign as a bad investment ,the incoming Governor must not work for political investors and jobbers but to the people who laid their lives in defence of Peoples mandate. Good Governance Ministry (GGM) will always be there to partner with people Government to modernize our society and give everybody a sense of belonging . GGM will continue to advocate for knowledgeable people with stable and known sources of income as well as people with integrity to be appointed into positions of authorities as well as electing men and women of integrity into political party system. Political education must be sustained by not only the political parties but INEC, and it should not be seasonal but on continuous basis.
Ndubuisi Anaenugwu is an Economist and the Deputy Leader of Good Governance Ministry.
Bvi channel 1