Anambra Elections: President Jonathan’s Integrity At Stake

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Yes, President Goodluck Jonathan has a horse in the Anambra race. As a member the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he has an interest in the up-coming Anambra state gubernatorial poll of November 16, 2013. As he is the leader of the PDP, he may even lead his party to stomp through Anambra state seeking for votes as there is nothing wrong with his appealing to the

prestige of his name and office to pour out the votes for his party’s candidate and thereby strengthening his party’s hold on the state when it will be time for his own re-election bid come 2015.

Yet, that is hardly the reason for this write up. President Jonathan or any other PDP member’s campaigning for the PDP candidate in the November polls will be nothing out of the ordinary; it is even expected that every party member would wish that his party is victorious in every election.

The real reason for this write-up is that the President’s name was abused recently in a way that made it appear that President Jonathan had all but perfected plans to rig the Anambra election in favour of one of the candidates. That the world is watching the Anambra election to see how transparent it will be is a given. That its transparency or otherwise will prove to the world how untainted the 2015 general elections will be, is another given.

That is why, in the name of all that is decent, even sacred, President Jonathan should by words and action, prove to the world that his name was invoked in vain with matters that could be related to rigging the Anambra election. He should not only charge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the great task of ensuring that the election is transparent, that every vote should count but that the collation should also be rancor-free and fully transparent so that as much as possible, all candidates will be satisfied that the number of votes credited to them will be the actual votes cast for them; there should be no vote allocation of any sort.

Why is this matter ultra-important? The answer to that burning question is exactly this: a PDP chieftain, who has embraced the task of playing the godfather role to Chief Tony Nwoye’s candidacy for the election under the PDP, the President’s own party, has made it appear that he has received Jonathan’s words to the effect that Nwoye is a shoo in for the office for which elections will be conducted on the 16th.The result is that the rumour is abroad in some towns and villages that the election is just a waste of time as some person has already been anointed by Jonathan himself to carry the day and emerge victorious no matter what happens or no matter how the people will vote. 

The PDP chieftain and Tony Nwoye’s godfather is none other but Prince Arthur Eze who was reported in news publications to have “insisted that the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye is the next Governor of Anambra no matter whatever challenges”. According to a published report,  Prince Eze, speaking at the launch of Awka Catholic diocesan Peter University Achina, Aguata Local Government Area, said nothing would stop Nwoye from becoming governor because he has been the one bringing out those who have governed Anambra State.

That nothing would stop a candidate, going in for a state-wide election from emerging victorious is too strong a statement to be made unless one is sure of extra-judicious means to make that person to win. And Arthur Eze did not disappoint as he gave some two reasons on which his abnormal or supranormal certainty was based. The first and most important one to him was this: Prince Eze, who spoke in vernacular said: “I brought Nwoye to be Governor of Anambra state and I took him to President Goodluck Jonathan for confirmation (for the) political party”.
Now, normally candidates do not need anybody’s coronation to be any party’s candidate. Instead, candidates are supposed to emerge through world-wide recognized means called party primaries. That is the path of law and fairness, so that the party members votes, expressed through their candidates, would count. President Jonathan has no business in confirming anybody as candidate for any elective office. But since this abnormality was widely reported, the Presidency has not seen it fit to distance the good name of President Goodluck Jonathan from this terrible mess Arthur Eze has dragged it. And if Mr. President could go to this illegal and absurd length to make Nwoye a candidate of the PDP, why then would he balk at the small task of commanding those in charge to finish the task. See this in another way, it means that Nwoye has now not one godfather but too.

Who is the first godfather? Listen to Arthur Eze, the self-styled godfather:  He disclosed that he had set aside the sum of N3 billion for the election and had also taken Nwoye to the Presidential Villa for introduction to the President.
So, why the money issue? N3 billion is a huge amount to be earmarked for an election by someone who is not directly involved in the race. Arthur Eze is not the PDP Chairman of the Anambra chapter. So why did the job fall on him to take Nwoye to the National Chairman of the PDP? Actually it could never have fallen on him, for it would not have been his duty as a party member. But his N3 billion, a huge amount on any given day, has become not party contribution but an investment. Unfortunately, such investments are not new to Anambra state, a luckless state when it comes to godfatherism. It also shows that former Governor and now Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige’s claims that his greatest achievement was that he had rid Anambra state of godfatherism, remains a lie.

Prince Eze’s sayings that day also showed that when it comes to godfatherism, Obi did not sink into the mud with his single-handed bringing out of his godson, Willie Boy Obiano, but that even him was a godfather to Eze. According to reports of that single event:  “He (Eze) knelt down publicly to demonstrate how the incumbent Governor Mr. Peter Obi and Chief Victor Umeh came to his house in London begging him to accept Obi’s candidacy then”.

Now, the rumour being spread by PDP party members is that a large chunk of that N3 billion outlay Prince Eze has made is for bribes; and they would list how much would go to the presidency, INEC officials and the Police. There may be no truth in such, but the presidency needs to intervene by distancing itself from Eze and his utterances.

Most of all, President Jonathan should leave no stone unturned to see that the election is truly transparent. That is the only way to clear his name from this mess into which Arthur Eze has apparently dragged it.




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