2021: Muoghalu holds the ace towards moving Anambra to the center
By Toby Chuks
Clearly, the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State is an opportunity for politicians and political parties to achieve a political goal. Those aspiring to succeed the incumbent governor of the State Chief Willie Obiano through the election are making moves and strategizing towards the election.
The leading political parties in the State are already receiving a handful of aspirants who wish to take over the helm of affairs at the government house in Awka. Analysts say the political parties have a duty to field credible candidates and work hard if they wish to win the election and move to the next level.
As the case of every election, political parties need victory in Anambra to make progress in the Nigeria political landscape. To the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) ruling party in the State, it is an opportunity to consolidate the grip as the strongest party in the Light of the Nation State.
APGA has been occupying the seat of power at the government house in Agu Awka since 2006. For the All Progressives Congress (APC) the national ruling party, the 2021 poll is an opportunity to move Anambra to the centre and advance APC to the next level in the Southeast geopolitical zone.
On the side of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) the main opposition party at the national level, the poll is an opportunity to regain the State it lost in 2006 and also advance its strength in the Southeast geopolitical zone.
Already PDP has three States in the Southeast namely, Abia, Ebonyi and Enugu respectively. Other political parties like the Young People’s Party (YPP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Accord and Labor Party amongst others will also use the opportunity offered by the election to test their power and might.
However, unless the expected happens, the election is a three horse race between the ruling party in the State, the national ruling party and the main opposition party at the national level.
As obtained in every election, the success of the political parties in contest largely depends on the candidates they field in the ballot box. Already each of the three political parties could boast of aspirants who command the level of popularity and acceptability needed to win the election.
For the national ruling party, the Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Chief George Muoghalu could be the ideal choice.
Looking at APC in Anambra it is possible to say that Muoghalu stands taller than others and arguably holding the ace towards moving the party at the centre to Agu Awka and connecting the Light of the Nation State to the centre.
To members of the APC in Anambra State, the issue of moving Anambra to the centre is long overdue and the 2021 poll is the ideal time to achieve it. Analysts say Muoghalu for complex reasons is not a wrong choice for APC.
According to a current affairs analyst in Awka, Dr Ejike Nwangwu, Muoghalu is evergreen and definitely among the political first eleven in Anambra at the moment.
Dr Nwangwu is of the opinion that “if you want to look at it from the point of those who have been groomed via the political process to lead Anambra State, Muoghalu stands taller than others”.
Speaking further on Muoghalu , the current affairs analyst noted that it is a fact on ground that the NIWA boss is amongst the few politicians in Anambra State that has been actively involved in politics at the national level since the return of democracy in 1999.
At first, Muoghalu who hails from Nnewi served as the National Secretary of the defunct All People’s Party, (APP) and later All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP).
Secondly, he was the governorship candidate of the defunct All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) in 2003. ANPP was another name for APP. As governorship candidate of ANPP in 2003, the Nnewi-born politician had the opportunity to work closely with the late Senator Chuba Okadigbo.
Recall that Okadigbo a one-time Senate President during the administration of former President Olusegun Obansanjo, was the Presidential running mate to Muhammadu Buhari in 2003 as Vice Presidential candidate of ANPP with Buhari as the Presidential candidate.
After that Muoghalu remained in ANPP until the party joined forces with other political parties such as Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to form APC in 2015.
At that point he emerged as the National Auditor of APC. In 2019, he was re-elected as the National Auditor of APC before he was appointed to head NIWA by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The truth, according to one other analyst Professor Joe Nnadirinwa, Muoghalu’s political profile depicts consistency and loyalty that are lacking in the system. In a country where politicians cross-carpet from one party to the other, Muoghalu has distinguished himself from the crowd as a good loyalist.
His politics of consistency and loyalty, Professor Nnadirinwa said is needed in a place like Anambra. “Yes Ndi Anambra need someone like Muoghalu who will be consistent in his decisions not the type that will make promise and renege, not the type that will betray when trusted and not the type that tell lies when he speaks.
Again, I am sure he will be loyal to relevant stakeholders. To be loyal means to be available and accessible, to have an open door and listen to someone or the people who want to talk to you, hear them out and do what they ask you to do for them.
That’s the kind of a leader the people wish to have at the government house” the Professor of Political Science added. In addition to consistency and loyalty, Muoghalu has no doubt gained enough exposure and experience needed to lead Anambra.
He is arguably one of the few politicians that has enjoyed the privilege of working with all and sundry in Nigeria – sitting and discussing with top political leaders from the North, South South and Southwest in the country.
The NIWA boss parades a strong political connection which would make it possible for him to reach out to all national quarters with ease if given the mandate to be Governor of Anambra State.
This is an advantage that could be very difficult to derive from other aspirants that are eyeing the Agu Awka seat of Anambra power. In other words he has built the political will that needed to be moved to the level.
Furthermore, considering the situation of things in Nigeria mostly the issues of insecurity in the country under the APC controlled government, the party has to put extraordinary effort to win the governorship election in Anambra.
The party has to take advantage of Muoghalu’s good name, his exposure, experience and strong connections with people that matters and make a strong case before the electorates in Anambra State.
More interesting thing about Muoghalu is that he is from Anambra South Senatorial District which is largely favored to produce the next Governor of Anambra following the clamor for zoning and rotation of power in the State by relevant stakeholders like the, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, traditional rulers and Civil Society organizations.
The President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Anambra State Chapter, Chief Damian Afam Ogene, in a statement issued in Awka called on all the political parties to choose their candidates from Anambra South according to him it is the tum of South to produce the next Governor of Anambra based on what is on ground.
On their part, the Intersociety a right group based at Onitsha, declared that the issue of zoning and rotation of power in Anambra State is not negotiable. Intersociety in a statement signed by its Board of Trustees Chairman Comrade Emeka Umeagbalasi, pointed out that it is the time for Anambra South to produce the next Governor of Anambra State and nobody can change it.
Going by the above analysis , the onus now lies on the leaders and members of APC in Anambra to use their tongue to count their teeth on who to field as candidate for the Anambra poll following the quest to take over the leadership seat of the Light of the Nation State at Agu Awka and move the State to Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It is left for the leaders and members of APC to look at the issue of zoning and rotation of power among other things and consider Fielding someone like Muoghalu for the 2021 poll.
Both the leaders and members of APC in Anambra know the Managing Director of NIWA quite too well. But the points or rather the questions are: are they willing and ready to take advantage of his outstanding quality to advance the cause of the party in the State?
Are they willing and ready to look beyond immediate fall of stipends in their pockets and invest on him for a better future?
Already there are governorship aspirants in APC who have sparked money politics by fronting money before the party faithful to show that they are ready to spend money to buy their way through, but the question is: do those money bags have what it takes to win election in Anambra State for the overall benefit of the party?
Money politics is a factor militating against the process of electing quality people into elective positions in Anambra State.
It is a political epidemic mostly at the stage of party primary election. Party leaders and delegates often throw quality to the wind and go for the highest bidder following the Interest in money and immediate satisfaction.
This was the case of APGA in Anambra State in the last general elections of 2019. Today APGA is suffering without healing in sight. APC should avoid such mistake and give room for credible candidate who can win election to emerge as the governorship candidate of the party for 2021 poll in Anambra.
APC members should be made to understand that somebody like George Moghalu as governor will expose them into massive political works both in the State and at the Federal level thereby making political and other socio economic jobs available to them.
They should be made to understand that with Muoghalu’s popularity and acceptability both at the State and at the national level they will gain a lot under his administration as Governor of Anambra State. They should look at the comparative advantage between collecting peanut during party primary election and being connected to the government house and to the Federal government.
Certainly, the chances of APC in Anambra depends on two major factors namely the interest of the people to connect their State to the centre and a credible candidate who is popular and acceptable enough to the people.
Under the circumstances the party finds itself in the country, what will sell the party in Anambra is the candidate and Muoghalu is not a bad choice when we talk about the candidate that can move the party to the government house in Awka and to the centre in Abuja.