Policy Briefs

News Track:  Anambra poll: Obiano has underperformed, says Obaze

By Tony Okafor

An aspirant in the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, has refuted claims that he is running to spoil the chances of his kinsman, incumbent Governor Willie Obiano.

Obaze, however, said if voted to power, he would serve a single tenure to maintain the prevailing understanding that had given the northern senatorial zone a maximum of eight years in the office.

He said, “We have come to appreciate the related challenges and cost implications associated with seeking a second term. Perhaps a single tenure of five or six years will do. Even if there is to be a second term, it should not be consecutive.”

Before the last governorship election in Anambra State in 2013, the major political parties had zoned the governorship slot to the North, which had not produced a governor. That arrangement produced the incumbent governor, whose first term will end on March 18, 2018.

Obaze and Obiano hail from Anambra North Senatorial District (Onitsha areas).

Obaze, a former Secretary to the Anambra State Government, said he had all it took to win the November election.

He said he was in the race because Obiano, under whom he served as SSG, had not performed to expectation.

“Whereas there is no statute of limitations for a governor to complete his second term, bringing it up now is aimed at negating the zoning understanding now in place.

“Anybody who knows me or has dealt with me knows that I’m not whimsical. I’m not for sale or a hired hand. I engage in events, projects and activities, only if I can add value.

“To suggest that I’m not out to contest is laughable. It is the view of those who argue that there is no vacancy, and that the incumbent should be allowed to complete a second tenure, regardless of the level of performance, which are self-serving.

“Perceptibly, Anambra may seem to be working, but it is presently over-leveraged. We can’t afford to mortgage its future. Sentiments aside, Anambra State needs a leadership change,” he said.

The former SSG described the Supreme Court judgment that authenticated the chairmanship of Ahmed Makarfi as the end to internal squabbles in the party as well as a win for the Peoples Democratic Party.

Obaze saluted the civility of Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff for using the judicial process to resolve the conflict, noting that the outcome and decision would strengthen the country’s democracy.

“We must come together to serve our people and return Nigeria to its place as an inclusive nation,” he added.

Obiano’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr. James Eze, said the former SSG should tell the people of the state what he would do for them, instead of casting aspersions on anybody.

Eze said, “Obaze served this government as SSG. Let him tell the people of the state what he left behind that he would be remembered for.

“I want to believe he doesn’t live in Anambra State or he was misinformed, otherwise he won’t have said what has been attributed to him.

“I would advise him to go about his campaign with all amount of civility befitting somebody who has attained that height of working with the United Nations.

“It’s his right to contest for the governor of the state, but he should not do that by casting aspersions on people.”

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Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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