By Peter Moses

Despite the preliminary tension and security threats, Anambra State failed to explode on Saturday. The much-awaited gubernatorial poll was largely peaceful except for some pockets of incidences.

A total of 18 parties took part in the election. However, it ended up a three-horse race, narrowed down to Prof Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Mr Valentine Ozigbo, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has officially announced APGA’s Soludo as the winner, having secured a majority of the votes cast during the election, it’s suffice to say that the election has been won and lost.

But in this report, Daily Trust unmasks the losers of the poll whose names were not on the ballot.

NKEM OKEKE

He is the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, who was elected twice alongside Governor Willie Obiano on the platform of APGA.

Okeke recently dumped the APGA and joined the APC. He was one of many officials of the state government who defected from the governor’s party.

At the Saturday’s poll, Okeke could not win his polling unit for his new party and its candidate, Andy Uba. He voted at Umueze Awozu, Enugwu-Ukwu Ward 3, Polling Unit 005.

APGA’s Charles Soludo had 82 votes to win the unit while Uba of the APC secured 61 votes.

PETER OBI

Obi, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, is no doubt one of the losers of the Anambra election. The immediate past governor of Anambra was elected twice on the platform of APGA and served for eight years.

The businessman cum politician, upon completion of his tenure in March 2014, anointed Obiano as his successor, who equally won on the platform of APGA. The duo later fell apart, prompting Obi to join the PDP. The soft-spoken politician backed PDP’s Ozigbo in the governorship. He used the campaign period to take a swipe at his successor who he labeled “failure.”

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Obi, when accompanied Ozigbo, during the local councils tour, said Anambra West had suffered for the past eight years under Obiano, assuring the people that Ozigbo would fulfill his promise to them.

“APGA has abandoned Anambra West for the past eight years. My administration did the last major road in Anambra West,” Obi had said.

But it was a win for APGA in the Local Government as Soludo polled 1,918 votes to defeat Ozigbo who had 1,401 votes while Uba came third with 1,233 votes.

MAI MALA BUNI

Perhaps, Mai Mala Buni, Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee, was in high spirit to add Anambra State, to the list of the opposition states, the party captured under his watch but APGA dealt a huge blow on the frantic efforts of APC leadership to gradually capture the South East predominantly dominated by the opposition parties.

APC’s victory at Supreme Court in January, 2020, gave Imo State out to the party. Ebonyi Governor’s recent defection to APC gave the party audacity to put for capturing of more South East States.

Had Uba won, the nation’s ruling party would have been controlling more than half of the five states in the region. Buni had in October said defections from opposition political parties into the APC will improve the fortunes of the party, especially in the South -East.

“We have recently received five serving, and four former members of the House of Representatives, nine members of the state assembly and chieftains of PDP and APGA into the APC, paving the way for our victory in the November Anambra governorship election.

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“Today, the South -East geo-political zone, hitherto referred to as the stronghold of opposition parties, is gradually melting into the APC and increasing the fortunes of APC to remain Nigeria’s leading political party.” Perhaps, it is now dawn on him that Anambra is now a lost battle.

HOPE UZODINMA

Governor Hope Uzodimma

He is nicknamed “Supreme Court Governor”, due to apex court judgement which sacked PDP’s Emeka Ihedioha in January 2020. He headed the APC gubernatorial campaign for Anambra election and had vowed severally that Anambra would go the way of Imo.

“We are going there with a brand, an enviable brand that will be easy to sell, and by the grace of God, I think APC will win Anambra gubernatorial election come November 2021,” Uzodinma boasted in October while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

BIANCA OJUKWU

She is the widow of the late Igbo leader and patriarch of APGA, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. Bianca fell out with the APGA leaders, especially the governor, in the build up to the election. She had earlier shunned the APGA campaign kick-off for Soludo, and blamed Obiano for her absence.

Bianca had equally stated that Obiano once described her husband as a “dead man who was no longer relevant to the party.” She also accused the Governor and party leaders of removing Ojukwu’s face from the party logo.

However, on Thursday, Bianca called on her husband to intercede for the people of Anambra ahead of their governorship election. She wrote an open letter to him via her Facebook page, to commemorate her late husband’s birthday on Thursday.

In the letter titled ‘Letter to Dim Ojukwu On The Upcoming Anambra Elections on this Symbolic Birthday Anniversary’, the widow also added that she was filled with concern concerning the party. Anyway, she can be considered among the losers because in politics, there should be no sitting on the fence; it’s either she was with APGA or not.

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STELLA ODUAH

She is a serving Senator, representing Anambra North and former Minister of Aviation. Oduah boosted the ranks of the APC in August when she dumped PDP ahead of the Anambra poll.

Buni welcomed Oduah into APC at a brief ceremony in Abuja. The Senator said she joined the APC family with a view to changing the political narrative in the South East. She said she made the move along with a multitude of supporters who, according to her, have been jubilating in Anambra. But she could not match her words with actions as Uba, also a serving senator, performed woefully in the election. Ogbaru, where she hails from is the only Local Government that the PDP won in this election. APC did not win a single Local Government in this exercise.

CHUKWUMA UMEOJI

Umeoji is a member of the House of Representatives representing Aguata Federal Constituency of Anambra. He had battled Soludo for the APGA’s ticket. INEC initially listed him as APGA’s candidate. But the court ordered INEC to replace Umeoji with Soludo.

However, Umeoji defected to the APC, one week before the election. He defected to the APC along with two House of Assembly members and “thousands of party supporters.” His defection, however, did not stop APGA from winning the governorship poll.

The list is longer than this but this is how far we can go. You can add the names you know of in the comment section

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