Date Published: 09/21/09
ANAMBRA 2010: WAITING FOR CHIKELU By Maximus Uba
Unarguably the people of Anambra State, South East Nigeria have the biggest decision of their lives to make on february 6 2010 when the governorship election to elect a successor to Mr. Peter [Ada] Obi is billed to hold. Already newspaper reports which have not been denied have it over forty would be contestants have been cleared under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party while Mr. Peter Obi, the incumbent governor of the state had last weekend defied threats of recognition of his faction by the Independent Electoral Commission and went ahead and picked the nomination form of All Progressive Grand Alliance from the Abuja office of Mr Victor Umeh. There are also expectation that more candidates may emerge from parties like Labour, PPA, ANPP, AC and others in the coming weeks. But in all this calculations, one name appear to be missing and that name is that of Mr. Chikelu Chukwuemeka Politician, Lawyer, former member of the House of Representatives as well as the former Minister of Information in the dying days of the subtle dictator, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo. Counted among men who have occupied leadership positions with genuine intentions to serve their fatherland, many political observers are unsettled that Mr. Chukwuemeka Chikelu have continued to shun interest in governing Anambra State even with his load of enviable and unmatched credentials. While some say the environment of PDP in Anambra State unsettles the youngman, the rest of the view that Hon. Chikelu is shunning interest in the whole arrangement because the political class have failed Nigeria and therefore would not be counted among people who deliberately destroyed the country. However those who wish Anambra State well, those who seek ways to end over ten year destruction in Anambra State in the name of governance again those who seek ways out of the economic/social deprivation wrought on Anambra State have vowed to launch pressure on Hon. Emeka Chikelu to run because to them he resonates hope in the mind of very many Anambra people and Nigeria as a whole. This group working under the aegis of “Anambra Tomorrow” has argued that unlike his contemporaries, Chikelu is a quintessential gentleman who came clean into the political firmament complete with intelligence, candour, charm, allure and fragrance and left same without painting himself black. For instance the group remembers his days in the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly from 1999 – 2003 and states equivocally that he not only gave a good account of himself as a legislator to watch but had more bills and motions of national significance attached to his name.
As Obasanjo’s Information Minister perhaps his toughest job which implied he had to market government polices, Chikelu was able to prove to cynics that the office the Minister of Information is not about propaganda, not about rantings, not about defending stupid policies and not about shouting hoarse to win the ears of the president rather he contributed in moderating the policies of government, ensuring at least such policies were unhurting and friendly to the people of Nigeria unlike the Akunyilis’ of this world, who have continued to erode confidence of government via their untoward defence of anti people policies albeit brazenly . Many therefore will attest that Chikelu is perhaps the best information Minister Nigeria ever had from independence to date. In all these we ask, why is Hon. Chikelu’s profile rising so steadily in a distasteful Nigerian political waters, the answer is simple, Hon Chukwuemeka Chikelu comes across as a great visionary leader with unusual capacity to think ahead of issues and events. His postulations have often unfolded with scientific precision making him not only the man with prophetic political statements but one who stands out in the crowd as a man who means well to his society, but the naked truth about Mr. Chukwuemeka Chikelu is that while other politicians in Nigeria are busy enjoying their easy gain to wealth and flaunting it before the poor masses, the likes of Chikelu are daily brainstorming over the nations political problems and proffering solutions without going to the media and the Presidency to show off as one who is patriotic and one who is in support of the Ya’radua administration. Without doubt therefore observers say Mr. Chikelu is viewed as the greatest political personality coming from the entire South East zone. For instance as a trained political scientist, Chikelu understands vividly the political terrian both in his Anambra State home and Nigeria as a whole, and because he did not gatecrash into political leadership every one of his moves and contributions are products of brainstorming, planning in political articulation and for the benefit and glory of the ruled. As a Lawyer he knows at best on how to use laws to provide meaningful impact on the lives of both the rich and the underprivileged without hurting either.
Observers are therefore of the view that indeed the indication of interest to govern Anambra State 2010 by Mr. Chukwuemeka Chikelu will indeed restore hope to Anambra State in the coming years. Already information pieced together in Anambra have it that the fat cats and election financiers in Anambra State are not too elated with the credentials of those who have been cleared to run by the Peoples Democratic Party as well as the candidacy of Mr. Peter Obi and have started moves to woo people with very enviable credentials, family background and vision to make Anambra State better. Interestingly top on the list of people who are appealing to these financiers is Mr. Chukwuemeka Chikelu and to make good their feelings, a strong team of elected Anambra patriots have been tasked to reach out to Chikelu’s father, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary to convince his son on the need to come and put smile on the faces of the masses of Anambra State who are yearning for good governance as it is done elsewhere. That’s not all, this group of patriots have in addition agreed to bankroll the expenses as it concerns 2010 bid of Chikelu should the man of the moment indicate interest to come forward. In the end that is if Mr. Chikelu succumbs to the pressure to step out and run for the position of Governor of Anambra State, the situation will not just be akin to a saviour that the average Anambra man have been looking up in the last thirty nine years but one whom the business moguls scattered all over the state expect will improve their business environment for the better. Besides Chikelu candidature is expected to be national phenomenon not just because the youngman appeals to a cross section of Nigerians whether rich or poor, handsome or ugly, young or old but as a genuine patriot desirous to serve humanity selflessly. In this direction news which filtered out to Anambra state over the week indicate that the young Chikelu has not entirely dismissed the idea of giving the governorship ambition a try and to this development, there was wild jubilation across the four corners of the state especially because the people know the Chikelu’s rich pedigree and experience is going to be deployed effectively to move Anambra State forward in the coming years, again to take the right of place in the committee of states in Nigeria. But will Mr. Chukwuemeka Chikelu rise to the occasion as thousands in Anambra state and beyond expect him to and thus redeem the state from imminent collapse, only time as usual will tell.
Maximus Uba, a journalist lives in Mbaise Nigeria.