Who Represents Anambra North In The Senate?

Next year’s National Assembly elections in Anambra North Senatorial District promises to be a tough contest among the three political parties in the zone. Southeast Bureau Chief NWANOSIKE ONU examines the chances of the candidates of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Preparations for next year’s general elections have reached a high point within the political parties. There is so much focus on the presidential elections and less on the National Assembly elections, which will be held on the same day. But, political parties are in serious moves to outwit each other in the contest.

Anambra State is one of the states where governorship elections are not held during the four-year election cycle. So, there will be no election to fill the governorship position. The last governorship election in the state, where incumbent Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was elected, was held on November 6, 2021.

Today, the focus of all the political parties in the Southeast state is on state and National Assembly elections. For the upper chamber of the National Assembly, there will be elections to pick representatives to fill the senatorial seats for Anambra North, Anambra South and Anambra Central. Each senatorial zone comprises seven local government areas.

The local government areas in Anambra North Senatorial District are Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Ogbaru and Oyi.

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Though there are many registered political parties in the country, only four of them are making waves in Anambra State. These are the APGA, which has been the ruling party in the state for the past 16 years; the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which lost power to the APGA in 2006; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the current rave of the moment, the Labour Party (LP).

Among the four, only three of them stand the chance of winning elections in the state, based on the current standings. They are the APGA, the PDP because of its numerical strength and the political juggernauts within the fold and the LP because of the influence of former Governor Peter Obi, who is the presidential candidate of the party in next year’s general elections.

For the APC, despite parading some political heavyweights, the infighting and leadership struggle within its fold will not allow it to make any political statement during the election.

The senatorial election will not be a tea party in the three zones for any of the parties. The candidates are strong.

In Anambra North, the PDP, the LP and the APGA have presented formidable persons to win the election for them. To date, the APC does not have a candidate for Anambra North yet.

The LP flag bearer for the Anambra North senatorial race is Dr Tony Nwoye, former governorship candidate of both the PDP and the APC, while the APGA has the former First Lady, Ebelechukwu Obiano as its candidate.

For the PDP, it is the incumbent and two-term senator and former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah that is representing it in the contest. It is likely to be a keen contest indeed.

Political observers believe any of the three candidates has the pedigree to win the contest. But who does the cap fit? Only time will tell.

 

Ebelechukwu Obiano (APGA):

Beautiful, elegant, unique, tantalising, rich and everything a woman wants to be in life.

Popularly known and addressed in Anambra State as (Osodieme — one who works with his husband), Ebelechukwu Obiano, defeated her husband’s former Chief of Staff, Chief Primus Odili for the ticket.

Political observers believe she has paid her dues politically and deserves to be in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly next year. She has many good things going for her in this senatorial contest. A few of them are her philanthropy, her husband’s good image in the area, her place of birth and her place of marriage.

Mrs Obiano has endeared herself to widows, the less privileged in the society, the aged and of course, the entire women, who hold the ace in voting. She used her pet project, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE) to better the lives of many, not only in the Anambra North senatorial zone but the entire Anambra State during her husband’s tenure.

The APGA senatorial candidate’s ripples of kindness have given her the edge over other contestants in the zone.

Besides, what the husband did in the zone during his administration is enough to give the wife victory during the polls.

Ebelechukwu was of the opinion that wherever and whenever life is touched, the government has succeeded, and she used that mantra to touch a whole lot.

But, despite her good works, one thing that still rings a bell in the minds of the people is the slapping saga between her and the widow of the late Biafran warlord, Bianca Ojukwu. It was during the inauguration of Governor Soludo on March 17, this year, at the Government House in Awka.

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That incident nearly ruined her well-built reputation as the wife of a governor and her philanthropy. It became another “Chidinma and the Cucumber in Anambra State”.

However, political analysts see her as the candidate to beat in the election despite all the negative jabs from the opposition against her.

 

Tony Nwoye (LP):

Before now, he had served as the National President of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) during his time at the University of Nigeria (UNN). Comrade Tony Nwoye is not a new name in the politics of Anambra State, having equally, served as the youngest state chairman of the then largest party, the PDP, in 2007.

The political bulldozer, as he is popularly referred to, once represented Anambra East and West Federal Constituency at the Green Chambers.

Not only that, he contested and won the governorship ticket of both the PDP and the APC in 2014 and 2017 respectively, and came second during the main election.

 

The amazing thing was how he floored his former boss, Senator Andy Uba, and made him look ordinary.

Nwoye, has equally helped many of his constituents from his home town of Nsugbe to Aguleri, Umueri and beyond, and that is the reason they sing his praises.

Again, another thing that puts him in the front seat is his current alignment with former Governor Obi in the Labour Party. Many Igbo people believe Obi as the party’s presidential candidate represents them.

Like the APGA, the LP has become another movement in Anambra State and the bandwagon effect is likely to affect candidates of other political parties in the race.

The former lawmaker and a medical doctor has made a name for himself in politics and money and deserves the senatorial elevation next year.

However, many political analysts believe he is a selfish person who helps people when he is looking for favour from them. But some others have debunked such a claim, describing it as the ranting of the opposition to discredit him.

Nwoye has empowered many widows, the poor and needy, the physically challenged and the youth in Anambra East and West Federal Constituency.

In Nsugbe, his hometown, he built and rehabilitated no fewer than 10 roads, making the hitherto impassable community one of the best road networks in Anambra State today.

During his tenure as a federal lawmaker, he attracted some federal projects from the Federal Government to some other communities beyond his area, like Arthur Eze’s Ukpo community.

Some political observers say the Anambra North senatorial zone cap fits Dr Nwoye, but the electorate will have to decide come February next year.

 

Stella Oduah (PDP):

She battled many forces in her party before the ticket was given to her through the intervention of the political godfather in the state, Chief Chris Uba.

Senator Stella Oduah is a two-term senator and vying for her third term next year.

Before now, Oduah had served as Minister of Aviation, where graft agencies alleged she had some questions to answer.

The Ogbaru Local Government Area-born politician has become a source of inspiration to many women not only in the state but beyond.

As the incumbent senator, representing the Anambra North zone, she has a lot of work to do in the zone to battle other contestants like Dr Nwoye and Mrs Obiano.

Though many people have been criticizing her representation, Oduah, The Nation gathered, has done a lot for her constituents in the seven local government areas in the district.

Oduah has been at the forefront of building houses for widows and other less privileged persons in the area.

She has equally, attracted some roads in her Ogbaru area and empowered many youths with motorcycles and Keke-Napep among others.

Political watchers believe that she deserves another shot at the Senate next year.

But, some negative points against her, according to her constituents, include her snobbish nature.

They claim that she only comes close to the electorate any time she is seeking political office.

Again, the manner she took the PDP senatorial ticket from her opponents during the primary remains a major headache to her ambition.

But, a credible primary was conducted at the Prof Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre in Awka where she emerged. Some PDP chieftains refer to the primary at the above venue as that of the Chris Uba faction.

It was monitored by security agencies and most importantly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, it is not yet Uhuru for the amiable and beautiful woman, who has a tough battle against equally tough opponents next year.

APC:

As already indicated, the APC has no candidate yet for the Anambra North senatorial race.

For now, two aspirants are still fighting over the ticket in court. They are Princess Ifeyinwa Anazonwu and Chief Nelson Anubugo. Anubugo went to court to challenge the declaration of the woman

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