HOW NOT TO BE A POLITICAL GODFATHER
Present and future godfathers should pay attention to the just concluded gubernatorial election in Anambra State. Serial godfather Peter Obi slugged it out with serial godfather Arthur Eze. Peter Obi is a hands-on and suffocating godfather while Arthur Eze is a laidback godfather. Peter Obi is seen with his candidate at rallies, restaurants, churches, markets, and in the toilet. The impression is that he is trying to brand his candidate so that there will be no questions about the ownership of the governor, post-election. Opponents likened it to running for a third term.
Arthur Eze is the Capo di tutti capi mafioso godfather. He doles out the money and retires to the background. While Arthur Eze loves unmarketable candidates, Peter Obi has better candidates. If the candidates were interchanged in the just concluded 2017 Anambra Gubernatorial Election, Arthur Eze would have won this election.
Peter Obi was godfather to Willie Obiano, four years ago, when he reigned supreme in AGPA (All Progressive Grand Alliance). In the last days of Peter Obi’s governorship, he snatched Henry Obaze from the United Nations in New York and installed him as Secretary to the Anambra State Government. His sibling, Dubem Obaze was already serving as one of Peter Obi’s henchmen, as the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters. The rotatory nature of governance in Anambra State meant that it was the turn of Anambra North to pilfer government coffers. Anambra South and Anambra Central have had their turn to steal.
With two Obazes from Anambra North in his cabinet, expectations were running high that an Obaze, Dubem or Henry would succeed Peter Obi as governor in 2013. Instead, a Willie Obiano was plucked out of his swimming pool in Houston, Texas and anointed as Peter Obi’s successor. Given the power of incumbency and the fraudulent zoning arrangement, Willie Obiano was elected Governor of Anambra State in 2013. Peter Obi’s incumbency masked his godfathering of Willie Obiano. Why did Peter Obi choose Willie Obiano? Keep reading.
Willie Obiano is well known to Peter Obi from their days at CKC Onicha, and as board members of Fidelity Bank. Why did Peter Obi dump the Obazes? There are speculations that Victor Umeh, the National Chairman of APGA preferred Willie Obiano. I find that preposterous because Peter Obi was the financier of the party. Peter Obi chose Willie Obiano because it is said that he likes the bottle. It would be far easier to collect from an inebriated Governor than a lucid one. When Peter Obi could not have his way with Willie Obiano, he decamped to the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) despite promising the party’s godfather, General Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, before the general’s death, that he will never abandon APGA.
Soon after Willie Obiano was inaugurated, the romance between Peter Obi and Obiano soured and turned into hatred, and finally public avoidance of each other. They exchanged pleasantries at the funeral of the legendary CKC Principal, Father Nicholas Tagbo in August 2016 but the rift widened after the public display of rapprochement.
Rumors during this election season surfaced implying that Peter Obi wanted to collect 7.5 billion Naira from Willie Obiano as refund for campaign expenses. Willie Obiano’s acolytes went about telling anyone who cared to listen about Peter Obi’s greed. Obiano did not want to be dragged into the controversy but realizing the hatred of Anambra indigenes for godfathers confirmed the demand at a campaign rally. The social media did its work and everyone with a smartphone heard it from the horse’s mouth; Peter Obi always asks for a refund, which may cripple the state finances as in the Mbadinuju days.
Peter Obi and Henry Obaze lost the election because:
1. Anambranians hate godfathers.
2. If you must have one, keep him in the background.
3. You dumped your first godson, Willie Obiano, why should we think that you found a better godson, Henry Obaze?
4. Why did you dump APGA?
5. Did you have to be seen with your godson 24/7/366?
6. Maybe the billions you left in the State’s Treasury was for your refund?
7. Many believed your request for a 7.5 billion Naira refund was true.
Arthur Eze and Tony Nwoye lost the election because:
1. Clouds hanging over the candidate and his deputy over cult membership and murders.
2. Their party, the APC (Alliance for Progressive Change) continuously visits MMM (Maltreatment, Marginalization, and Murder) on the Igbos.
3. Buhari hates Igbos and Igbos returned the favor.
Nigerian politics is money-based. Votes are sold to the highest bidder. Nomination forms of the major parties cost 5 million Naira a piece. Each vote could cost as high as 5,000 Naira a piece. Only criminals and the criminally corrupt can afford such expenses. Nigerian political godfathers and soon godmothers are not altruistic. They expect a return on investment with interest. Successful godfathers dole out the money and stay in the background. Unless you are an incumbent political figure cum godfather, walking lock step with your godchild is political hara-kiri.
Africastallestman hopes that someday probably in 2070, that Nigerian political godfathers and godmothers will see investment in their candidates as public goods and not as cash cows.