Lessons from 2017 Anambra State Gubernatorial Election Result

November 18, 2018 Anambra State gubernatorial election result may indicate that Nigerians are gradually taking their destiny into their own hands by rewarding politicians who deserve to be rewarded and casting aside irresponsible and crooked politicians. Same attitude may manifest itself in the 2019 presidential election. Anambra state is major state in the southeastern part of Nigeria. Current governor, Willie Obiano, just won re-election for another 4-Year term in a landslide. Why did he win re-election? Did he win because of his name recognition, party affiliation, his looks or his oratory? He did not win because of theatrics or other sundry issues. He won re-election because he performed well during the past four years. He inherited a state that was in good shape economically and security wise and he built on his predecessor’s achievements and guided the state through recession. State employees were paid on time compared to other states in Nigeria. New roads were built, and existing roads are being maintained. Security situation in Anambra has improved tremendously under his leadership.

Willie Obiano won in all 21 Local Government Areas. He won in Local Government Areas where his 4 major opponents hails from. The result of the election was unmistakably clear. The lesson for other political office holders is that the only way to keep your job is to perform to the satisfaction of their residents. If they do, they will be re-elected. There is no short cut to success. The people of Anambra state owes the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a great deal of gratitude for conducting free and fair election. The federal government should also be congratulated for not interfering in the election. It is what democracy looks like. When a leader or party presents their manifesto and get elected, their re-election must depend on their performance while in office. The residents of those states should have the right to make the ultimate decision on whether their governor should continue or not. It is the only way to compel politicians to be accountable to their residents.

Same thing should happen in upcoming presidential election in 2019. President Buhari should be judged by his performance in social, economic, political, security and other issues. His ability to persuasively keep the country together should also be an important factor Nigerians should put into consideration when deciding whether to keep him in office. Nigerians have suffered a lot in terms of poor leadership. Nigerians are desperate for good leadership. Any leader who is interested in re-organization of Nigeria structure should be supported since continued existence of Nigeria as one nation depends on it. Use of force to keep Nigeria one will not be enough, it will be like putting a bandage in a wound. Devolution of power to the states, Local Government Areas and Township government is required for effective administration of the country. States, Local Governments and Township government should have the power to establish their own police force and LGA and Township governments should have power to levy taxes. Nigerians are gradually building a lasting democracy and a nation based on justice and fairness. The task ahead is still enormous, but Rome was not build in a day.

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