Mr Oseloka Obaze, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has urged the party to shun zoning and look for competent politicians to contest the 2021 governorship election in Anambra.
Obaze, a former Secretary to Anambra Government under former Gov Peter Obi, made the call while briefing newsmen in Awka on Wednesday.
He said the party needed credible and competent politicians from the three senatorial districts of Anambra who could govern the state well, if elected.
“What PDP requires to win the 2021 governorship election in Anambra is to produce a good candidate that will enjoy popular acceptance and support rather than yielding to zoning appeal,” he said.
The Public Policy and Governance expert, who indicated interest for the party’s ticket, said PDP should not blow its chance in the election on the altar of zoning.
“The Anambra South Senatorial zone is not bereft of competent PDP politicians who can be good governors; what PDP needs is to put its best foot forward in order to wrestle power from the ruling party.
“For PDP to succeed, it must present its best candidate and a united front, the zone from which the candidate emerges notwithstanding.
“The risk we face is the possible polarisation and fracturing of the party over the so-called zoning arrangements.
“If I recall correctly, since 1999 ,PDP aspirants from the three Senatorial zones have always competed for the governorship ticket, it happened in 2013 and again 2017, so I don’t think it will be any different in 2021.
“Yet, inherent danger will manifest, if the South decides to allow their zone to scuttle the chances of a PDP candidate who is not from that zone, were that to happen, the PDP will remain in the doghouse and in opposition for another four years and perhaps, beyond.
“Personally, what I seek is good governance in Anambra, there are capable people in PDP who can govern Anambra well, of which I can humbly count myself as one, but I am not insensately ambitious, for me, politics has never been a do-or-die affair,” he said.
Obaze said he had refrained himself from making policy statements on issues of governance since 2017 election in order not to be seen to be distracting the governor,.
The PDP chieftain said, instead, he had left the people of the state to assess the consequence of the choice they made for themselves.
“Even though I belong to PDP -an opposition party in the State – once the 2017 governorship election was over, my disposition was to allow the elected governor to serve the state undistracted and unburdened, that way, he would have no excuses.
“I hardly ever commented publicly on Anambra State Government policies, good or bad; this was not because I did not have strong views, but because I considered the possibility of such comments being distractive, impolitic and misconstrued.
“I believe and still do, that the ultimate assessment of whether the incumbent governor has done well or not, belongs to the Anambra people, of which I’m just a lone voice,” he said.
Obaze said anybody could decide to run under any political party in the election as it was a democracy but that he must subject himself to the wish of the people. .
“A lot of conspiracy theories abound in our politics, this much is certain; APC like any other party will field a candidate from Anambra, the people will decide if they want that candidate and party or not.
“We are in a democracy, regardless of the party platform he runs on, he will still subject himself to universal suffrage,” he said.
He expressed reservations about the responses of the federal government and the state responses to COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Obaze said that at a personal level, he had used the lockdown period to work on his new books including ‘Africa’s Vision’, a collection of poems.
He said he had also written ‘Waning Strength of Government’ ,which focuses on governance in Nigeria and diminution of the rule of law, ordered liberties and possible rise of illiberalism in our democracy.
“The third book is , Nigeria: Caught in the Whirlwind, which I’m co-authoring with a former U.N. colleague, Ambassador Eloho Otobo, is due out in the latter part of 2020,” he said.
Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)