This might be the first time the three Anambra State senators are strong, firm and formidable, two months to the General Election. So far, not much effort is being put into unseating the three incumbent senators by the opposition and the three remains likely to be returned in February, 2023.
Senator Uche Ekwunife of Anambra Central is poised to be returned in 2023. This also applies to Senator Stella Oduah of Anambra North and Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of Anambra South. Although Senator Stella Oduah is of the PDP, same as Senator Uche Ekwunife, but Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is of the YPP. Therefore, their chance of returning is not based on political party affiliation, but on their personal capacity and the apparent inability of the opposition to make a good case against them.
But then, in terms of performance, all three Anambra Senators feature prominently on various assessment platforms and are adju,dged outstanding, in the discharge of their duties as senators.
In Anambra Central, Senator Uche Ekwunife has two major main challengers; Senator Victor Umeh who is running on Labour Party’s platform and Hon. Dozie Nwankwo running on APGA’s platform.
Sen. Uche Ekwunife has a strong followership across Anambra Central. Over the years, she has maintained a balance in her outreach and there is hardly any serious opposition against her given to her social capital in Anambra Central.
The two people running against her are well known to her and the people of Anambra Central, so it might not be difficult for the people to make a choice. Both Hon. Dozie Nwankwo and Senator Victor Umeh have variously contested against Ekwunife in the past and lost to her.
At the moment, there is nothing that suggests that both men now have bigger social capital and political reach than Ekwunife. May be, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo might have given her a good contest but the reality is that Ekwunife is way more grounded and popular.
Again, from the look of things, it does appear as if funding is a problem for both the APGA and LP candidate. Given the enormity of funds Nwankwo and Umeh expended in APGA, it might play a role in their spending capacity in this election. Nwankwo procured the APGA ticket, Umeh moved to LP and secured the ticket.
Senator Ekwunife as an incumbent senator must have spent far less in securing her PDP ticket. If her two major challengers have still not been able to give her a good fight at this time, it is doubtful they will ever be able to do so at the polls in February next year.
For Anambra South, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of YPP has massive followership and Hon. Chris Azubogu the former APGA candidate is the only one that comes close to having a contest against Ubah.
Now that Azubogu is out of the equation, and with total silence from the APGA led government, which could mean that Azubogu has been left to his fate; it does appear as if Senator Ifeanyi Ubah is the only one running for the senate in Anambra South.
Looking at the enormity of his political reach, it is not clear how any other opposition intends to unseat him. Therefore, other things being equal, Ifeanyi Ubah, would be returned elected in February, 2023.
In Anambra North, Senator Stella Oduah as of today is one of the most popular politicians in that zone. She has heavy social investments and totally grounded in Anambra North. Oduah is being challenged by Hon. Tony Nwoye of Labour Party and Mrs. Eberechukwu Obiano of APGA. Of these two, Mrs. Obiano is fierce and might have been poised for a good fight, but it does appear that she is not exactly ready for the task.
Not much has been seen of her as a capable alternative to the Oduah’s strong holding in the zone. Perhaps, the fight for the party’s ticket took a long toll on her and drained her willingness and energy for the main outing against the incumbent.
With the election just around the corner, Oduah is poised to be returned except for any last moment magic by Mrs. Obiano who is also going to share votes with Hon. Tony Nwoye in their Omanbala area, while Oduah takes Ogbaru and Onitsha.
From all indications, the three Anambra State senators; Uche Ekwunife, Stella Oduah and Ifeanyi Ubah are very strong and in their best forms which makes it quite difficult for their opposition to weaken their base.
Although they are not all in the same political party, it is obvious that they are working as a team and in synergy with the governor, Prof. Soludo, who is also in a different political party. This might suggest that the governor is completely at home with their performance and therefore might not be willing to join forces with his party candidates and fight against their return to the senate.
Governor Soludo’s apparent ‘party-blind politics’ is indicative of a level of political maturity that can only support the best and most capable to win. Since it appears to have come to that, it is doubtful that there is any better and more capable candidate for senate, than the incumbent senators.