Opinion: We must not be left behind.
There have been remarks on Osita Chidoka’s chances of winning the Anambra governorship election. Some say he stands no chance due to the absence of his party, UPP, in any elective positions in the state. Some have already written him off even before the election.
It’s alright. There’s the saying, “When a chicken is drunk, it forgets about the hawk.”
APGA in Anambra in 2003 had none of their members in the state political leadership when they won. The Labour party in Ondo State too had none when they won. Likewise Adams Oshiomhole’s AC back in 2007 when the PDP governed Edo State. Not even a single councillor was in AC. The candidates of these parties won because as at the time, the people were fed up of the incumbent parties. So it is not a question of UPP being absent in government. It is a question of the people being fed up of the present administration.
For the past one year, Osita Chidoka has been in Anambra. He has been going around the state setting up structures in every local government, in every ward in Anambra state, opening offices in the local governments and having volunteers work with him. So, his message is reaching to the grassroots. And what is he offering them? First and foremost, that their voice will be heard again in Nigeria; that they can build bridges of knowledge and not of ignorance and fear.
Secondly, that governance can be modernised in Anambra. What it used to cost government to do certain things in the past is no longer necessary. For instance, the issue of roads. In this year’s budget, the governor had N24 billion out of the N50 billion in capital votes. N24 billion was for road construction understandably, but there was only about a billion naira for ICT and about N3 billion for education. That’s not right.
Anambra students come first in WAEC every year. The state has the highest number of people admitted to the university every year. The state also has the highest number of people studying engineering sciences in Nigerian universities. These potentials are begging to be unlocked. With available internet facilities, this can be achieved. The world right now is all about the internet, programming and coding. In fact, internet facilities are part of the basic amenities of life in other parts of the world. People are changing the world from their bedrooms with computers. This can be achieved in Anambra State, to bring a pot where all these potentials would be cooked, to turn the state into the super highway it should be. The state has a lot of potentials! A lot!
This election is a referendum on our future, not on our past. In Osita Chidoka, UPP is presenting Anambrarians a choice for the future. A future full of opportunities. A future of sufficient representation. A future without tears and blood. A future that can compete with the rest of the world. We must not be left behind.