The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries held on August 28, 2017 produced Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze (OHO) a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and a Diplomat of international repute, as the party’s flag bearer for November 18 governorship elections in Anambra State. Thereafter, following detailed and careful political calculations in trying to balance so many interests and at the same time produce the best team to run for the elections; they selected Lady Chidi Alexandria Onyemelukwe as the running mate. Lady Alexandria is the first daughter of Dr. Alex Ekwueme; a former Vice President of Nigeria and the founding Chairman of the PDP. Though from Oko in Anambra State, she is married in Nnewi. Both form the formidable team with which the PDP intends to contest and win the forth-coming governorship elections.
According to some opinions, what is lacking in one is fulfilled in the other in many respects and they are simply a team you can never beat. They are from Anambra North and South Senatorial zones respectively. As a team, they fulfil the UN policy-directive for gender mainstreaming, a policy they intend bringing into the governance structure of the state. Both are grounded in governance and public service both at national and international levels. Hence, they do not lack experience and intelligence to bring back standard governance, which has eluded the state for some years.
A brief look into their respective profiles will help us appreciate the team well, both in who they are and what they intend to bring into governance in Anambra State.
Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze (OHO)
Mr. Oseloka Henry Obaze, OHO as is widely called, hails from Ochuche-Umuodu in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, in Anambra North Senatorial zone. Born in April 9, 1955, he is described as an astute leader, a visionary, good governance and public policy expert. He is also an International Diplomat of high repute, having served meritoriously at the United Nations for 21 years under four different Secretary Generals. Before then, he served in the Federal Government as a diplomat under President Shagari, General Buhari and President Babangida.
He also served as the 9th Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Anambra State for four (4) years between June 2012 to June 2015, when he voluntarily resigned from the government on policy issues.
OHO is a writer, poet and policy analyst. As a public policy expert, he runs a management and strategic policy advisory firm (Selonnes Consult Ltd) as well as OHO & Associates, a good governance advocacy outfit. OHO is characterized with numerous achievements across various spheres of human endeavor, which he intends to bring into governance in Anambra State.
In his manifesto, through which he delivered his compact with Ndi Anambra, he articulated the goals of his administration, which covers: agriculture, education, security, gender/social welfare, infrastructure, employment, investment/savings, youth empowerment, industry, health, alternative revenue, trade/commerce/Joint ventures, sports, parks & recreation, energy/water scheme, tourism/quality of life among others. He vows to explore his contacts among international organizations and professionalism in mainstreaming the state through United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will end in 2030.
Lady Chidi Alexandria Onyemelukwe (Nee Ekwueme)
Fondly known as Beauty & Brains by friends and associates, Lady Alexandria was born on April 29, 1968. She is the first daughter of Dr. Alex Ekwueme and is married to Engr. Okey Onyemelukwe of Nnewi both in Anambra South Senatorial Zone. Not minding her decent background, she lacks almost nothing in education, exposure and experience. Lady Chidi holds LLB, BL, MBA in addition to other degrees and certificates.
A lawyer by profession, she has served in several fields nationally and internationally. Lady Chidi once served as Special Assistant to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Small and Medium Scale industries/Small-Medium Enterprise Policy Formulation between 2001 to 2003. She is highly educated and a seasoned professional with experience both locally and internationally. She brings these invaluable experiences into the team to bring back standard and purposeful governance to Anambra State.
The team seems to be the best seen from the perspective of what they intend to offer should they win the November 18 governorship elections.
A friend from South Africa once asked me a question. She said, “since ANIDS did very well as state policy in developing Anambra State in line with the MDGs, and you as a people voted APGA for continuity, why then did you abandon ANIDS?” She asked me this question believing I am part of the government. Well, in a way I am because I work with the government but I can only be held responsible if through my votes and contributions to good governance, I do not do the right things, for that is exactly what I represent; Good Governance.
Having looked at the various political parties taking part in this coming elections, I have not seen a team that has offered much either through the experiences or credibility of their candidates or by fact, their manifesto, more than this team. In fact, by my objective and independent judgement, a vote for the team is a vote for continuity which eluded us.
According to the PDP candidate (OHO), “MDGs was the SPV used effectively by Mr. Peter Obi, which enabled Anambra State to deliver to its 177 communities full dividends of democracy with no community left behind. The use of MDG and our home grown ANIDS Scheme has been discarded. We must return to that trajectory with ANIDS-MDGs to SDG Programme”.
Counting on the above terms, we might have found the right answer towards continuity on good governance, visionary leadership and sustainable development.
The election comes up on November 18, 2017; make your vote count!
(Ifeanyi R. Ibekwe is a writer, public policy analyst, the author of Public Policy and Conflict Nexus: The Deregulation of The Downstream Oil Sector In Nigeria 1999-2007)