In Anambra, a few figures and occasions influenced the political atmosphere in the outgoing year of 2023.

In the general elections 2023, Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, and numerous other political figures were among these occasions and figures.

Events demonstrating that things are different from what they used to be continue to appear as the year ends.

Peter Obi factor and general elections

Anambra State held elections in November 2021, and Prof. Chukwuma Soludo was chosen to serve as governor. On March 29, 2022, Soludo was subsequently sworn in.

One could argue that Anambra was not a state of emphasis because there was a government in existence and because significant elections in Nigeria are typically for the election of State Chief Executives.

However, several factors regarding Anambra’s participation altered when Mr Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State, entered the general elections of 2023 as the Labour Party’s candidate.

One of Anambra’s most well-regarded governors, Obi, is also said to have done a great job; in addition, his bravery, calm demeanour, and candour won over a lot of people, so much so that the state’s politics gained significant attention despite Anambra not having a governor elected.

The main reason for the anxiety in Anambra was the widespread belief that Obi, with his popularity, would use it to seize legislative seats in the National Assembly and state assembly, hurting Soludo and winning Anambra votes in the presidential race. While not all of this was accomplished, over half of it was.

Soludo, who had been asleep, became interested in the permutations and began to hope that Anambra was an APGA state. Soludo worked quickly to gain 17 seats in the assembly out of the 30 state constituencies after realizing at the last minute that a delay might result in LP legislators controlling the state parliament.

The Labour Party (LP) won eight seats in the legislature’s thirty members, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) won seventeen. In the state assembly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won two seats, and the YPP won three. Additionally, APGA secured two of the three Senate seats.

However, this only happened after Soludo was charged with blowing a staggering N3.5 billion during the state’s House of Assembly election.

Allegations surfaced that the state government purchased votes with the money to help the APGA gain the most seats in the state assembly.

Before the governorship and House of Assembly elections, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (INTERSOCIETY) claimed that twenty states would spend over N50 billion on vote-buying.

The organization said Anambra was expected to spend between N2 billion and N2.5 billion lavishly. At the same time, the three states with the highest spending levels were Lagos (N10 billion), Rivers (N6 billion to N10 billion), and Delta (N5 billion to N6 billion), in a statement signed by the organization’s board chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, and others.

The Soludo Factor

In 2023, Soludo played a significant role in Anambra politics. Many questioned why he was so hostile to Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, even though he was of APGA descent. Rather than being well-known for endorsing Prof. Peter Umeadi, the party’s presidential nominee, Soludo was more closely linked to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s nominee.

The 2022 open letter written by Soludo with the heading “History Beckons, I won’t be silent.” One factor that many used to gauge the governor’s thoughts was November. Even though he was known to be an ally of Obi, many accused him of displaying such extreme hatred in the letter. While many denounced Soludo for being harsh on Obi, the governor’s allies exercised care, knowing where their principal stood, and responded similarly by standing up for him. This exacerbated and polarised the state politics even more.

APC’s Gains and Defections

The All Progressives Congress, or APC, is one party in Anambra that will head home proud of its accomplishments as the year comes to an end and the political landscape for 2023 is set to unfold. The party is increasingly gaining acceptance after being known for a long time as the “Fulani party” in Anambra State.

The APC has been involved in Anambra politics for several years, but it has yet to be able to have any influence on state assembly, gubernatorial, or national assembly elections. The party and its candidates could not win any seats in the most recent election.

However, they are currently winning through defections, which they were unable to gain in the polls. Senators Ifeanyi Ubah and Uche Ekwunife are the most recent defectors; they think they have a partnership to allow them to become Anambra’s governors in 2025. The APC members in Anambra are currently in a great mood and are confident that, with their unity and the quality of politicians they have added, they can depose Soludo in 2025.

Death of PDP in Anambra

It is impossible to discuss politics in Anambra without mentioning that the PDP, formerly the biggest party in Black Africa, is all but extinct in the state. The party has no leadership in the state because of multiple lawsuits. Additionally, the state’s once-powerful party cannot identify its constituents since they quickly defect to other political parties.

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