Anambra Governorship 2021: Group calls for innovative and inclusive governance

The group stated this in a statement issued at the end of its 3rd Annual Conference held virtually on the 3rd of May 2021 with the theme: Leadership in Contemporary Nigeria and the Anambra of our dreams.

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The League of Anambra Young Professionals (LAY-P), has listed qualities and expectations it has for the next Governor as Anambra prepares for the November 2021 Governorship Election.

The group stated this in a statement issued at the end of its 3rd Annual Conference held virtually on the 3rd of May 2021 with the theme: Leadership in Contemporary Nigeria and the Anambra of our dreams.

The group, made up of budding young entrepreneurs and business owners, academics, IT experts, medical practitioners, development and public policy consultants as well as media practitioners from all over Nigeria and abroad charged political parties to consider only credible candidates with the right pedigree and proven record of accomplishments in their private endeavour.

While expressing what they consider to be very critical leadership qualities expected from the next Governor, the President of the League, Mr. Arthur Ibeneme also lent his voice to the growing calls for political parties to choose their candidates from Anambra South Senatorial District.

Anambra State has a basket full of politicians and aspiring political leaders but sadly, very few live up to the leadership ideals expected of them. In fact, many political leaders seem to severely lack some of the most important leadership qualities, such as integrity and accountability.

They offer nothing but money and are only interested in personal gains. It is no coincidence that for many people, the word “politician” has such negative connotations. However, history and present times shows us that there are still a few who come close to these leadership ideals and who are good examples of effective political leadership.

These are people who have distinguished private sector careers before venturing into public office. Contemporary leadership in this framework requires a focus on the long-term good of the State, above and ahead of any personal short-term gains.

The next Governor of Anambra State must have a combination of charisma and integrity, a good sense of fairness and responsibility as well as the ability to assess situations and make decisions based on what would be best for the greatest number of Anambra citizens.

We need a Governor who will serve as an example of integrity and loyalty to the people he represents, mostly to the general public and to other political leaders. He must be someone with a warm personality, who can work with a range of other people, regardless of which community they come from, political party, opinion or faith, to achieve the greatest good for Ndị Anambra. He must be able to resist the various negative temptations and lures of the office and maintain a strong character at all times, with both conscience and charisma.

The Governor must be willing to listen to the needs of the hoi polloi and to represent them faithfully. In the face of these perilous times, the Governor must be firm, brave and courageous, to stand up and say the truth that needs to be said, rather than pander to political correctness. Anambra needs a Governor who is willing to make difficult (and possibly unpopular) decisions for the greater good of our people.

The Anambra we want can only be created with leadership in the political framework of “stewardship and statesmanship” as opposed to just being a ‘hustler and politician.’ This means having the integrity and willingness to stand up for what is right.

It means being confident and a sense of pride in his identity as Igbo. It means having the capacity to articulate, and the right networks to execute transformational change in public service delivery especially in terms of multi-sectoral growth and security of lives and properties. With dwindling economic fortunes amidst a never before seen insecurity challenge, Anambra State desperately needs an effective and innovative political leader who has a leadership style that focuses on strategic economic partnerships and building lasting institutions of government to drive government policies. We do not need leaders who will personalise government institutions and those who use manipulations to get what they want. We need leaders who can inspire, motivate and mobilise people to action.

While speaking on inclusive leadership, Mr Ibeneme made the case for Anambra South Senatorial District to produce the next Governor as it is the right thing to do at this point in time.

Considering the political dynamics of the State and in the spirit of equity, fairness and inclusiveness, it is incumbent upon political parties to ensure that Anambra South which currently boasts of an array of eminently qualified aspirants be given a fair shot at the polls. He said, only political parties that are bent on self sabotage and deception will field a candidate from other Senatorial Districts. The reason for this is not far fetched.

The typical Anambrarian has a sense of fairness in all his dealings and this is not limited to political expediency. Since the turn of democracy in 1999, every Senatorial District has produced a governor to serve the State for at least two terms except for Anambra South whose Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju, 1999-2003 served a single term and was rightly rejected by majority of Ndi Anambra for poor performance. Since then the State has had democratically elected Governors as follows:
• Chris Ngige: 2003-2006 (Anambra Central)
• Peter Obi: 2006-2014 (Anambra Central)
• Willie Obiano: 2014-2022 (Anambra North).
From the foregoing, it is clear that Anambra Central has had more than its fair share and should not be entertained by any serious party until Anambra South has completed another term and perhaps given an opportunity to redeem themselves. It is proper and equitable to balance the equation.

He went further to state that equity delights in equality and that whoever comes into equity must come with clean hands.

It is hypocritical for Ndigbo to be clamouring for a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in the 2023 General elections while perpetuating the very same political injustice to a region right in their backyard. The Anambra South District has a set of highly qualified and capable aspirants seeking to govern the State. They should be given a shot at the office.

Political parties must not encourage people who offer nothing but money to confuse them in the build up to their respective party primaries. Any party who violates this key tenets of equity will definitely fall short at the Gubernatorial Elections in November 2021.

Democracy as a system of social order is built on the quintessential principles of justice, equity, equality and fair opportunities for all. In the light of the above, the 2021 Anambra Governorship Election presents us with a veritable chance to balance the swing of political powers in the State.

The League therefore urged all political parties preparing for the Anambra Elections in clear and unambiguous terms to choose their respective Party Candidates who ticks the right leadership attributes from amongst the pool of aspirants from Anambra South Senatorial District or consequently lose the main election on November 6th, 2021.

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