Politics

Anambra’s political history can be described as varied and up until recent history, troubled. It is a state with a long list of “firsts” in Nigeria history that dubbed the sobriquet “The Light of The Nation”. On May 29, 1999, Chinwoke Mbadinuju was sworn in as civilian governor of Anambra state, after many years of military rule. His administration was marred by heavy problems. The most notable is the teachers’ salary which was withheld for a long time. This led to a ten-months strike in all the government secondary schools in the state. Also, before his rule, secondary education had been free of charge. But his administration prescribed a tuition fee of 3,000 Naira per term for all secondary schools, which led to an unprecedented massive demonstration by the secondary school students from all over the state. Many people attribute Mbadinuju’s failure to political godfathers a debacle that also trailed his successor. On May 26, 2003, Chris Ngige was sworn in as the new governor of the state, but he was removed in March 2006 when Peter Obi of APGA dragged him to court on charges of electoral malpractice. The Court of Appeal in Enugu asserted that his election victory in 2003 was fraudulent and ordered him to leave the seat.

Peter Obi was in turn ousted by a faction of the Anambra State House of Assembly on November 2, 2006 and replaced by Virginia Etiaba, his deputy.  On February 9, 2007 Mrs. Etiaba handed power back to Obi after the Court of Appeal had nullified Obi’s removal.

On April 14, 2007, Andy Uba of PDP was “elected” the new governor of the state and, on May 29, was sworn in as the new governor. The election was reported to be massively rigged and was disapproved all over the country. On June 14, 2007 the Supreme Court of Nigeria removed Andy Uba from office and replaced him with his predecessor Peter Obi, on the ground that Peter Obi’s tenure had not ended, therefore there was no vacancy in the governorship.

On Saturday, 6 February 2010, Peter Obi was re-elected governor for a second term of four years, after a hot contest with Chris Ngige, a former governor of the state; Prof. Charles Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Andy Uba who was a strong voice in the state’s politics. Other contenders included Mrs Uche Ekwunife, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu and many others. Altogether, there were twenty-five contestants for the office. Peter Obi was named the winner of the election, with more than 30% votes above the immediate runner-up. Presently, chief Willie Obiano was sworn in on the 17th of March, 2014 as the new governor after the expiration of the Peter Obi second term, having won the November 16th, 2013 election.