'One Election, One Godfather' Background Paper on the Anambra 18th November 2017 Governorship Election

T h e I n d e p e n d e n t N a t i o n a l Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared 18th November 2017 as t h e d a t e f o r t h e A n a m b r a
governor ship election. The election is an off cycle election, the result of court rulings which overturned the election victory of Dr. Chris Ngige in 2006 and in the process changed the state’s governorship election cycles.
Anambra State is one of the five states in the South East geo-political z o n e o f Nigeria. The state holds
a preeminent
p o s i t i o n among the South East states: it is considered to be the centre of Igboland as well as Biafra and the state contains the commercial nerve Centre of the South East, Onitsha market. Furthermore, several prominent politicians who
went on to play a significant role in N i g e r i a  h i s t o r y  w e r e  f r o m Anambra, including the prominent nationalist Nnamdi Azikiwe and
Odimegwu Ojukwu, leader of the Biafran secessionists in the 1960s.
The electoral history of the state since the countr y’s return to democratic rule in 1999 is full of political notoriety. From 1999-
2013, the state created a new record in godfatherism.
First was the Ofor-Mbadinuju saga (1999- 2003),Uba-Ngige comedy (2002-
2006) and later the farcical impeachment of Peter Obi as the governor of Anambra State.
Other challenges the state has faced include: I) the kidnapping of a serving governor who was allegedly forced to resign; ii) an election petition for a governorship election which lasted for nearly three years in a four-year tenure; and iii) the impeachment of a governor, which was later found to be without merit but it then took months to get the governor reinstated.
The Anambra Central Senatorial D i s t r i c t  r e m a i n s  t h e  o n l y senatorial district (out of a total of 109 senatorial districts) which still has no senator representing it in the Senate. This is a result of then u l l i fi c a t i o n o f M r s . U c h e
Ekwunife’s election by the Court of  A p p e a l  s i t t i n g  i n  E n u g u . Ekuwnife contested and won the election in 2015 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Since the nullification of the election in December 2015 and a court order that a fresh election be
c o n d u c te d w i t h i n 9 0 d a y s , nineteen months have passed and elections are yet to be conducted to fill the vacancy.
Read the full Report in PDF

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