Anambra State was formed on 3 February 1976 when East-Central State was divided into Anambra and Imo states.

Before the return of democracy in 1999, the state experienced a long period of military rule, with only three democratic administrations between March 1976 and 29 May 1999.

Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra is expected to be a close contest between four leading candidates.

However, there are 37 candidates in the election including five women.

Anambra is the only state that has paraded five governors under controversial circumstances in the dispensation of 1999-2007. The chronicle of its governors ranged from Chinweoke Mbadinuju who was in power from 1999-2003.

Governorship elections in the state have always been keenly contested.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruled the state from May 1999 to March 2006 before the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) took over and is ruling the state ever since. But it remains to be seen if APGA will retain the seat of power after Saturday’s polls.

Chris Ngige became the governor in 2003 after Mbadinuju from the same PDP and ruled till 2006. But was ousted in March 2006 when the Court of Appeal in Enugu asserted that his election victory in 2003 was rigged.

Peter Obi came on board on the platform of APGA, but was removed by a faction of the Anambra State House of Assembly on November 2, 2006. He was replaced with Virginia Etiaba, who governed the state for just three months.

On February 9, 2007 she returned power to Obi after the Court of Appeal nullified Obi’s removal.

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Election was held on April 14, 2007 where PDP’s Andy Uba won and was sworn in as the new governor of the state, but his tenure was to be short-lived when the Supreme Court of Nigeria declared his election illegal on June 14, 2007, and replaced him with his predecessor Peter Obi.

The Supreme Court extended his tenure till 2010. He contested and won a second term in office which was again plagued by petitions and court actions. But like a cat with nine lives, he scaled through, becoming the only governor in the history of the state that served two tenures.

Obi handed over power to Willie Obiano on 17 March 2014.

Ahead of the November 18, 2017 election, there are 37 political parties contesting including five females.

Five candidates are identified as favourites. They are Oseluka Obaze (PDP), Tony Nwoye (APC), Osita Chidoka (UPP), Ezemuo (PPA) and the incumbent governor Willie Obiano of APGA.

The five females in the race are Uju Uchendu Ozoka (AA), Oby Kate Okafor (ACD), Adaeze Chibube Okafor (APDA), Praise Okechukwu (MPPP), and Nnaemeka Ifeoma Ezibe (YPP).

Anambra State is the first to have 37 candidates contesting for a governorship position in an election since the history of elections in Nigeria.

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