#AnambraDecides: Meet The 'Real' Candidates
Bounce News is presently in Awka monitoring activities ahead of Saturday's governorship election. We hit the streets to get a buzz of what the people see behind the clouds of ended campaigns and the electoral process.
Officially, there are about 37 candidates on the starting line for the race to the government house in Awka - the State capital.
But on the streets of Awka, only two names seem to be on their mental ballot papers - Former governor of the state, Peter Obi and billionaire business man, Arthur Eze.
"This Saturday contest will be sweet o. I will drink my beer and wait for the results to be announced. See, this people with posters everywhere are not the ones who are contesting.
"Apart from Obiano who wants second term, Obaze is not the one fighting him - It is Obi. And now federal has woken up to see if they can also collect the state through their powerman Arthur Eze and his boy, Tony Nwoye", said Felix, a local politics observer in the state capital.
He seemed more excited about the prospects of unmasking the masquerade than facing the elephant in the room.
"No one wants to admit it but the contest has gone beyond Obiano. I believe the closet he can come to is a re-run with someone. Other wise in the first round I don't see him winning", he said.
Obi has made it clear that he took Obiano by the hand and sold him to Anambra as a politician and a businessman that can continue the good work he started.
The love birds flew their separate ways after allegations of dispute based on principles and percentages of the state's cookie jar.
There are claims that Obi seeks to prove to Obiano that he is still a master of the game after serving two terms as governor and hand picking his successor.
Obaze (the candidate of the PDP) is Obi anointed. It is also common knowledge that a friend of Obi is a friend of former president, Goodluck Jonathan. Hence his presence at the PDP's grand finale rally in support of Obaze.
"As we speak, Obiano has no godfather. Anambra politics has been keyed to godfathers who take you to the people and say 'This is the chosen one'", Felix added.
Celebrated for his philanthropy and business successes over the years, his name is rarely ever mention in political discuss but he has his foot on ground in Anambra - Prince Arthur Eze.
He hails from Dunukofia local government area and is reportedly worth $5.8 billion. He is known to be one of the richest men in Africa sitting nicely 7 spots away from Aliko Dangote.
By measure of his shrewd business strategies, his position in Nigeria's oil sector has surged favourably. He is said to be the silent giant pulling the musical strings APC candidate, Tony Nwoye is dancing to.
Someone who pleaded to be anonymous asked Bounce News "Did the police suddenly wake up and withdraw a serving governors ADC just like that?
"Can it be done in any of the northern states? Why did the federal government suddenly wake up one week to the Anambra election?
" did Buhari come all the way to Ebonyi and Enugu? There are forces pushing him out of Aso Rock to support Nwoye whether he like it or not?"
"Art-Eze wants to emerge after Ojukwu as the next political gladiator from the South-East. He has his money and his loyalists.
"He is determined to make his point known after Ojukwu's son walked away from APGA. So, it is now known that the APGA alliance has been broken perhaps beyond repair", said Anderson who is in Awka to monitor the electoral process.
Anambra South has produced four governors – Chukwuemeka Ezeife (1992-1993), Chinwoke Mbadinuju (1999 to 2003), Dame Virginia Etiaba (November 2006 to February 2007) and Andy Uba (2007).
Anambra Central district has produced two governors – Chris Ngige (2003 -2006) and Mr. Obi (2006 -2013).
The first governor to come from Anambra North district is the incumbent, Willie Obiano, who is also contesting for a second term in office.
The importance of zoning in the election is underscored by the fact that all the candidates of the three major contending political parties in the state –Obiano of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA; Tony Nwoye of the All Progressives Congress, APC; and Oseloka Obaze of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP are from Anambra North district.
The man outside their ranks who is running a noticable race on the sidelines is Osita Chidoka, candidate for the newly formed United Progressive Party.
The former Aviation Minister must have his eyes on the future hence his decision to start now.
"The turn by turn policy may favour Obiano if he can win over Osita Chidoka and the UPP. They might have very little chance but APGA need fresh blood in their team.
"If people see Osita with Obiano especially after the debate maybe it will help swing the deciding votes in his favour. Just maybe", Anderson added.
Believe it or not, the people of Anambra are not holding their breathe ahead of Saturday. They are relaxed and happy with the long weekend which starts on Friday due to the public holiday.
They are optimistic that regardless of the outcome, the South-east commercial capital will continue to run business as usual. They want good governance and peace to reign.
"If they start fighting who will lose? We are traders. For us this election is simply business. Some will gain others will lose but the market will not close. We like Willie but this is business. No sentiment o", said Akpeji a shoemaker in Awka.