Posted by News Express | 2 November 2013 | 4,002 times
Twenty-four hours after the Anambra State Governorship Debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) at the Women Development Center Awka, memories of the performance of the contestants for the plum position remain very fresh.
Four of the 23 candidates for the November 16 gubernatorial election, namely, the APGA candidate, Chief Willie Obiano; Senator Chris Ngige of the APC; Mr Ifeanyi Ubah of Labour Party and Mr Godwin Ezeemo of PPA lived up to expectation as they came out blazing with plans and promises of turning Anambra State into a better place.
APGA’s Obiano showed tremendous class and a deep understanding of the intricacies of statecraft at the debate. He demonstrated superior class when in an answer to a question on whether the National Assembly should expunge the immunity clause for elected officials he explained that he would rather not criticise the immunity clause since he did not have sufficient information on it. He however maintained that it was proper for the clause to be retained as it would save public officers from the distractions of unfounded claims solely invented to confuse them.
Obiano’s response was a marked departure from the familiar attitude of resorting to bitter tirades against the system without any clear understanding of how things are and how they should be. He however explained that his mission was to leverage on his 25 years of experience as a chartered accountant and top flight banker to take Anambra State to the next level of development.
The APC candidate, Senator Chris Ngige, however brought his wealth of experience as an ex-governor and a legislator to bear on policy questions to underscore the familiar theme of his campaign as a “tested” hand. Ngige’s experience showed more when he answered the question on the desirability of state police, falling back on the practical lessons he learned as governor whose tenure was regularly disrupted by his political enemies with far reaching contacts in the police headquarters and as a member of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.
Ngige ended up making a strong case for the adoption of a structure that allows every state and local government in the country the autonomy to run their own police force, arguing that the security situation in the country would be better handled by a decentralised police force.
Labour Party’s Ifeanyi Ubah seemed more at home answering questions on his plans for sports as he re-awakened memories of some great football clubs like Gabros and Udoji United Football Clubs that once existed in the state and assured of his readiness to lead Anambra back to its old glorious days in football.
The PPA candidate, Godwin Ezeemo, also assured the state of his readiness to deploy the vast experience he gathered from his 20 years of living in the United Kingdom to ring changes that would benefit the people.
The debate that was lighted up by indirect remarks between the contestants that forced them on their toes however saw Obiano demonstrating the greater seriousness and perspicacity in his approach to issues than other candidates and at a point politely chiding Ubah who seemed a little exuberant by reminding the audience that the debate was a serious affair that required a measure of seriousness.
In all, Senator Ngige proved the better politician while Chief Obiano turned out the more astute administrator who knew exactly what to do to build on the existing structures of the APGA model of governance in order to take Anambra State to a new level of growth.
Moderated by Nancy Ilo, the debate had all the drama, intellectual swordplay and general humour that stood it out as a fest of words and ideas.
•Photo shows Ngige and Obiano.
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