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Anambra 2021 election and APGA defections: Lessons in tragedy

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AMID vestiges of disgruntlement, manoeuvres and outright somersaults by some persons of influence in the household of the All Progressives’ Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, the worries expressed by William Shakespeare in Macbeth: ‘There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face:

He was a gentleman on whom I built an absolute trust’ re-echo. Arts imitate life eternally. The spate of defections from APGA to the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) with the advance of Anambra gubernatorial election of November 6, 2021, provides a peculiar theatre for keen watchers of Anambra politics.

It was first the rattle of a few state House of Assembly APGA members jumping camp to APC, then a vibrant APGA ex-federal House of Representatives member followed, and yet the deputy governor of the state and one or two APGA serving federal House of Representatives members.

It is overtly bothersome, considering the obvious fact that APGA has enjoyed clear political dominance in Anambra State for over 15 years running, during which period APC in inverse measure increasingly lost appeal among Anambra people.

   The context of Anambra gubernatorial election of November 6, reaffirms Dr. Chris Ngige’s dispassionate brokering for the good of the state. Ngige does not dissipate energy on any APC’s product of gross highhandedness with quaky performance quotient; reason he was uninclined to APC’s choice of Dr.   Tony Nwoye in 2017 Anambra gubernatorial election.

He is lividly dissatisfied with the person of Andy Uba as APC’s candidate in the November 6, 2021 Anambra gubernatorial election. It is therefore very strange that while he, unarguably the soul of APC South East Nigeria, is supremely and eternally shy of meddling in Andy Uba’s desperation for Anambra State House, a crop of APGA men ‘rush in where angels fear to tread’. Tragedy unbound!

   Since human beings are fundamentally self-serving in the economy of living, and as much as Alexander Pope’s postulation on right and wrong in, ‘Tis with our judgments as our watches, none go just alike, yet each believes his own,’ is a recognisable caution against judgmental tendencies, I do not respond to the APGA defections as a moralist, I do from the perspective of Aristotelian concept of tragedy by classifying the defectors as tragic heroes. Here, a hero simply represents an otherwise good person, respected or feared, whose one dominant flaw is majorly instrumental in his regrettable ruin in time.

I see greed, ego and vaulting ambition variously implicated in the APGA defections; greed in the actions of the state House of Assembly members, and more of ego and ambition in the decisions of the others. Were the personages involved truly dedicated to APGA, the lure of riches, egocentric allurements or other pursuits would not have succeeded in subduing the persons in them?

An Igbo adage says, ‘Ocho mgbagha si na a roro ya anya,’ and my Americana brother would say, ‘Something ain’t clean in the milk.’ Nothing can be truer. But for crass opportunism, the disgruntled fellows would not have readily opted to jump camp; and to APC at that. Every political party has many of its chieftains who feel shortchanged in terms of recognition and other benefits; these do not all jump camps in rebellion.

  An American naval aviator, Vice Admiral James Bond, once averred that ‘the linkage of men’s ethics, reputations, and fates are better studied’ at moments of challenges. He went ahead to instruct that at such ‘brutally’ challenged moments, ‘a perceptive enemy can get his hooks into the slightest chink in a man’s ethical armor and accelerate his downfall.

Given the right opening, the right moral weakness, certain susceptibility…, a clever extortionist can drive his victim into a downhill slide that will ruin his image, self-respect, and life in a very short time.’ This succinctly speaks to the character of the defections in context where the mindless extortionist-in-chief and the willing victims are indisputable.

   If democracy is all about the people’s popular choice of who governs them, any leader who cares less about the utmost freedom of the people to cede the administration of their sovereignty to the person(s) of their choice is monstrous and an aberration to leadership. The Presidency is hopefully not given to reckless display of repulsive power as some of its overzealous patronisers’ acts suggest. Countrywide, Anambra’s record of safety under Governor Willie Obiano’s APGA administration remained exemplary until the heightened insecurity in the state believed to have been triggered and sustained by vicious opposition politicians on a conquest mission, who first want to degrade APGA government by fanning the embers of lawlessness as entry behavior.

Most of these devious acts make the Presidency vulnerable and unwittingly indict the institution whose responsibility it is to keep Nigeria’s geopolitical space safe, but whose episodic apologists are bitterly fingered in the strange insecurity imbroglios Anambra contends with today.

  Anambra State and its people seek no more from the relevant authorities than the enabling environment for free and fair gubernatorial election on the 6th of November, 2021. The global community is enjoined to lend support to this clarion call for the advancement of the culture of democracy in the conduct of this poll.

 .Anarado writes from Adazi-Nnukwu

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