It is barely 24 hours to the D-day after months of rigorous campaigns and buildup to the Anambra governorship election scheduled for Saturday.
This election will go down as one of the most anticipated. Few days to the election saw an influx of politicians including President Muhammad Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan, governors and senators who came to the state to sway voters to the side of the candidates of their respective parties.
This however caused a major gridlock in the state, especially in Awka, the capital, and Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre as party supporters from all over the state trooped in thousands with buses to the campaign locations.
The buildup is also not without suspense, drama and intrigues.
The withdrawal of the security details of governor Willie Obiano by the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim which were later reinstated attracted a lot of controversy.
Wednesday’s visit of President Buhari to the state capital to drum support for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Tony Nwoye, witnessed a memorable moment for Ndigbo as the son of late Biafra warlord, Odimegwu Ojukwu, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr, defected from Willie Obiano’s All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA to the ruling APC.
It was a development that was a major blow to APGA as the late warlord was a founding father of the party whose name and image has been used from the time of former governor, Peter Obi, to Mr. Obiano’s first stint to attract voters.
In fact, Mr. Ojukwu’s picture is still put alongside Mr. Obiano’s in APGA’s campaign posters, banners and uniforms.
On Thursday however, former President Jonathan, alongside eight governors from the PDP, stormed the state to drum support for the party’s flag bearer, Oseloka Obaze.
The incumbent governor, Willie Obiano of APGA, during the week, rounded off rallies held across the 21 local government areas of the state.
Mr. Obiano has the backing of various segments and political bigwigs in the state including Ifeanyi Ubah, who left PDP for APGA after he was suspended by the former for alleged anti party activities.
A former chairman of APGA, Victor Umeh, predicted that Mr. Obiano would have a landslide victory after what he described as ”wide range support the party received during the tour of the 21 local government areas.”
Osita Chidoka, the United Progressive Party candidate, is not left out of the last minute rush to sway voters.
Though his last campaign days was not as energetic as the first three, the former Minister of Aviation and Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC adopted a new approach of direct contact with voters using technology, direct calls, social media to sway voters to his side.
Though tomorrow’s governorship election is expected to be a close contest between the four aforementioned leading candidates, there are 37 candidates in the election including five women.
Political campaign has ended, however Friday is also a busy day as INEC adhoc staff, observer groups, the media and party representatives troop into Awka to finalise accreditation processes as well as posting for the coverage and monitoring of the 532 polling booths in which the election will hold in the state.
At least 46 observer groups, comprising about 40 domestic and 6 international teams are to monitor the election.
PREMIUM TIMES, in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, will bring you a comprehensive coverage of the election.