How political inequality and uneven development began in Anambra state


anambra state, development

The twenty-one local government councils of Anambra State are equally spread across the three senatorial districts of the state. But although each of the three senatorial zones has seven local councils, there is no homogeneity or uniformity in their political orientation or voting preferences.

However, the disparity in political behaviour among the various councils and communities of the state could be explained by the political actors that held sway in various interregnums. This discernible trait played out succinctly in the second republic when some of the major players in the nation’s emergent presidential system of government hailed from the state.

While, Nigeria’s founding ceremonial president, Rt. Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was the presidential flag-bearer of the defunct Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) hailed from Onitsha, in the present Anambra North senatorial zone, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) presidential running mate, who later became the Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, hailed from Oko, in the present Anambra South senatorial district.

Again, while the state chairman of NPP hailed from Ozubulu, in Anambra South, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, was from Ogbunike, in the present Anambra North. Even when the Ikemba, Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, returned from exile and pitched tent with the ruling NPN, he was to lose the Anambra South senatorial seat to Dr. Edwin Onwudiwe of NPP, from Ogbunike, Oyi local government council of present day Anambra North.

The membership and predominance of the NPP cut across Onitsha, Idemmili north/South, Ihiala and Anaocha down to the present day Enugu and part of Ebonyi States. During that era, Enugu State was not yet created. But the voting pattern in those days continued to influence political decisions and choices in the prevailing fourth republic.
Consequently, when Anambra was created as a state in 1991, the contest for political ascendancy raged between the conservative Anambra South Senatorial zone and its liberal democratic Anambra Central counterpart, much to the near exclusion of Anambra North, with its insular politics.

(Contributions from The Guardian)


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