Friday, 17 November 2017

Anambra guber election: UPP, APGA fight for lead in parties’ surv


Though 37 political parties and their respective candidates were cleared by INEC for the election, five have become prominent ahead of the poll. The prominent candidates are Willie Obiano (APGA), Osita Chidoka (UPP), Oseloka Obaze (PDP), Tony Nwoye (APC) and Godwin Ezeemo (PPA).
LEAP’s study shows that voters across Anambra are already aligned along major demography lines including zoning, religious denomination, pro-Biafra groups, among others.
Anambra state has three senatorial zones (North, Central and South) while the candidates of the APGA, PDP and APC are from the north, which has a total of 738,332 registered voters, the UPP’s candidate, Osita Chidoka is from the central which has a total of 747,695 registered voters while the PPA has its candidate from the south which has 672,144 registered voters; according to INEC data.
LEAP said an analysis of voter distribution along zoning lines highlights advantage for UPP, though in neck-to neck contest with APGA. This is because while UPP is likely to enjoy a block voting in Anambra Central; in Anambra North and South, the electorates are balkanized among APGA, PDP and APC.
The study shows that in the north, where Gov Obiano hails from, APGA is likely to harvest the highest number of votes, possibly netting well over 41% while other parties particularly APC and PDP, whose candidates are also from the north, share the remaining 59% with UPP and PPA, making considerable inroads in the zone.
In Anambra South, sentiments of transfer of power from north to south after four years is likely to push APGA’s electoral fortune to net a possible 32.7% while the UPP whose deputy governor candidate hails from densely populated Orumba area is likely to net up to 31.9 %.
The study indicates that in Anambra Central where the candidate of the UPP, Osita Chidoka is sole contender, a high level of solidarity is expected to play out to deliver block votes. While his Idemili area has the highest demography of active voters in Anambra elections, his hometown, Obosi has the highest number of active voters from a single town. UPP is therefore expected to net over 69% of the votes, pushing it generally ahead of others along zoning lines.
On religious denomination, Anambra is divided into three main religious groupings namely; Catholics, Anglicans and Pentecostals. LEAP findings show that Catholics account for about 36% of the voting population, Anglicans account for 35% while the Pentecostals and others produce the remaining 29%.
The denomination factor also appears to favour UPP, whose candidate Osita Chidoka, being the prominent Anglican in the race, is likely to get a block vote from the church. The candidates of APGA, APC and PDP, who are all Catholics, will have to balkanize votes from Catholics, reducing their fortunes at the poll.
With many pro-Biafra groups rescinding their earlier ‘no election’ decision, they will become a major factor determining the direction of votes. Findings by LEAP show that the UPP will benefit hugely from the development.
The groups have strong inclinations towards UPP mainly because of the supportive stance of the candidate and the party’s ideological stand in support of right to self-determination and referendum.
Bye and large, elections always pull surprises and Anambra elections are never short of surprises. For now, parties and candidates appear ready for the election as stakeholders harp on INEC for a credible, free and fair poll.