An unclear cloud has been hovering over Anambra State for a while now, and one cannot say if the Sun will continue or if we should expect a downpour. It is that kind of weather when the sun is standing at its peak, yet the rain is dropping rapidly; none giving way for the other to hold sway.
This is the situation that Anambra has been in since INEC announced the date for the Governorship polls that will see the Power returned to ndi Anambra who have their PVC cards.
Power brokers are meeting and negotiations are rife on where interests and support will pitch tent for the usually most flamboyant gubernatorial election in Nigeria.
One peculiar thing about Anambra State is not only the fact that they are known for the many Billionaires they have produced and still producing in the country, but also the fact that you must have a Vault capacity campaign budget for the people to consider you even as a candidate, before deciding whether you are worth the value of their thumb print on the election day.
Regardless of how many terabytes of wisdom and plans you may have upstairs, there must be an assurance that you have ready to be spent wads of Naira notes in the basement.
The money mind-set in Anambra Politics has eaten up a large chunk of the people’s thinking abilities, and one cannot hold a peaceful political discussion with an Average Anambra citizen without the money factor popping out. “Oji kwa Ego, Ego Ole k’oji” and many other questions are what you hear on the lips of most ndi Anambra during this period.
If an aspirant visits any gathering, nobody pays attention to the points he or she is making, because it is assumed that he is repeating the same track already played by other aspirants; the most important thing is how much he or she will donate, and woe betide you that you leave a gathering after boring them with your manifesto and not donate anything to them.
You must donate something, regardless of the number of the persons in the gathering. Sometimes individuals in the gathering start predicting the amount you will donate and how much each of them will get from it, even before you make the donation. The question is not really whether you will donate or not, but how much you will donate.
This Money factor gradually formed the basis on which most ndi Anambra decide their leaders, and that is how someone will forget his constituency until six months to elections when he comes back to promise Electricity if he wins, yet he makes donations of Taiwan generator sets. He knows that most persons do not really care about what you promise them, they are solely concerned on what they get before the election and not what happens after it.
This implies that to win an election as big as the Governorship in Anambra you must not only be a man of integrity, or possess other leadership qualities, you must also be a man that has long digits in his bank accounts, or have a sponsor with such account.
In fact they start rating you from the car you are driving. Maybe you now know the reason why most of the Aspirants for this year’s election have acquired Escalades. Your convoy must be rich too; you can’t pull up with a convoy of three cars and expect your audience to take you serious. Even if you don’t have much dope cars, plead with your friends to join your convoy. It must be very long for you to get attention.
The question now is if this money factor mind-set has really helped the State. How many good leaders have been elected using this factor? Obviously money is a big factor in politics you should at least have a meal before asking for dessert; you should have a level of financial independence before considering the ticket.
But it is due time that other values are weighed side by side with money. Let money be kept aside for the moment, because if you receive Five Thousand Naira today, and sell your franchise, you have no moral right to complain of bad governance tomorrow because you purchased it happily with your five thousand.