Four years ago, the immediate past governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi was playing one of the most decisive political games of his life. The man had survived the conspiracies and plots of the political god fathers. Indeed many godfathers with the particular exception of the Ubas retired from the game on account of Obi. However, as he approached the end of his second term in 2013, Obi was faced with the challenge of transmitting the baton to a worthy successor. Various permutations were on offer.
Among the most canvassed successors was the erstwhile secretary to the state government, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, who had been head-hunted from the United States. Peter Obi However, in a last minute move, Mr. Obi went for a retired banker, Mr. Willie Obiano who was just beginning to settle down in the United States of America after retiring from banking. How Obi got to Obiano remains a running gist in political folklore. The role of the former chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA is one that has repeatedly been mentioned. Willy-nilly, Obi broke relationships, broke the bank and his voice to enthrone Obiano who was at that time a political neophyte as his successor. Going for Obi was the good work he had done in the state. Obi’s scheme was also helped by the conspiracy within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as the party appeared to abandon its candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye. It was generally claimed that Obi had deftly won President Goodluck Jonathan to support his (Obi’s) succession plot against the interest of his own party. However, the relationship between Obi and his successor soon turned sour even before Obi handed over. Obi, a deft political operative had circulated his handover note stating the balances in the state’s finances. As Obiano settled in the war of words worsened and Obi was forced to defect to the PDP. Though Obi is not running in this election, there are few doubts as to where his allegiance lies in the election. It is certainly not where it was four years ago. However, permutations as to how Obi would be throwing his awesome goodwill remains an issue. Pundits have said that Obi is the backbone of the PDP aspirant, Obaze who he abandoned four years ago to go for Obiano. There have also been suggestions that Obi could also be working to push the interest of some APC aspirants who could give Obiano enough trouble. Whatever, pundits say that Obi who has been an issue in all governorship elections since 2003 will not be on the sidelines this time around. Some pundits are also saying that Obi could support one of the APC aspirants from the North who it is claimed has a big chance of defeating Obiano.