Lobbying for the 10th Anambra House Speakership has intensified as political juggernauts, officials of the state government, amongst others join the fray.
The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the ruling party in the state, still maintain the majority in the State Assembly with 17 of the 30 seats in the just concluded assembly election, where the incumbent Speaker, Uchenna Okafor and other major principal officers lost their seats.
Sources told our Correspondent in Awka on Monday that two elected members from Anambra South where the governor comes from, two from North senatorial zone and one from central senatorial zone were jostling for the position.
The lobbying have become imperative as the Speaker lost his third term re-election bid to a village farmer, Abuchi Bernard Udemezue of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Ayamelum State Constituency.
Udemezue polled 12,993 votes to defeat Okafor who garnered 11,445.
Understandably, the outcome of state assembly election took so many people by surprise, especially those who had anticipated a remarkably poor outing for APGA after the presidential and National Assembly polls where the party performed woefully.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo needed majority in the House to consolidate his position and continue the campaign promises without hindrance.
APGA’s good outing is moreover, a pointer that local elections are different and the sentiments that worked in national elections do not work in local elections.
Considerably, in Anambra, the support enjoyed by Labour Party was largely given to it by APGA members, who, during the Assembly elections reverted to base.
However, APGA with the majority in the state assembly was looking forward to breaking ranks from the oppositions which many was of the opinion that the governor had to travel out of the country for some weeks holiday against the pressures from lobbyists.
There were several interest groups calling for equitable power distribution on zoning from the governor, even when he is not elected member of the state assembly, but the state chief executive.
Since 1999 however, it does appear that Anambra North senatorial zone has produced more speakers than other zones. In 1999, Rt. Hon. Bart Onugbolu from Anambra Central was Speaker till 2003.
In 2003, Rt. Hon. Mike Balonwu from Anambra North took over from him and stayed till 2007.
Then, Rt. Hon. Anayo Nnebe took over and stayed till 2011 and was succeeded by Rt. Hon. Chinwe Nwaebili from Anambra North.
Hon. Nwaebili handed over to Rt. Hon. Rita Maduagwu from Anambra South in 2015 and she was succeeded in 2019 by the incumbent, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor from Anambra North.
Based on this, the argument on zoning to Anambra North for equitable power sharing suffers a major puncture and arguably leaves the speakership to Anambra South and Anambra Central based on the same equitable power distribution, depending on the side of the isle one stands.
In any case, it is more than convincing that every available option has its own baggage carefully carved out, real or imagined.