As the election approaches in 2025, Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, faces several obstacles to secure a second term.
Despite holding the position for less than two years, opposition parties and politicians have already expressed interest in taking his seat.
While Soludo has yet to officially declare his intention to run for reelection, many believe he will seek another term. However, it is anticipated that he will face a tough battle in his quest for reelection, despite the advantage of being the incumbent.
Various factors contribute to the challenges Soludo may encounter. One significant hurdle stems from past miscalculations, which have created enemies within the political landscape. In addition to individuals and political parties with vested interests, there are also neutral institutions that may take sides due to perceived offenses or grievances against the governor.
Religious politics play a prominent role in Anambra, particularly in determining the state’s governor. The Catholic Church has historically held significant influence in the selection of governors, with most governors either being Catholic or Anglican. Soludo himself was elected based on his Catholic affiliation, and he strategically chose an Anglican running mate. However, his recent public disagreement with priests during a burial ceremony, regarding ostentatious displays of wealth, may have strained his relationship with the Catholic Church. If the Catholic Church decides to oppose Soludo, his chances of survival may be diminished.
Another challenge stems from Soludo’s recent conflict with traditional rulers in the state. This dispute arose when some traditional rulers conferred a chieftaincy title on Senator Ifeanyi Ubah without obtaining proper approval. The state government subsequently suspended those involved, leading to a backlash and accusations of belittling the traditional institution. While the issue has been managed to some extent, the 2025 election may present an opportunity for the traditional rulers to express their grievances through the ballot.
Furthermore, the influence of former governor and presidential candidate Mr Peter Obi cannot be underestimated. Obi aims to establish his political legacy by supporting a Labour Party candidate in Anambra, making a statement for his future political endeavors. Through his popularity in the last presidential election, Obi has garnered support from influential politicians across the three senatorial zones of the state. Senators Victor Umeh and Tony Nwoye, along with several members of the House of Representatives, have aligned themselves with Obi. These politicians may pose a significant challenge to Soludo in the election, seeking to pay him back for previous political maneuvers.
Lastly, the entry of Senator Ifeanyi Ubah into the All Progressives Congress (APC) has created tension within the party and poses a potential obstacle for Soludo’s reelection. Ubah’s grassroots political influence and financial resources, coupled with his campaign to change the perception of political parties, have started to shift attitudes towards the APC in Anambra. Ubah is rumored to be considering a run for governorship, potentially partnering with Senator Uche Ekwunife as his running mate. This development has unsettled the ruling party and could pose a significant challenge to Soludo if he becomes the APC candidate.