Peter Obi, Okorocha, Kalu | Who stands a better chance for Nigeria’s 2023 Presidency?

The outcome of every election determines the fate of the nation or state it directly affects, that is why people weigh their options before choosing their political representatives.

After the just-concluded Edo governorship election that was a subject of national debate, the focus might have shifted to Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election – even though the Ondo gubernatorial election is underway. What are the expectations?

The big question is who stands a better chance to get to Aso Rock: Peter obi, Orji Uzo Kalu or Rochas Okorocha?

Since Nigerians are known for voting for their political representatives based on track records among other things, perhaps, the legacy of all three in the political sphere will speak for them.

Peter Obi

Peter Gregory Obi, businessman, former governor of Anambra and vice presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) became known in Nigeria’s political sphere when he contested for the Anambra governorship election in 2003 but lost to Chris Ngige. He served two tenures as governor of Anambra on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

Obi’s performance in office as governor was considered outstanding as he brought remarkable growth to Anambra. Residents talk outstanding leadership, about infrastructural development, and significant economic growth in diverse sectors of the state’s economy.

Among his most notable legacies as governor of Anambra were his economic master plan and the reforms in the educational sector.

In 2008, Obi launched the state’s economic master plan known as Anambra Integrated Development Strategy (ANIDS) which was modelled after the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieve sustainable development in all sectors of the state’s economy and improve the quality of living for the Anambra people.

His economic development model was said to be one of the best among the states in Nigeria, because it was all inclusive and aimed at crafting results-based budgeting. He also partnered with international donor agencies such as the EU, UNDP and UNICEF, which provided budgetary support to carry out the state’s economic strategy. He was consequently recognised as Best Governor by the Millennium Development Goals Office (OSSAP-MDGs) and the UNDP in the implementation of their programmes in Nigeria.

During Obi’s tenure, schools were also returned to their original owners – Voluntary Agencies (Churches) in 2009. Partnerships with Education Agencies were also recorded, which led to an improvement in Anambra’s educational system and moved the State from 24th position out of  Nigeria’s 36 States to number one in the National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations for three consecutive years. Consequently, the World Bank commissioned a study, led by the renowned Prof. Paul Collier of Oxford University, on the revolutionary partnership and remarkable achievement in the educational sector.

Obi’s government also procured and distributed “more than 30,000 computers to secondary schools, including 22,500 from HP. The Managing Director for Personal Systems Group HP Inc, Mr Fabrice Campoy described the deployment as the biggest of such projects in the Middle-East and Africa.” His government also provided Microsoft Academies to more than 500 secondary schools, which the Head of Microsoft in Nigeria, Mr Ken Span, described as the biggest of such deployments in Africa so far.

The State also provided Internet access to more than 500 secondary schools, which the CEO of Galaxy Backbone, Mr Gerald Ilukwe, characterised as incomparable to any in the country. More than 700 buses were provided for secondary schools by the government. Boreholes were sunk in schools and additional classrooms were built in all the 177 communities of the State.

Orji Uzo Kalu

Orji Uzo Kalu, politician and businessman served as the Governor of Abia from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He left the PDP in 2006 and joined Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and contested the presidential election on the platform.

Kalu contested for the senatorial seat of Abia North in the 2019 general election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and defeated the incumbent senator Mao Ohuabunwa with over 10,000 votes to clinch the seat.

Among Kalu’s achievements as governor of Abia were infrastructure projects that include tarred roads, rural electrification projects, bore-hole projects and poverty alleviation through the Orji Uzor Kalu Transport Loan Scheme.

Rochas Okorocha

Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha is a philanthropist, former governor of Imo and senator representing Imo West Senatorial district. He won the 2011 governorship election in Imo and was re-elected for his second term in 2015. On his first and second attempt, he ran on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the All Progressives Congress respectively.

Notable among his achievements is his contribution to the education sector. He is the founder of Rochas Foundation, a charity comprising a number of special schools that are spread all over Nigeria that gives scholarship to the less privileged children in Nigeria.

Okorocha also built new higher institutions and colleges in Imo and renovated others to show his commitment to building a quality education system in Imo.

All three politicians have in various ways left a legacy as key political players in their states. But who do you think is the most likely candidate to run as the PDP presidential flagbearer against the opposition in 2023?

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