The two leading candidates in the race for Bende Federal constituency, Dr Chimaobi Desmond Anyaso of the Peoples Democratic Party and Mr Benjamin Kalu of the APC have continued to test their strength and grassroots acceptance in this festive period. As 2019 general elections draw close, the two politicians are utilizing every opportunity and every platform given to them for campaign and to canvass for votes.
However, a mild drama ensued at the venue of Amankalu Alayi cultural festival when the PDP candidate for Bende Federal Constituency Dr Chimaobi Desmond Anyaso arrived the venue of the event. The tall, handsome and very charismatic young billionaire was received with a deafening cheer from the crowd. His arrival brought the ceremony to a temporary halt as almost everyone rushed out to receive his entourage.
Dr Anyaso’s triumphant entry unsettled his opponent Mr Benjamin Kalu who was already seated at the occasion and immediately Mr Ben stood up and ran away abandoning his few supporters at the venue.
According to some observers of the incident, Benjamin Kalu was slated to speak briefly after Dr Chima Anyaso’s arrival but the kind of wild jubilation and cheering that welcomed Dr Anyaso discouraged Ben. “What else would he have said after seeing that the people have chosen Chima Anyaso” said an attendee that witnessed the event. According to reports, this is not the first time Benjamin Kalu is running from Dr Anyaso. A similar scenario happened in Igbere when Ben was invited to an event and as Dr Anyaso arrived with his entourage Benjamin Kalu felt intimidated and took off.
A similar scenario was also witnessed in Item where Ben Kalu was standing with Uche Ogah who is the factional gubernatorial candidate of the APC and as soon as Dr Anyaso arrived the mini stadium, Benjamin Kalu who was slated to speak after Mr Ogah, once again to the disappointment of his few supporters took off, running behind Mr Ogah as he was leaving the venue and abandoning his opportunity to speak to the people of Bende. This disturbing trend continues to raise questions about Mr Benjamin Kalu’s candidacy and his competence to lead.
Of course I admit that Dr Chimaobi Anyaso commands an intimidating presence and popularity in Bende politics, however, I still think it shows lack of capacity and self confidence and perhaps inferiority complex on the side of Mr Benjamin Kalu to always abscond at the sight of his opponent. it is unheard of that a candidate who is contesting an election is now too afraid to stand shoulder to shoulder with his co-contender.
Anyaso’s biggest asset going into the electioneering year is his goodwill and an overwhelming grassroots acceptance.
He is described by many as the only candidate that fully connects with the people across strata. The youth see him as one of their own who understands their plights and challenges, the women see him as their very successful Yet, humble, respectful and caring son who always meets their needs and the fathers view him as a worthy son that they can trust to restore the dignity and pride of Bende.
Dr Chimaobi Desmond Anyaso has continued to insist that the unity of Bende is sacrosanct, warning those who are trying to bring division to desist from such mundane and archaic way of campaigning and be more focused on running issues based campaigns.