MANY had in the past dismissed Governor Peter Obi as a kindergarten politician with no fighting fibre or political presence in the politically charged Anambra theatre. Purveyors of such claim have for long asserted that the governor lacks the capacity to hand over to a chosen successor.
It was, however, a different Obi that many saw last weekend after the APGA governorship primaries when the governor boasted of his readiness to ensure the party prevails in the forthcoming governorship election.
His boast followed the success of what many believe to be his personal candidate for the office, the former banker, Chief Willie Obiano.
Noting his political feats in Anambra, the governor said: “I was the first person to pursue his electoral mandate for three years and eventually get it. I was also the first governor to be impeached and the impeachment reversed by court.”
“Again, I was the first Anambra governor, both in old and new Anambra, to complete two terms and, by the grace of God, I will be the first Anambra governor to hand over to his party’s candidate after completing two terms.”
According to Obi, the forthcoming governorship election is crucial to APGA, reminding members of his party that the journey to enthrone another APGA government has just begun.
The first move, he said, is to bring everybody together, including those who aspired to be governor, but could not make it. “For us to win the medal, we must work as a team,” he concluded.
Soludo, Ogene, Odenigbo, Uzoh, Mrs. Ekwunife , Okonkwo, Ndubuisi and Ifeanyi Uba
Who wants Ngige out?
The APC is yet to hold its governorship primaries, but some folks in Anambra are apparently not waiting for the primaries to tackle the party’s presumptive nominee, Senator Chris Ngige.
Ngige’s chances of picking the APC ticket brightened last week after his major rival and predecessor in the Senate, Senator Annie Okonkwo agreed to step down for him following strong persuasions by Governor Rochas Okorocha. In fact, Senator Okonkwo followed his decision by collapsing his own formidable political machinery into Ngige’s campaign and agreeing to become the campaign manager for Ngige.
Now, even before the formal endorsement of Ngige as the APC candidate, a civil society group, the Conference of Nigeria Registered Voters has petitioned INEC, over what it claims as the system adopted by APC in picking its governorship candidate for the November 16 gubernatorial election in the state.
Chairman of the group, Mr. Jezie Ekejiuba, in the petition addressed to the chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega said APC has hot followed the provisions of the Electoral Act in selecting its flag bearer for the election.
He said: “It may interest your commission to know that at the time of this petition, APC has not no interim state executive of state chairman of the party recognized by your commission. Also, the party has not conducted any congress or primary at the ward and local government levels and has not issued nomination forms for the three governorship aspirants of the party.
“Besides, it is improper for Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to announce to the whole world that the party primaries of September 2 would be a mere formality because the party already has a candidate in the person of Senator Chris Ngige.
“The adoption of Ngige is a clear violation of the provision of Section 87 of the Electoral Act (as amended, which provides for nomination of governorship candidates of political parties where there are two or more aspirants.”
According to him, APC has, in addition to Ngige, two other aspirants namely, Mr. Godwin Ezemo and Mr. Hyger Igwebuike.
Ekejiuba threatened to lodge his petition at the Federal High Court under originating summons to seek the interpretation of the provision of the Electoral Act relating to the nomination of governorship candidates.
Nwoye seeks peace with past enemies
The PDP candidate, Comrade Tony Nwoye who was yesterday received by the national leadership of the party has been going out of his way to repair damages and hurt sensibilities that preceded his emergence.
But even more than that, the former student activist is also reaching out to established political interests in the state who took the posture of “siddon look” in the run up to the primaries.
As party chairman for about three years, Comrade Nwoye obviously hurt many political chieftains in the state, especially given the impression that he was at that time an associate of the then powerful presidential aide, Andy Uba who has now turned a senator. Indeed, Senator Uba emerged as governor of Anambra State in 2007 under Nwoye’s watch as party chairman.
Following his emergence as the party’s candidate, Comrade Nwoye it was learnt has been making a tour of many of those he may have hurt to appease them. Where not, Nwoye has equally been making phone calls to soothe frayed nerves of political chieftains.
Obiano is spotless — Menakaya
THOSE who have questioned the propriety of APGA choosing a political greenhorn to fly the party’s flag in the election can now be assured of one plausible reason the party machine moved towards Willie Obiano.
The chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tim Menakaya has disclosed that Chief Ralph Obiano’s victory was informed by the party’s resolve to present a candidate with an unquestionable record.
Menakaya, who said this in a chat with Vanguard in Akwa, also dismissed claims that those who stepped down for Obiano were forced to do so.
His words: “His emergence is an asset to the party because he is clean and has got good background. He represents a new dawn. That was why he was elected. He emerged because he will continue the good work the party accordingly.”
He further said, “People should stop peddling rumors and learn to appreciate a good product. No body was forced to step down. Those who did that acted on their own and in the interest of the party. At the end we are happy that are presenting a good candidate. What is left is for Obiano to go out there and win the election for the party.”
…He is no weakling — Obidigo
CHAIRMAN of Anambra East Local Goverment Area Mr. Chinedu Obidigbo has debunked claims that the APGA candidate, Chief Willie Obiano is a weakling who would be eaten raw by the candidates of the two major other parties, Chris Ngige of APC and Tony Nwoye of PDP.
He also dismissed assertions that Obiano has no structure in the state as he affirmed that with Obiano, APGA is certain to claim victory in the forthcoming election.
“What do they mean that he has no structure? What manner of structure are they talking about? Those claims are baseless and hold no weight. The party has spoken by presenting its best.”
“So the question of him being weak only exists within the imagination of the people making the claims.”
“I am saying this for the umpteenth time that there is no chance for any political party in Anambra State. APGA has done creditably well to deserve continuation. So what we are looking for now is consolidation”