By Tony Edike
ENUGU – SEVENTEEN Governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State have been disqualified while 31 others have been given a clean bill to contest the October 2, 2009 gubernatorial primary election of the party.
Top on the list of aspirants who were unable to pass the screening were the former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Ilochi Okafor (SAN), former member of House of Representatives for Ihiala Federal Constituency, Hon. Chukwumaeze Nzeribe and Chief Victor Ezenwa.
Others not cleared are Damian Okolo, Kenneth Odidika, Ifeoma Ebe, Sussan Ekwunife, Deacon Bernard Okeke, Obiageli Okeke-Okwubanego, Nkechinyelu Mba, Basil Iwuoba, Dr. Solomon Ekwenze, Chika Ibeneme, Engr. Emmanuel Okey, Ikechukwu Udemezue, Vera Opaluwa and Jerry Obiora.
Chairman of the screening committee, Alhaji Jibril Maigari, who announced this at the end of the screening exercise that lasted three days in Enugu, said a total of 49 persons collected and returned nomination forms, adding that while 48 were screened, one aspirant was unavoidably absent.
The 31 candidates cleared are Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Senator Annie Okonkwo, Senator Ikechukwu Obiora, Senator Emma Anosike, Dr. Amamchukwu Ezeike, Dr. Harrison Oranezi, Chuma Nwafor, Dr. Emeka Eze, Chief Michael Okechukwu, Dim Ifeanyi Betram, Uchenna Emodi, Princess Kate Egwu, Emeka Nwandu, Valentine Ozigboh, Ihuoma Ogbogu and Udemba Chinyelu Regina.
Also cleared were Okelekwe Kodilichukwu, Calista Adimachukwu, Comrade Tony Nwoye, Nkolika Imoh, Victoria Nwankwo, Sir Emma Mbamalu, Chukwubuikem Ezeani, Dr. Alexander Obiogbolu, Mike Nkwocha, Barr. Obasi Oyibo, Caroline Nwosu, Agagbo Chinyere Ogugua, Samuel Ikefuna, Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu and Chinyere Ogualili.
Maigari, who addressed a press conference at the end of the exercise in Enugu today, however, declined to give reasons for the disqualification of the 17 aspirants.
â€œThe report for the Headquarters (of the PDP) has been prepared.Â In the report, the Committee recommended to the Party to harmonize cleavages and look at all grievances dispassionately bearing in mind the time given for Aspirants to furnish the Committee with proper information,â€ Maigari said.
While thanking all aspirants for their cooperation and support during the exercise, Maigari, who is the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said the committee which was inaugurated in Abuja on September 13, 2009 was satisfied with the peaceful conduct of its assignment.
He, however, advised those not satisfied with the exercise to forward their appeal to the Senator Ike Ekweremadu-led Gubernatorial Screening Appeal Committee.
Shortly after the screening panel departed the South East Zonal Secretariat of PDP in Enugu yesterday, Zonal Organizing Secretary of the party, Dr. Ifeanyi Onodugo commenced issuance of Certificate of Clearance to the successful aspirants amidst wide jubilation by their supporters.
The immediate past Chairman of the party in Anambra, Uchenna Emodi, Dr. Emeka Eze and Valentine Ozigboh were among the first set of cleared aspirants that received the certificate.