…We will work with him â€”Â Metuh, Ulasi
By Henry Nwosu
Abuja-THE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said, yesterday, that the party settled for the immediate pastÂ governor of Central Bank of NigeriaÂ (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, as its flag bearer for the February 6, 2010 governorship election because of his exposure and stature to unite the party membersÂ in the state as well as ensure victory for the PDP.
According to the party, the Soludo/Emmanuel Anosike ticket was â€œarrived at after a vigorous process that saw the party encounteringÂ series of legal and political obstacles that tested the nerves and resilience of the National Working Committee.â€ It explained thatÂ the party met the Independent National Electoral Commissionâ€™s OctoberÂ 9 deadline for the submission of names of candidates for the Anambra governorship poll.
Meanwhile, the national viceÂ chairman of PDP, South East, Chief Olisah Metuh, while speaking with Sunday Vanguard yesterday, described Soludo as the best candidateÂ for the election. Metuh, who noted that that members of the party in the state were prepared to work withÂ the former CBN governor, said the PDP has a good team for the election.
The Anambra PDP chairman, Chief Dan Ulasi, also said the people will support Soludo to ensure his victory, pointing out that the party would ensure that they get everyone on board to support the victory of the governorship candidate, adding that he is an internationally acceptedÂ scholar.
The PDP, in a statement by the nationalÂ publicity secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, urged all members who were in court against the party on the Anambra saga to immediately withdraw the cases and join hands with Soludo. The statement, in part, read: “Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has nominated Professor Chukwuma Soludo as its gubernatorial candidate for the election scheduled for February 6, 2010.
Senator Emmanuel Anosike has also been nominated as Prof. Soludoâ€™s running mate. The Soludo-Anosike ticket was arrived at after a vigorous process that saw the party encountering series of legal and political obstacles that tested the nerves and resilience of the National Working Committee.
â€œIt will be recalled that the National Working Committee had done everything possible to ensure a selection process that is democratic, transparent and acceptable to all since the release of the election guidelines by INEC. Various committees of eminent Nigerians were set up to ensure the success of this exercise.
Just when the party machinery was set to commence a state congress based on the delegates list obtained from the wardÂ congresses and the appeal committee, the party was confronted with an exparte order of injunction obtained from a High Court in Anambra State restraining it from proceeding with the state congress.
â€œAs a law abiding party with the highest regard for the judiciary, the PDP obeyed this court order and sought the vacation of it to enable PDP members in Anambra choose their gubernatorial candidate. Despite the efforts by our legal team led by the national legal adviser, Chief Olusola Oke, the High Court in Awka could not vacate the order which in any case lapsed at the expiration of seven days.
In view of the fact that the PDP was at the risk of not having a candidate by the deadline set by INEC which was Friday,Â 9Â October, 2009, the National Working Committee summoned a meeting of all the constitutionally recognized statutory delegates from the state and the 47 gubernatorial aspirants in AbujaÂ yesterday (Friday) to consider available options.
The meeting with the stakeholders was held and different opinions were strongly expressed and the summary is that an agreement could not be reached on modalities to select a candidate. With the pressure of time mounting on the party, the NWC invoked the provisions
of Article 17.1 of the PDP constitution which recognizes the powers of the National Executive Committee (NEC) exercisable by NWC as the final authority for resolving all disputes relating to the choice of candidates for the party for any elective public office in the federation.
Based on the above provision, the NWC, after exhaustive deliberations and wide consultations, settled for the candidature of Professor Chukwuma Soludo, former governor of the Central Bank and Senator Emmanuel Anosike as his running mate.”