By VINCENT UJUMADU, Chris Ochayi & DAPO AKINREFON
AT least three persons sustained injuries at the collation center in Awka on Tuesday after the rerun of the ward congresses ordered by the PDP as supporters of some governorship aspirants fought over the list of delegates that emerged from the field. Meanwhile, it emerged that some aspirants were already pricing the delegates at the starting price of N20,000 per delegate.
The leadership of PDP had declared the congress conducted last week inconclusive in 92 political wards across the state and decided to conduct rerun exercises in those wards.
In Anaocha local government, some of the aspirants allegedly compiled names of persons that were not elected in the field and as they wanted to submit the list at the collation center at the Marble Arch Hotel, Awka, fracas ensued. A campaign director of one of the aspirants told Vanguard that there was no congress in nine wards in Anaocha, but some party members wanted to smuggle in names from those wards.
It was also gathered that there was no congress at all in Ayamelum local government, even as a certain governorship aspirant came up with a list of persons he claimed were elected in the field.
At the hotel yesterday, various versions of the delegates lists were circulating and collation officials were having a hectic time deciding which the lists of delegates is authentic.
A campaign director of a governorship aspirant said some PDP members approached him with a fake list containing 978 names and demanded that he should be given N20000 for each of the delegates if he wanted to emerge the PDP governorship candidate.
Zoning: Awka monarch berates colleagues
The traditional ruler of Awka and Deputy Chairman of Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, Obi Gibson Nwosu, has berated his colleagues, who have dabbled into partisan politics without reservation.
Obi Nwosu, in an interview, subtly chided some traditional rulers mostly those from the Anambra North agitating for the zoning of the governorship to the zone on account of the fact the region has never produced a governor of the state.
According to him, the traditional rulers are going out of their bounds. While chiding some of them for dabbling into the controversy over zoning, Obi Nwosu opined that the office of governor should not be zoned.
“My colleagues who are engaged in partisan politics are not doing the right thing. Though Governor Peter Obi said he would support the next governor to come from Anambra North, but that is not enough reason for traditional rulers to be engaging in unguarded political statements and hosting political meetings.
“I don’t think it is right to say that the North had been excluded in the governorship race as they had been participating in the previous elections. My opinion is that the governorship race should be thrown open and whoever wins should govern the state. We should allow the best candidate to emerge.”
PPA chair raises alarm over assassination threats
The National Chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, Chief Sam Nkire ,has raised an alarm over alleged threats to the lives of aspirants jostling to contest the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State under its platform.
Nkire who raised the alarm while speaking in Abuja, said the PPA aspirants are being threatened by anonymous telephone callers, asking them not to venture to run for the election because they know how far we can go.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the Inspector General of Police, to direct the Commissioner of Police, CP, in Anambra State to come to the aid and protection of PPA aspirants in Anambra State. PPA aspirants are being threatened by telephone calls, are being asked not to venture to run for the election because they know how far we can go.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on the president of Nigeria to instruct the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, CP, in Anambra state to please protect PPA aspirants in Anambra State. They see us as an underdog but we are not underdog. The people who are involved in politicking in Anambra State know the strength of PPA.”
Obaze: My voter’s card story
Former secretary to the State Government, SSG of Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, who was among those disqualified by the screening panel of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the November 16 governorship election, has blamed external forces for the outcome of the exercise. To him, what happened in Abuja was beyond the party.
He said: “I was outside the country when all previous voters’ registrations were done. The exercise is supposed to be a continuous exercise, but this has not been happening. For me, I was waiting for the registration exercise to begin, but APGA’s date for the submission of forms came before the commencement of the exercise..
“Because INEC did not start the exercise before the dead line for the submission of the APGA form came, I explored the possibility of registering outside the state, but the condition is that I should register in my ward where I will vote.
“So, while completing the nomination form, I filled ‘No’ where it was asked if I have a voter’s card and that was it. I went on appeal committee which I believe had 48 hours window but unfortunately it fell on weekend.
“I had thought the window period would enable me obtain the card since INEC began the exercise on Monday as I was sure I could obtain it and submit it in Abuja by 3 pm which falls before the close of work.
The appeal committee however refused and once they did that, I knew that was the end of that process.”
He said further: “In my desire to be governor of Anambra State, I never saw it as a life and death matter. The loss is not personal to me and I believe that time will tell. I don’t feel bitter in any way because what is happening is beyond APGA. The jigsaw is still in place and we are watching.
My vision for women, by Ubah
LABOUR Party governorship aspirant Chief Ifeanyi Ubah has promised to ensure women participation in his administration if voted.
Ubah said: “One of my administration’s top priorities will be the socio-economic and political empowerment of women. In furthering my position that women should play a greater role in Anambra, 25 per cent of all my executive appointments will be women and measures will be put in place to ensure that women are well represented across the government.
“We will also ensure that the next generation of women leaders are properly educated. We will invest in girl-child education and technical training projects geared toward women.”
In addition, he said “we will provide financial assistance to women to set up or grow their own businesses. As part of our healthcare reforms, we will prioritise maternal and child care and combat maternal mortality. We will support the enactment of legislation protecting widows from all forms of abuse.”
Also explaining his foray into politics, he said it is to raise the bar of governance, “a real game changer for the good of Anambra. I have no doubt whatsoever that the state stands to reap bountiful harvests of good governance, and Anambrarians will be happier for this.”
“As someone who has built a successful, global business, I have a proven record of prudent investments with extensive capacities to create wealth and employment. Some wonder why I chose to run for Governor.
I believe that successful businessmen and women can make great leaders; one such icon is Nelson Rockefeller, former Governor of New York.
As Governor, Rockefeller vastly increased the state’s role in education, environmental protection, transportation, housing, healthcare, welfare and the arts. I am in the race to do the same for Anambra.”