By Our Reporters
It had long been predicted that the two big shots in the APC, Senators Chris Ngige and his predecessor in the Senate, Senator Annie Okonkwo who are the driving forces in the new party would sooner than later clash over their individual governorship ambitions.
Last week, the pair of Okonkwo and another governorship aspirant in the APC, Mr Goddy Ezemo had announced the appointment of the chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP in the state, Mr. Pat Orijiakor, as the interim chairman of the APC in the state.
The appointment of Orijakor without Ngige’s endorsement was immediately rebuffed by the Ngige camp.
The state publicity secretary of the defunct ACN in the state, Mr. Okelo Madukaife in a statement made available to Vanguard, yesterday, dismissed the announcement saying that the combined executive of the three legacy parties in the APC has been combined and is still co-chaired pending the state congress due on August 31.
“The general public is hereby invited to ignore any other information purported to emanate from the APC to the effect that the party appointed one Mr. Pat Orjiakor as APC interim state chairman. By its constitution and through logic, party officials are not appointed by aspirants,” Mr. Madukaife said.
Disqualified Obidigbo urges supporters to remain calm
Dr Chike Obidigbo who was disqualified from the APGA nomination process by the party’s screening panel has urged supporters to keep calm pending what he claimed as ongoing consultations with strategic stakeholders.
The decision of the screening panel was also upheld by the appeal panel.
While addressing supporters in Awka, Ogidigbo said he made wide and extensive consultations before declaring his intention to seek the mandate of the people for the governorship and that he was still sure of the support he got to enter the contest.
He said that it would be too early to announce his decision on the contest following the disqualification by APGA as he said that would still consult with all relevant stakeholders, who gave him their strategic endorsement before announcing his next move.
The gubernatorial aspirant restated that his desire to seek election into the office of governor of Anambra state was borne out of the fact that he possesses the needed capacity to fast track the economic development of the State.
“As a renowned industrialist, administrator, academic and philanthropist, my life and pursuits have always revolved around uplifting people.”
Several PDP aspirants who relocated to Abuja after the annulled ward congress penultimate Monday were yesterday spread across the state monitoring the rescheduled congresses ordered by the party.
APGA screening panel member wants Soludo, others to support party
Chief Onwuka Ukwa, a member of the party’s Governorship Screening Committee, which disqualified Professor Charles Soludo and five others from the contest, has urged all those his committee ruled out to support the nominee of the party.
While affirming that the committee was not programmed to disqualify any of the aspirants, he said the same parameters were used in screening all the aspirants.
His claim follows insinuations that the APGA hierarchy was coerced by forces in the presidency to screen out Soludo from the contest on the assumption that Soludo could be antagonistic to the PDP’s presidential candidate in 2015.
Governor Peter Obi had earlier washed himself from culpability in the conspiracy theory.
Explaining that APGA was adopting a new attitude to politics, he advised the disqualified aspirants to accept the result, remain focused and support the party.
“It’s not the end of the world; it’s not a do-or-die affair,” Ukwa said as he reminded them of their vow to support whoever emerged the candidate of the party.
Chief Ukwa emphasized that the committee conducted the screening based on the party’s guidelines and constitution. “The intention is to make sure that those going into politics are doing so strictly for service. When some of us go to America, France and Britain, we see that the important thing there is service; the motivating factor is rendering service to the nation and the people. But when some of us come back to Nigeria, we begin to do things in the wrong way,” he said.
He was also quick to distance the party’s National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh from the fate of the six disqualified aspirants.
PDP ‘ll be unstoppable — Anosike
ONE of the governorship aspirants on the cards of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Emma Anosike, has said that the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) could not stop PDP at the polls in spite of the performance of Governor Peter Obi.
Noting that party indiscipline cost PDP the seat in 2010, he said the party would get it right this time around.
He also made a case for Anambra North producing the next governor. However, he said the zone should produce a sellable candidate.
“I am a good candidate and I can go for the battle and win the battle. Also, everything work to my advantage because the governorship position has been zoned to Anambra North where I hail from, both the current Governor and the masses in the state have been clamouring that it is the turn of Anambra North.
“PDP which is my party was formed on the platform of equity and justice, even, it is enshrined in the Constitution that equity is the key to what we are doing. Therefore, I come from Anambra North, I am a good candidate and I have been to the House of Representatives, I am a Senator and I have contested governorship before and I was a running mate to Charles Soludo and I have all it takes to govern Anambra State
On the chances of PDP at the upcoming elections, he said: “What happened in 2010 was crazy because it has to do with party discipline. ”
Ulasi picks PPA ticket
MRS. Blessing Ulasi, the Nnewi-born lawyer, who had until recently been based in the United Kingdom is giving fresh life to the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, the party founded by former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu.
It will be recalled that briefly before the 2010 gubernatorial election that the party made some sparkles when it presented Mrs. Uche Ekwunife as its candidate in that election. But following that election, Mrs. Ekwunife decamped to APGA, the platform on which she is now presently seeking another quest to occupy the Government House.
Since her exit, the party had laid practically comatose.
Mrs. Ulasi who recently returned to Nigeria has now revived the party and is presently only aspirant on the platform of the party and the PPA’s presumptive nominee.
Speaking to party members at an outing yesterday, the returnee lawyer said she is determined to wrest control of government from APGA at the November election.
She told members of the party: “PPA may not be making noise like other political parties, but we know what we are doing, Governorship election is not a matter of making so much noise but planning properly for the race.
“My assurance is that we will enter the Government House in March next year and I want to urge our members to be patient because so much ground work is currently going on about the November 16 election.”
State chairman of PPA, Mr. Matthias Ameke said the party has solid structure in all the 326 political wards of the state, adding that all the ward officials are prepared to move the party forward.
He explained that the problem they had in the past was that the candidates of the party came through the back door which discouraged most members from working for PPA during the last election.