By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka- FORMER national chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh has said that he is ready to face anybody for the Anambra Central senatorial rerun election scheduled for January next year, noting that even if the minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige would contest.
There have been speculations that Ngige might resign his ministerial appointment to contest with Umeh which he ‘Ngige’ was believed to be the only qualified candidate that could give APGA candidate a serious challenge if he decides to run.
Saying that he was not afraid of anyone, Umeh challenged Ngige to resign his appointment and join the race .
Ngige was the candidate of APC in the 2015 National Assembly election before he was appointed a minister. There are 12 other candidates cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to participate in the rerun before it was put on hold following litigation.
INEC had declared Mrs Uche Ekwunife, then of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the winner of the poll but she was sacked by the Court of Appeal, Enugu division, following a petition brought before it by Umeh of APGA.
Ekwunife was to challenge her removal in court and there had also been other cases on the matter until last week when a Court of Appeal, Abuja division ordered INEC to conduct the election within 90 days, excluding the PDP on whose instance the election was nullified.
There was however an indication that Ekwunife might head to court again, prompting Umeh to decry the activities of certain politicians who he accused of working tirelessly to deny the people of the district a representation in the senate.
He urged INEC to ignore the antics of such politicians, and conduct the poll as ordered by the court.
Enumerating the loss incurred by the people of the district due to the absence of a representative for over two years, Umeh warned against further delay in the conduct of the election.
He said: “INEC should ignore further decoy by some people who are bent on ensuring the people of Anambra are denied the opportunity of having a representative on the floor of the National assembly till the end of the eight senate of the national assembly.”
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of APGA, Dr Victor Oye, has described the Senatorial rerun as “a very important election through which our great party will produce its first Senator”.
“It is our view that everything possible should be done to sustain the present winning streak in the party into 2019 general election.
“We are committed to continue to work for the peace, progress and prosperity of APGA.
“We urge all our members, especially those in Anambra Central, to brace up to the challenges ahead.
” We congratulate our candidate, Chief Victor Umeh, on his doggedness and focus, which have made the impending victory now a clear possibility.
“We seize this opportunity to appeal to all those aggrieved one way or another to sheathe their swords and cooperate with our great party to produce a Senator for Anambra Central after 31 months without one.”, he said in an interview in Awka.