By Vincent Ujumadu
AFTER long expectation by members of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and other stakeholders in Anambra State, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Professor Charles Soludo has finally declared his intention to contest the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State.
Soludo’s name began to make the round as the likely successor to Obiano for more than two years, but he had not come out to say he was interested in the race, until Thursday when he visited the headquarters of APGA in Awka.
Over time, however, no fewer than 15 groups have been campaigning for Soludo, with some of the groups making donations in the various churches and at ceremonies across the state on his behalf.
At a time, some politicians in the state who perhaps were afraid of his intimidating credentials started saying that he had decided not to contest, while others said the presidency had promised him the governorship only if he contested on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC.
But declaring his governorship ambition at APGA secretariat, Soludo said he is aspiring to contest under APGA, adding that the November 2021 governorship election in Anambra State is consequential to the survival of the party.
His visit to the party headquarters was like a carnival, as notable past and present political office holders accompanied him. Among those that came with him included serving and former commissioners, former deputy governor of the state, Chief Emeka Sibeudu, chieftains of APGA and all the local government chairmen in the state.
Before his declaration, the former CBN governor had visited APGA stakeholders in the 21 local government areas of the state, culminating in his Aguata Local Government area naming him as the sole candidate from the area, despite the fact that there were other governorship aspirants from the local government.
Addressing the party officials, Soludo said: “This election is consequential in Anambra State and if APGA does not win, it means the party is gone. Let no APGA member toy with this election. If APGA loses Anambra, it has lost direction.
“Therefore, do not make mistake in the person the party will field for the election as candidate because the party cannot afford to lose the November election.”
According to him, the collective destiny of the party is at stake and must be protected by all means.
Anambra State chairman of APGA, Sir Norbert Obi assured Soludo that the party would be fair to all the aspirants during the forthcoming primaries to select the governorship candidate of the party.
Obi said apart from Soludo, there are other aspirants and assured the people of the state that the leadership of the party would support whoever emerges as the candidate.