By Vincent Ujumadu
CHIEF Olisa Metuh, the erstwhile national publicity secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has charged the 16 governorship aspirants of the party to do everything humanly possible to get it right this time around as the party could no longer afford to remain outside the governance of Anambra State after the November 6 election.
Metuh, who recently received a heroic welcome in Anambra State after his release from detention, assembled the aspirants at his Nnewi country home and after nearly four hours of rubbing minds, they all agreed that never again would they allow the usual bickering in the party, which had led to the party’s loss of previous elections, to rear its ugly head again.
In a manner that surprised even their aides who waited outside, the aspirants emerged from the close door meeting beaming with smiles, an indication that everyone of them was on the same page.
Speaking after the meeting, Metuh said: “We have listened to the yearnings of Anambra people that PDP must win the election and all the aspirants have subjected themselves to that decision.
We have resolved that aspirants will no longer allow anybody to exploit them.
“In that regard, we have resolved that no aspirant should spend not more than N3000 per delegate on consultations. We have also pegged money for logistics at N30,000. That way, we have said no to money politics so that whoever becomes governor will still be able to attend to the needs of the people.
“If the aspirants or the candidates are made to spend so much money during their interaction with the delegates, they will find it difficult to meet the expectations of the campaign proper.
“We are, therefore, here with the understanding of our leaders that PDP is now a united party and there will no longer be character assassination. Everybody will work as a team to ensure victory.”
Metuh said every party member is working hard to ensure that PDP retakes the Government House in Awka and therefore would not tolerate any obstacle along the way.
Some aspirants who spoke after the meeting welcomed the decision and promised to obey it to the letter.
Mr. Val Ozigbo said the meeting came at the right time and that it was what the aspirants had been expecting.
“As a PDP person, I have always campaigned against money politics. If we need to have Anambra of our dream, we should have our goals right. It’s not about money and we have decided to concentrate on issues. The people might not have more money in their pockets during the campaigns but they will enjoy better with good governance and enjoy better quality of life,” he said.
Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, in his comment said: “I go with what all aspirants have agreed on. I expect free and fair primary. What PDP needs to do is to shift from what it used to do in the past. The large number of aspirant is not a problem as the people are only exercising their rights, but only one person will emerge as our candidate.”
Dr. Godwin Maduka said: “This issue of monetizing politics should be discouraged. The mobilization of the delegates was becoming a bazaar and this is no longer democracy. All the aspirants have done things that can be pointed at and therefore they do not need to bribe the delegates. Monetizing the process and creating godfathers do not make any sense. People should be left to vote according to their consciences, instead of using money to buy people to vote for a particular aspirant.”
For Chief Chris Azubogu, “We should realize that wining the ticket is not winning the election. After the primaries, we need everybody to work together to be able to win the election. We should therefore be careful the way we approach the primaries because that is just the beginning of the election proper.”
Azubogu however defended the position of aspirants from Anambra South that one of them should emerge the candidate of PDP.
”Our stand is part of the strategy to win the election. Stakeholders in the state, whether it is PDP or Ohaneze Ndigbo, market unions, or religious bodies, everybody has agreed that it is the turn of Anambra South to produce the next governor. Aspirants from Anambra South are only trying to ensure that we do not deny our people that opportunity of producing the next governor of the state.
“If for any reason someone not from Anambra South emerges the candidate of PDP, we would have lost the election even before the contest and we don’t want that. That is why we are meeting to find a way of ensuring that one of us emerges the candidate. So we must address that issue before the primaries so that we don’t lose the election ultimately,” he said.
Pix: From left: Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, Chief Chuma Nzeribe, Dr. Godwin Maduka and Chief Chris Azubogu