By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
THE primaries for the nomination of candidates for the three senatorial seats in Anambra State took place yesterday at various venues, with Kodilichukwu Okelekwe emerging the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, for Anambra Central senatorial zone.
Okelekwe was the only aspirant and he was unanimously chosen by the delegates from the seven local government areas in the zone by affirmation.
A five man team from the national headquarters of APC and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, supervised the exercise in Awka.
In his acceptance speech, Okelekwe promised to represent the zone well if elected during the main election next year.
He observed that the people of Anambra Central were mainly traders and assured them that their interest would be adequately protected when he becomes their senator.
According to him, with what is happening in the various political parties, APC in Anambra will surely have members in the state House of Assembly, the House of Representatives and senate, adding, however, that they must work hard to ensure victory during the main election.
In the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the state, the former Chief of Staff to ex Governor Willie Obiano, Chief Primus Odili, who was challenging the wife of his former boss, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano for the ticket of Anambra North, threw in the towel when he apparently saw the handwriting on the wall.
The youths of Aguleri, where the two aspirants hail from, booed Odili when they sighted him at the venue of the primaries at Otuocha, forcing him to leave the scene.
He later announced his withdrawal from the race, citing alleged doctoring of the delegates list for the primaries.
In a statement he later issued, Odili said it had come to his attention, the doctored list of the delegates scheduled to vote during the primaries, describing it as a shock.
He said: “We have labored under thick and thin together for the growth of the APGA movement, and in all that, integrity has been our watchword. The 11th hour corrupt practice that has come to dent our party by way of manipulating the delegate list to suit a particular candidate against another is rather unfortunate and will be resisted by every means possible.
“In the light of the above injustice, I wish to withdraw my interest in this contest pending when a credible primary will be fixed.
“In the event a new date is not announced in another seven days within which the party should have corrected all anomalies, I will withdraw my membership from the party”.
His withdrawal, however, did not stop the exercise and the outcome is being expected.
In the PDP, the self acclaimed Anambra political godfather, Chief Chris Uba was declared the winner for the South senatorial zone, while the incumbent senator, Uche Ekwunife was declared winner for Anambra Central.
Also, the controversial governorship aspirant on the platform of APGA during the last year’s election, Chief Chukwuma Umeoji was handed APC senatorial ticket for Anambra South,