From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has made a bumper harvest of N176 million from the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo, and seven other aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket ahead of the November 6 Anambra State governorship election.
As the the race for the governorship accelerates, no fewer than eight aspirants have purchased the expression of interest and nomination forms as of Wednesday this week, to contest for the party’s primary elections.
Three of the aspirants are current serving members of the Anambra State House of Assembly.
The eight APGA aspirants that have picked the nomination forms, costing N22 million, as of, Wednesday include the former CBN Governor, Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji and Hon Carter Umeh.
Other aspirants are Chief Damian Okoro, Hon Akachukwu Nwankpo, Hon Okwudili Nwankwo, Hon ThankGod Kenechukwu Ibeh and Hon Nonso Smart Okafor.
Soludo, who is a major contender in the race, came to the party’s national headquarters in Abuja to pick his form on Tuesday with a large group of supporters drumming, dancing and singing his praises.
Addressing his supporters after fulfilling the mandatory requirements, the aspirant said that his picking the form confirms the commencement of the journey.
‘This is the formal processes that will lead up the party primaries scheduled for June 23 and subsequently the election in November this year. We came to the party secretariat today to perform the first task, if you like, towards the journey we are embarking on which is picking the expression of interest and nomination form for APGA,’ Soludo stated.
Dismissing the speculation that Soludo is the anointed aspirant, Hon Okafor said: ‘I am just hearing it from you, but I can tell you that there is no iota of truth in it. If there is anybody the governor should anoint, I believe that I should be the one because I am equally close to the governor. We are all sons of the governor. The good thing is that he has promised to provide a level playing field for all the aspirants. The delegates should decide our fate at the primaries.’
Meanwhile, APGA has approved June 23 as the date for the conduct of the party’s governorship primary election in Anambra State.
In the guideline made public, the party put the cost of expression of interest form at N2 million, while the nomination form is N20 million.