From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Eight governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have so far collected nomination forms for the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November 18, 2017.
While four of the aspirants picked their nomination forms yesterday, two of them, Senator Andy Uba and Barth Nwibe, had picked theirs on Wednesday.
The aspirants, who picked theirs yesterday are: a prominent businessman and philanthropist, Dr. Obinna Uzoh; a lawyer, Nonso Madu and Johnbosco Onunkwo.
With four of the aspirants that collected the expression of interest and nomination forms yesterday, the total number of aspirants, jostling for the APC ticket now stands at eight, including former National Auditor of the party, Dr. George Moghalu and Hon. Tony Nwoye.
Speaking to newsmen after collecting the forms with the payment of the mandatory N5.5 million, Madu said it was time for the youths to occupy the Anambra State government House, urging Anambra electorate to test the integrity of all the aspirants.
When asked how capable and ready he was for the position, he said: “I am so capable, intellectually, financially and otherwise. For me, politics is service to the people. Many of the aspirants are the ones we have known for years as more or less business politicians.
“They go in to invest. It is not about bringing Senators from Kogi and Benue State. It is obvious that they are not on ground in Anambra State. The electorate is waiting for them. There’s no problem,” he said.
On his part, Johnbosco argued that gone were the days when the performances of governors were measured by the regular payment of salaries or provision of social amenities.
On his part, the party’s national chairman, chief John Oyegun, had told Johnbosco, during his visit to the APC’s national secretariat that: “I thank you for coming to see me and let me use this opportunity to assure you and other aspirants that the leadership of the party will not favour any aspirant during the party primary. We are going to treat all the aspirants equally and provide level playing ground.”
On Tuesday when he picked his nomination form, the National Auditor of the party, Dr. George Moghalu, warned other aspirants that defected to the ruling party that they cannot occupy the house he toiled to build.
Speaking after presenting the bank draft of N5.5 million to pick the Expression of Interest and nomination forms at the party’s headquarters, Moghalu urged the defectors to wait for their time.
While commenting on his chances, he said: “You started by calling them defectors and that is exactly what they are. And it would be out of place for me to build a house for another to occupy. So, we welcome them, we agreed they should come but when you come, you join the queue. You can’t come to displace those who are there because this house, we laboured to build it.
“Despite the challenges, despite the criticisms, the names they called us, people never gave us a chance but today, the story is different and it will be most unfair even before God and man that we would build for another to occupy,” he quipped, just as he promised to conduct Local Government election within six months if given opportunity to occupy the Anambra Government House.
How 40 senators, others, accompanied Andy Uba to pick form
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretariat in Abuja was agog on Wednesday when Dr. Andy Uba, the Senator representing Anambra South Senatorial District at the upper chamber went to pick his expression of interest and nomination forms.
Senator Uba had arrived the National Secretariat with 40 other senators and some notable politicians from Anambra State. A throng of women and youth from his state, alongside drummers and dancers also attended the event.
After being given his nomination and expression of interest form, the senator who addressed the press at the party secretariat’s media centre, promised to change the lot of Anambra State and its people, if elected governor.
He, however, said that amongst those jostling for the party’s ticket, he alone possessed the experience, network and acceptability to win the primary ticket and eventually win the gubernatorial election.
“I have been governor of my state, I have been senator twice now, I have won every election conducted in my state, so I have the experience and the capability to deliver APC in Anambra”, he said.
He further disclosed that while others have been doing nothing, he had been campaigning “I have been working, reaching out to people in my state. The others who want the party’s ticket have not been doing anything”, he told Senator Osita Izunaso, National Organizing Secretary of the party, after being presented with his nomination form. He spoke amidst cheers and applause by his colleagues and friends who accompanied him to the secretariat.
Feelers, at press time, indicate that senator Uba, is most likely favoured to emerge as a candidate, based on his wide acceptance and experience in governance, politics and business. Stakeholders of the party are said to be concerned about presenting a strong and credible candidate that could displace the sitting governor, Chief Willie Obiano.
Sources close to the party’s, South East Committee on the Anambra governorship election, headed by Senator Jim Nwobodo, revealed that members of the Committee are primed to ensure that only the best candidate with character, network and capability emerges the party’s flag bearer at the November 2017 governorship election in Anambra State.
Ohanaeze backs Anambra North
From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The apex Igbo Socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo yesterday declared that the Anambra North Senatorial zone presently occupying the governorship seat should be allowed to retain the position for another four years.
President of the group in Anambra State, Chief Damian Okeke, in a crowded press briefing in Awka attended by traditional rulers, town union presidents and other executives of Ohaneze, said the body reached the decision to adopt a zoning formula for critical elective and appointive political offices in the state after painstaking consultations with other critical stakeholders.
He said the decision taken on zoning in Anambra politics was the only way to enthrone a stable polity, reduce rancour, mutual suspicion and also reduce cost of campaigns for elective political offices so as to enjoy good governance.
The Ohanaeze boss said, at the end of the group’s consultations, it was agreed that the governorship seat should be on rotational basis, while every zone occupying the seat should be allowed to retain it for eight years consecutively.
He noted that the offices of the governor, deputy governor and Speaker of the State House of Assembly should be distributed among the three senatorial districts. He further said both Nigeria’s former Vice President, Chief Alex Ekwueme and Anambra‘s first civilian governor, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife had at different times supported the zoning formula and that it should be adopted in virtually all the five states in the South-East.
Presenting a table of the zoning arrangement, Ohanaeze said Anambra North presently occupying the seat since 2013 should continue till 2021, while Anambra South will take its turn by 2021-2029 and hand over to a person from Anambra Central from 2029-2037 thereby giving each zone uninterrupted eight year tenure each.
“The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo therefore appeals to all political parties and Anambrarians to adopt this zoning arrangement as a permanent policy for our dear state. Furthermore, we hereby urge all the political parties contesting in the forthcoming governorship election to embrace this initiative by choosing their respective candidates for the election from the North senatorial zone.”