From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at State House, Abuja, formally received Senator Andy Uba, the Anambra State gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 6 election, saying: “I am happy to formally welcome you. I certainly wish you the best of luck. I’m anxious for your success, and will closely follow.”
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the candidate was accompanied to the event by the Chairman, Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee of the party and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, Governors Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Hope Uzodinma of Imo, who is also Chairman, Campaign Council, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and George Akume, Minister for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs.
Governor Mai Mala Buni said APC daily receives new entrants from Anambra State, citing the recent decamping of Senators Stella Oduah and Joy Emodi, adding that “Anambra is ripe for us, and we will work together for victory.”
In his remarks, Uzodinma, as Chairman of the Campaign Council, assured the President that the message of the Party would be taken to the people of Anambra, “which will translate to victory for us in November.”
He also thanked the President for making the job easier, “because of the integrity and honour you have in Nigeria. Your name opens doors for us, and lots of people come into our party today because of it.”
“By the grace of God, we will be successful,” Uzodinma concluded.
Fielding questions from State House Correspondents later, Uba described President Endorsement as a surprised.
When asked how he felt about the reception he got from Buhari, he said: “Well, I was surprised at the endorsement of Mr. President and what he said to me today came from his heart. You know everybody was shocked at what he said, he said ‘I’ve been looking forward to seeing you, looking forward to working with you and I wish you well. I will be monitoring you and following you so that at the end Anambra will be APC state.’”
Asked how he can get Anambra indigenes to back his candidacy when he and his brothers are politically divided and in different parties. Uba said: “Well, if you talk about being divided, we are not divided. And I will tell you for sure that we are not divided. At the end, everybody will see that we are not divided. We’re going to win Anambra state, APC will win Anambra states under me.”
Asked to explain how they are not divided, Uba said: “Well we have been talking with the governor of Imo, I can tell you that we have had meetings, we’ve agreed on what am I going to do. That’s why I said we have agreed on what we’re going to do. So let the Governor explain to you what you’ve done.”
Speaking in the same vain, Uzodinma said: “Let me also just interject a little bit following the last question you asked, the business of winning a state election cannot be achieved by one family, no matter how united or how strong that family is. But as it concerns the Uba family, we have a reconciliation committee, consultation is ongoing. But when we talk about family here, the political family is APC. You may be a biological brother but you are not a member of my party, so you are not my brother politically speaking. So APC as a family we are united and we’re going to unite more in Anambra state and by the grace of God, we will win the election.”
Commenting on his relationship with Dr. Chris Ngige who objected to his emergence, Uba said: “Chris Ngige and I have very cordial relationship. For the sake of the party we have said that we’re going to work together to make sure our party wins.”
Buni speaking on the party’s chance in the state knowing that Anambra has always been an APGA state, “I thought you will ask how manage a sitting governor from the South East, especially the Ebonyi governor crossed over to the APC. That should have been the question. So this is election and a serving senator Stella Oduah and former senator Joy Emordi, just crossed over and some former State House of Assembly members and some National Assembly have also joined. So that tells you how ready we are and how APC is growing and waxing stronger in Anambra state and that’s how we are sure of victory come November 2021.”
On efforts being made to reconcile aggrieved members like kingsley Moghalu ahead of the elections, Buni said: “We have a committee to that effect that is working hard to bring all our members together Anambra State. For us to have one united family to face the election Abe we are sure of victory.
And like you said, many people are crossing over to APC since after our gubernatorial primaries, and that attest to Mr. president’s performance, especially when you see the infrastructure he is putting in place across the country, and especially in the South East. You know, the ongoing second Niger Bridge, Enugu-Onitsha roads and the rest of other infrastructures that are being put in place by Mr. President is part of what is attracting many people to the party, coupled with the fact that APC has produced a candidate that is acceptable to Anambra state.
Particularly in terms of Senator Joy Emordi and Senator Stella Oduah crossing is a boost to the party in Anambra state. And you can see, as it is said, the season that promises good harvest can be known from its winter. So you can see for yourself that APC is accepted in Anambra state and by the grace of God we are going to win the election.”
On how they will ensure free and fair elections in the face of insecurity in the state, Buni Security being a concern in Anambra, that cannot stop security agencies and the critical stakeholders to see what they can do to ensure free and fair election in Anambra state.
“When you talk of insecurity, it was within the same situation that all the parties were able to conduct their primaries and declare their candidates. So I think that questions is answered.”