By Nnorom Udeh in Awka
The battle-line has been drawn for the Anambra State Governorship election scheduled for November 6, 2021.
So far, four prominent sons of the state have been given the mandate by their political parties to fly their flags for the contest.
The four are former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, Chairman of Capital Oil and a serving Senator, Dr. Ifeanyi Uba, a prominent businessman, Valentine Ozigbo and a former presidential aide, Senator Andy Uba.
Prof. Soludo emerged the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November Anambra state governorship election on Wednesday, June 23, by winning the party’s primary election conducted in Awka, the state capital.
The former university don who also served as Chief Economic Adviser to president Olusegun Obasanjo defeated three other contestants, polling a landslide 740 votes out of a total of 792 votes cast.
His closest rival, the member representing Orumba North and South at the House of Representatives, Hon. Okwudili Ezenwankwo secured 41 votes to emerge second.
On his part, the Chairman of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Ubah, on Sunday, June 20, 2021, emerged the Young Progressive Party (YPP) governorship candidate for the November 6 governorship election.
The business tycoon and Senator representing Anambra South in the Senate got 108 votes out of a total of 109 votes cast by delegates drawn from the 21 local government areas of State that participated in the primary election held in Awka, the state capital.
Ubah, the founder and financier of YPP, was the lone aspirant for the governorship seat under the party and was elected through the option-A4 system.
Valentine Ozigbo, a prominent businessman and immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria plc (Transcorp), late Saturday night, emerged as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra state.
Ozigbo emerged winner by defeating other contestants including Chief Obiora Okonkwo, Senator Uche Ekwunife, Dr. Godwin Maduka and many others.
While Valentine Ozigbo got 62 votes from the Super Delegates, his closest rival, Obiora Okonkwo got 58 while Sen. Ekwunife got 44 votes.
Sen. Andy Uba emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Anambra governorship election on Saturday night, by defeating 13 other aspirants.
A former lawmaker, Sen. Andy Uba who served as Adviser to Obasanjo on Domestic Affairs, emerged winner with 230,201 votes while his closest rival, Johnbosco Onunkwo, polled a total of 28,746 votes.
Although the four candidates, Soludo, Ifeanyi Uba, Valentine Ozigbo and Andy Uba, representing APGA, YPP, PDP and APC in that order, are already warming up, waiting for the kickoff of the campaign proper, there are fears that the victory recorded by them may be subject of litigation that may alter the course of things for them.
So far, only Sen. Ifeanyi Uba is sitting comfortably as his party’s candidate for the fact that he had no challenger and no faction in the YPP.
Valentine Ozigbo of the PDP is facing challenges from three other factions including the one led by Chief Chris Uba which conducted a parallel primary election that produced Sen. Ugochukwu Uba as a candidate.
Although Andy Uba won the APC primary election with very comfortable votes margin, his victory is been contested by the leader of the party in Anambra State and Minister for Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige who claimed that no such primary election took place.
However, Ngige’s position has been attacked by many political analysts, especially on social media where some accused Ngige of expressing frustration that his arch political foe outwitted him to win the primary election.
In the case of APGA, it was a smooth sail for Prof. Soludo who garnered 740 votes out of a total of 792 votes cast.
Soludo has the support of Anambra State Governor, Wille Obiano, the party’s National Chairman, leaders of the party like Victor Umeh and the mass of APGA faithful across the state.
Two issues however seem to have raised concern for APGA and its candidate, Soludo. The first was a letter written by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), suggesting that the party did not give it 23-day notice before conducting its ward delegate congress. The second is claims by some faceless persons claiming to have a faction of the party.
However, some legal luminaries have said INEC’s letter amounts to no threat to the legitimacy of the primary election as relevant sections of the Electoral Act are unambiguous that only a political party can decide becomes its candidate in an election.
In the case faction in APGA, the party leadership has said no such thing as faction exists. INEC also has openly stated that it does not recognize any faction in the party.