A total of 32 governorship aspirants, 12 of whom are in the country’s ruling party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), seven from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), four each from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and United Progressive Party (UPP), are presently justling for tickets of the various political parties ahead of the November 18 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
Of the numbers however, the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, APGA; member of House of Representatives, Hon Tony Nwoye and Senator Andy Uba both of APC; Capital Oil CEO, Ifeanyi Uba and former Secretary to the State Government, Oseloka Obaze both of PDP and former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka of UPP are favourites in their respective political parties.
Other parties in contention include the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) which has the Umuojogwu-Amanasaa, Umuchu, Aguata Local Government Area born farmer, industrialist cum publisher, Godwin Ezeemo as its sole aspirant; Young Democratic Party (YDP) with Ogbuevi Nonso Ozoemena as only aspirant; Prince Chuma Ojukwu and Obiora Paul for Mega Progressive People’s Party (MPPP) and Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) respectively.
Two aspirants: actor, Yul Edochie and musician Kingsley Okonkwo (Kcee) are yet to identify with known political parties.
The APC which holds its primary election on Saturday, August 19, had last week, assured the aspirants of a level playing field. National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun gave the assurance when he hosted the 12 aspirants of the party at its National Secretariat, Abuja.
“What is important is that I want you to be happy, I want you to be satisfied that we are going to have a truly free, fair primary and a very level playing field. That is the main purpose of this meeting,” Oyegun said.
The 12 aspirants under the party’s platform include, Senator Andy Uba, Hon. Tony Nwoye, Chief George Moghalu, Engr Barth Nwibe, Dr Chike Obidigbo, and Donatus Okonkwo.
Others are Madu Chukwunonso, Nwike Patrick, Obinna Uzoh, Adaobi Kate Uchegbu, Johnbosco Onunkwo and Paul Chukwuma.
The PDP whose dynamics changed with the late entrants of Dr Ifeanyi Uba and Senator Stella Odua who represents Anambra North Senatorial zone, will equally hold primary election on August 19. Before the coming of both Uba and Udua, former SSG, Oseloka Obaze was easily the favorite aspirant and was poised to fly the party’s flag. This is no longer the case, but Obaze says he is still confident.
“There are six other aspirants but in terms of experience and capability, I think I am the best,” he said Thursday during the party’s screening exercise in Abuja. Other aspirants in the PDP platform include Dr Alex Obiogolu, Mr John Emeka, Akolisa Ufodike and Lynda Ikpeazu.
The ruling party in the state, APGA, will hold its primary on August 15, and has Governor Obiano, not only for favourite for the ticket, but also as favourite to win the election itself as opinions from the state suggest.
The governor had meanwhile, last week, accused the APC Chairman, Oyegun who told him to “write his hand over notes and start preparing to vacate office,” of trying to plunge the state into crisis in order to use its federal might to impose a state of emergency with a view to manipulating the election.
“No doubt this statement, which we consider as coming from not just Chief Oyegun but from the ruling APC is a clear threat to Nigeria’s democracy and security in Anambra State,” he said.
“We have it on good authority that they have been working at various options including an attempt to foment insecurity in the state to pave way for a state of emergency as a prelude to their take-over. What this requires is that Anambra people and Nigerians in general, especially lovers of democracy and good governance should be alert.”
Apart from the governor, other aspirants in the APGA platform are Barr Chinedu Idigo, Dr Elo Afoka and Chris Orazurike.
The UPP, a relatively popular party in the state had also scheduled primary for August 19 with Chidoka and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Chudi Offodile as front line runners. Other aspirants in the platform are Ifeanyi Okonkwo and Ejike Obumneme.
Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.
Selonnes Consult Ltd. is a Strategic Policy, Good Governance and Management Consulting Firm, founded by Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze who served as Secretary to Anambra State Government from 2012-2015; a United Nations official from 1991-2012 and a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer from 1982-1991.