— 12th October 2017
From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha and Chinelo Obogo
Second Republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, yesterday declared his support for Mr. Oseloka Obaze and Chidi Onyemelukwe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 18 election.
Ekwueme who spoke in his country home, Oko, Aguata Local Government Area in the midst of a crowd from the Old Aguata Union, said his earnest prayer is for the PDP to win the election because that was the best option for the state.
While tracing efforts he spearheaded to bring back the country to democratic rule from 1995 to 1999, he said that the state had always been a PDP state, except for the period Peter Obi held sway as the governor on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
He said that the PDP won 19 out of the 21 local government seats in the state during the first local government election held in 1998 before the general elections of 1999.
Ekwueme said that now that Obi is in the PDP and the confusion in the PDP has abated, it was now time to return to the grassroots, saying that all hands should be on deck to ensure that PDP wins the governorship seat. He described the Obaze and Onyemelukwe ticket as a perfect combination for excellence in service.
Also speaking, the Special Guest of Honour at the gathering, former Anambra governor, Mr Peter Obi said that considering the present reality in the country today, it was inevitable that Anambra should belong to the PDP family.
He noted that the recent special meeting convened by President Buhari, only APC and PDP governors were invited, noting that Anambra as a state could not afford to stay outside.
Obaze in his remarks noted that he sought Ekwueme’s blessing before he set forth for the governorship quest and now, it was a big boost that he has given his blessings.
In a related development, Obaze, has appealed to the former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Director-General of the Willie Obiano campaign, Chief Victor Umeh, to call the member of his team to order, and stop the campaign of calumny against his person.
In a statement signed by Obaze yesterday, he accused APGA and members of the Obiano campaign team of being behind the “various malicious reports on social media platforms,” aimed at tarnishing his image and credibility as the candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming elections.
He further stated that if they do not desist from peddling lies against him, he would not hesitate to approach the court to seek for a redress, adding that “I would like to advise once again, that as we campaign, only the governor of our state enjoy any form of prosecutorial immunity. Those who engage in libel and slander in the name of campaigning will be held responsible.”
Obaze added “In seeking redress, there surely will be no statute of limitation. I hereby reiterate my commitment to run a campaign free of fake news, hate speech and calumny. I will dismiss anyone on my team who engages in such unacceptable conducts. I hope other Anambra State governorship candidates; including Gov. Willie Obiano will publicly make a similar commitment.”
According to him, “these malicious reports range from allusions that I fraudulently won the PDP primaries, which was nationally televised, to my going to a shrine to swear an allegiance, and of late, that I was admitted to a mental hospital in a New England, USA. Some have alluded that I have served a prison term under whatever pretext. Several have imputed and attributed to me views I did not express and meetings I did not attend.
“The perpetrators of these hatchet jobs on behalf of the Willie Obiano Campaign and APGA, have also made every effort to discredit my many years of selfless diligent national, international and state service. Rather than focus on the campaign issues they resort to a campaign of calumny. I believe they continue to do so because the APGA leadership has given its tacit approval. I have taken these distractions with great equanimity, but there are acceptable limits of propagandizing.”
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.