It was just fifteen years ago that one woman dazzled the Anambra political establishment to its foundations. Mrs. Joy Emodi, the young, beautiful and articulate lawyer who had won recognition on account of her political prowess was set to upturn the apple cart in the 1998 governorship election having become the most formidable candidate on ground.
It was in a bid to scuttle her chances that one of her ingenious political rivals raised the issue that making Mrs. Emodi governor would be sacrilegious as it would mean her breaking kola nuts that are served during routine meetings with traditional rulers and other elders of the state.
Mrs. Emodi was sharp in responding to her traducers as her campaign sent out the word that if elected she would specially delegate a male commissioner to do the duty of breaking kola nuts!
The election was, however, not to be as the death of Gen. Sanni Abacha derailed the election plans. Mrs. Emodi, however, went on to a successful stint in the Senate and is presently Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters.
After Senator Emodi, the female gender has seen Mrs. Uche Ekwunife also make a run, but yesterday, Mrs. Ekwunife who had not gotten to the point of being challenged with the kola nut controversy lost out in the APGA primaries.
The only remaining female hope is in Mrs. Blessing Ulasi, the Nnewi born barrister just returned from the United Kingdom.
We ‘ve no deal with PDP — APGA
APGA state chairman Mr. Mike Kwentor has denied claims of a possible alliance between the party and the PDP on the basis of an alleged understanding with the Ubas.
Speaking following yesterday’s emergence of Chief Willie Obianor as the party’s gubernatorial flag bearer, he said the emergence of the candidate was also a testimony to the desire by many party chieftains for an Anambra North person to succeed the incumbent.
His words: “I know that the people peddling the rumor are those weak parties that do not have stake in the state. The parties have not been in Anambra in the last eight years so they know nothing about the state.”
He further said: “When the campaign starts the issue will revolve round those contesting but I am saying that APGA scorecard in the last eight years will stand us out. We had no agreement whatsoever with the PDP on who will emerge. Anambra people are tired of the Ubas and do not want to hear anything about them. So how can we have agreement with the PDP because of them.”
I remain PDP candidate -— Nwoye
Comrade Tony Nwoye who emerged as the PDP governorship candidate in the primaries conducted by the party last Saturday has dismissed claims to the ticket by Senator Andy Uba. Nwoye in an interview yesterday dismissed Uba’s claim as fraudulent. Senator Uba emerged in a rival congress of the Chief Chris Uba led faction of the party which was, however, boycotted by the national secretariat of the party and by most of the aspirants.
Describing the processes in the factional congress as irregular and in conflict with the party’s regulations, he said:
“He knows he is an impostor. There were no parallel primaries. You don’t call that primaries because it was a fraud. How can someone claim to have emerged (there) and who where the delegates that elected him or he went and sat down with his brother to write results?”
He added: “Where did he get the ballot papers from? The National Executive Council of the party is equal to the task. What is at stake is not party chairmanship. INEC has no power to conduct the election. It can only observe and the Electoral Act is clear on that.”
In addition, Nwoye said “they did not participate in the primaries. They only bought forms and absconded.”
Ex-CJ pleads for Anambra North gov
Former chief judge of Anambra State, Justice Paul Obidigwe (rtd) has urged the various political parties contesting for the governor of the state in November to select their candidates from Anambra North.
Soludo, Ogene, Odenigbo, Uzoh, Mrs. Ekwunife , Okonkwo, Ndubuisi and Ifeanyi Uba
Obidigwe, who is the president of Omambala Union made a passionate plea to politicians from Anambra South and Central senatorial districts to allow Anambra North produce the next governor in the interest of equity and fairness.
He promised that a governor from Anambra North would develop the entire Anambra State and create a conducive environment for people from all parts of the state to participate in government.
The former CJ also condemned attempts by some politicians from Anambra North to lobby for the position of deputy governor, advising his people not to accept it even if it is offered on a platter of gold.
He also said that it would not be fair to Anambra North for anybody from the area to accept to serve as a coordinator for candidates from other senatorial zones.
Obi’s aide tasks Igbos on support for APGA
Senior special assistant, SSA, to Governor Peter Obi on inter party affairs, Chief Ben Obi has urged Ndigbo to see the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, as their property which they should be using to negotiate for their rights in the country.
Addressing reporters in Awka, Obi said the North and the West have PDP and APC respectively as their platform, adding that Igbos would be shooting themselves on the foot if they allowed APGA to die.
He said that Governor Obi’s performance was enough credentials for the party to make inroads in other South East and South South states, warning that if Ndigbo failed to use APGA platform to advance their cause, they would be making a very grave political mistake.
He said: “It is unfortunate that our people have refused to understand what is going on in the Nigerian politics. In the country today, if a tribe does not have a solid base, there is no way its people can make it. The North has its base and the West has its base and it is only Igbo land that is up for grabs which is dangerous.
“It is more worrisome when Igbos are used to fight their fellow Igbos and it is high time the people realized that belonging to APGA and voting for APGA governor would give them a better identity.”
Obi warned that the spirit of the late APGA leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, would continue to haunt Igbo that are used to fight fellow Igbos, reminding them that the forthcoming governorship election will be a test case.
APGA: And the last is the first
The last aspirant to enter the APGA governorship contest, Chief Willy Obianor was yesterday evening declared the winner of the contest.
Uche Ekwunife 150 votes
John Emeka 1 vote
Emeka Nwogbo 22 votes
John Nwosu 18 votes
Wily Obiano 817 votes
Paul Odenigbo 49 votes