The ambition of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State for a second term in office, yesterday appeared to have suffered a major setback when the national leader of his party,
All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu openly endorsed and pledged support for another aspirant of the party and son of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Emeka Etiaba.
Ojukwuâ€™s endorsement of Etiaba for the 2010 guber election came just as Anamabrarians across political parties under the umbrella of Ngige Mandate Movement called on the former Governor, Dr. Chris Ngige to run.
The Mandate Group which was launched at Tourist Gardens Hotels, Awka had endorsed a motion, moved by former Speaker, Hon. Ben Chuks Nwosu and seconded by Hon. Bona Orakwe urging Ngige to come back as governor of the state come 2010.
At the ceremony which attracted an overwhelming crowd, the group said: â€œWe the people of Anambra State gathered here today, April 15, 2009, under the umbrella of Ngige Mandate Movement, a non-partisan group for the enthronement of Good Governance in the state call on Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige, OON, KSJ, (Onwa) to once more come to the rescue of the state from the suffocating grip of bad governance.
â€œWe make this solemn declaration with the firm belief that the unforgettable performances you exhibited within the 34 months you were in office as the Governor of the state remain unparallel in the history of our people.
â€œIt is crystal clear that when you served as the Governor of the state, it became abundantly open that funds accruing to the state were enough to give our people benefits of democracy. The state tested these dividends in large quantum and slept with two eyes firmly closed.
â€œHow can we forget your outstanding performances that earned the state a handsome one Hundred Million Nara from the Federal Universal Education Board, as the best state in education development in the entire South East for the years 2005 to 2006.â€
Earlier, the official opening of Emeka Etiaba Campaign Office at Udoka Housing Estate, Ojukwu who was physically present with his ex-beauty queen wife, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, made it clear that the party was open for every credible aspirant to contest for the partyâ€™s ticket against insinuations that it was foreclosed in favour of the incumbent, Obi.
Though Ojukwu praised Governor Obi glowingly for going a great work in the state, he said it was from Etiabaâ€™s office that the next Governor of the state would emerge.
He said: â€œMy coming is for all of us to join hands in choosing our next leader for Anambra state. In APGA, anybody can come out and itâ€™s free for all to aspire.
â€œIn this house, we will gather to choose who will rule Anambra. From here, we will lead the one who will rule Anambra to Government House. I am saying this because I know I will be here when it will happen, and we will lead Emeka to the State House, you will be there.
â€œI am here also because some people said I will not come to this function and I laughed at them because the one to rule Anambra will answer Emeka. I want to say that I am standing solidly behind you. Because the next ruler of Anambra must be one who can rule Ojukwu.â€
In his address at the ceremony, where Mrs. Ojukwu cut the tape to commission the office, Etiaba also commended Governor Obi saying that he had done his best with evidence of reasonable achievements in some areas of governance but added that no one man is a repository of all knowledge.
He said his ambition to become the next governor is predicated on returning the state to being the light of the nation in true sense of the phrase, a journey he said that would lead them to the â€œnext levelâ€.
Responding, younger brother to Ngige, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) thanked the people of the state for calling Ngige bank and promised that Ngige would give their request a favourable answer.