Comrade Tony Nwoye, the former student activist emerged as the candidate of the PDP for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections at the primaries conducted last weekend. Following his nomination, he spoke to Vanguard in a brief interview. Excerpts:
Can we know the significance of your victory at the polls?
My victory confirms that power belongs to God. We campaigned across the wards in the 21 local government areas and left the rest to God. And that confirms to us that President Jonathan and the national leadership led by Bamanga Tukur are committed to internal democracy in the party. It confirms that the president did not interfere with the PDP primaries in Anambra. PDP members in Anambra State felt that this man who is a former state chairman should be given a chance. My people at the grassroots helped me to convince and mobilise people for my victory.
Given that two parallel primaries where held and another factional candidate Senator Andy Uba emerged, on the strength of this don’t you think it has implications for your candidacy?
There were no parallel primaries. The Supreme Court in one of its judgments said something in that direction. You talk of parallel when two things are equal. You can’t describe a fraudulent exercise as primaries. The Supreme Court has said that if a state conducted its primaries, it amounts to a fraud. It affirmed that only the national working committee has the power to conduct primaries.
We had notable party chieftains who attended the primaries that produced me. We had Governor Shema, Senator Ndoma Egba among others, who were in attendance. All these men of proven integrity gathered together at the police headquarters and x-rayed the whole situation before going to the field. How can someone now claim to have emerged as candidate through a fraudulent process? Who were the delegates that elected him?
The PDP national working committee is equal to the task. We are also equal to the task here in Anambra. How did they elect their delegates? They bought forms from the national secretariat, appeared before the screening panel and when the panel now went to work at the Ekwueme Square they preferred to go to a different place where nobody will oppose them and claimed to have had primaries.
What do you make of claims in some quarters that your emergence was programmed to pave way for Senator Uba given that you emerged ahead of other leading contenders?
How could that be possible? Under what basis? How can someone with my background be programmed to win? The people saying that are APC and APGA because their conclusion was that Uba or Ukachkwu would hijack the PDP ticket. They know that once someone of our caliber and from our background becomes the candidate, it would not be an easy ride for them.
Their fear is because of the voting pattern especially in Anambra North. We have seven local governments in Anambra North in addition to Awka north. All we need to do is to stop APC from rigging in Idemili and stop the governor from rigging in Anaocha. That ends the election. The same forces who are causing confusion were the ones that conspired to stop me from going to the House of Representatives after my victory.
If INEC decides to stand its grounds on the recognition of the Uba faction, what will you do?
They can not do that. They can not. They wrote a letter that they recognized Oguebego but that is different from having primaries. Let us assume that they recognised Oguebego.. But Oguebego is not the one to conduct primaries. The National Headquarters recgnised Ken Emeakayi as the state chairman. INEC can not try it. Prof Jega dares not to try it.
What do we expect from you in the days ahead?
We expect total reconciliation. We are already reaching out to our brothers who contested but failed. Only one person can be governor. So we shall all witness the healing process.