By Ifeoma Ejiofor
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has recorded another milestone in its quest to take over Anambra Government House in November with the appointment of Senator Uche Ekwunife, who represents Anambra Central at the National Assembly, as the Chairperson of the Valentine Ozigbo Governorship Campaign Council.
The announcement of the appointment was made in the evening of Sunday, August 8, 2021 in Abuja at a press briefing at the residence of Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the PDP, with Valentine Ozigbo, the flag-bearer of the PDP for the November guber poll and Senator Ekwunife in attendance.
Also, at the briefing, were Governor Aminu Tambuwal, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State, and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, who joined via phone conference.
Ekwunife’s appointment is a result of a high-powered party reconciliation effort initiated by the PDP Governors’ Forum. At the last meeting of the governors’ forum held in July in Bauchi, a panel of five governors was set up to reconcile all former aspirants with the party’s flag-bearer and all other aggrieved stakeholders of the PDP in Anambra.
The members of the panel were Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Governor Ahmadu Finitiri, Governor Udom Emmanuel, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
At the briefing, Prince Secondus declared that the appointment of Sen. Ekwunife showed that the PDP’s internal dispute resolution mechanism is effective and that the benefits of her appointment will be far-reaching.
“With this milestone, coupled with other plans that will be unveiled soon, PDP is set to regain Anambra in 2021. We have a history of doing political exploits in elective office contests in the state, especially at the National Assembly level, and we are set to replicate our successes in November,” Secondus declared.
Governor Tambuwal spoke glowingly of both Mr Ozigbo and Senator Ekwunife and added that “the PDP Governors’ Forum was tasked to do what was necessary to reconcile with Senator Ekwunife and other key stakeholders to ensure we enthrone Valentine Ozigbo as a full member of our forum”.
“The Forum, therefore, set up a 5-governor committee of Sokoto, Adamawa, Benue, Edo and Akwa Ibom States. This announcement marks the first major milestone of the exercise, and we are elated,” Tambuwal added.
Senator Ekwunife, in her brief remarks, said that she was honoured to be named as the Chairperson of the State Campaign Council of Valentine Ozigbo, whom she called her brother and friend, and urged all PDP faithful to put in their very best to ensure that the party wins the governorship race.
In response, Ozigbo extolled Sen.Ekwunife’s political virtues and expressed his joy and happiness in having her as the Chairperson of his campaign organisation. He equally thanked the leadership of the PDP and all the PDP governors for their outstanding efforts and urged them not to relent until the party wins the election.
Also present at the briefing were Hon Tim Egboka, s Director in VCO Campaign Organisation, Hon George Ozodinobi and Chief Tony Emelife, who accompanied Ekwunife to the event.
Valentine Ozigbo, a business mogul and philanthropist, emerged as the winner of the keenly contested PDP primary winner on June 26, 2021. His victory is regarded as one of the most inspirational stories in Nigeria’s recent political history.
Ozigbo named Mrs Azuka Enemo, a seasoned administrator, an academic, and a former two-time Commissioner of Local Government Affairs, as his running mate on July 29, 2021, a decision that has boosted the PDP chances of victory in the forthcoming election.
The appointment of Sen Uche Ekwunife as the head of the governoship campaign council of the PDP candidate, Mr Valentine Ozigbo has been applauded by political commentators in and outside Anambra State.