Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

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Anambra: PDP Rakes In N213m From Guber Aspirants


…APGA, APC yet to commence sale of forms

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has, so far, raised N213 million from sales of nomination and expression of interest forms for its June 26 governorship primary election for the November 6 gubernatorial poll in Anambra State. Thirteen aspirants, comprising 10 males and three females, as at yesterday, have obtained the forms which sale closes today.

They include the senator representing Anambra Central at the National Assembly, Uche Ekwunife, Chris Azubogu, Obiora Okonkwo, Wilson Udeh, Emeka Etiaba, Valentine Ozigbo, Godwin Maduka, Ifedi Okunna and Godwin Ezeemo. The cost of PDP’s governorship nomination form is N20 million, while expression of interest form is N1 million, bringing the total sum to N21 million.

However, female aspirants are exempted from the purchase of the nomination forms. They are only expected to purchase the expression of interest form. The PDP governorship primary is billed for June 26, according to a timetable earlier published by the party and there have been moves to get the aspirants to settle for a consensus candidate, but most of them rejected the proposal. Also opposed to such arrangement are party leaders and major stakeholders.

While the argument in some quarters is that the party should look towards Anambra South Senatorial District for its candidate for the election in line with the zoning arrangement that has seen the governorship position rotate among the three senatorial districts of the state, some leaders of the party insist on giving all eligible members the opportunity to vie for the ticket.

As it is, the contest has been thrown open given that aspirants, who have so far purchased the nomination and expression of interest forms, are from the central, northern and southern zones. New Telegraph gathered that the governorship hope fuls have, besides the purchase of the forms, been interfacing with the various interest groups within the PDP in Anambra State. Among those who have been crisscrossing these groups scattered across the 326 electoral wards in the state are Okonkwo, Ozigbo, Azubogu, Etiaba and Ekwunife. Meanwhile, a former governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof Chukwuma Soludo, is facing stiff challenges from two members of the Federal House of Representatives – Chukwuma Umeoji and Okwudili Ezenwankwo – for the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state.

The lawmakers, who are opposed to the party handing the ticket to Soludo, expressed fears that the former governor of the CBN may dump APGA if he eventually wins the election. Chief Damian Okolo, who recently expressed his interest in the party’s ticket, is also insisting that the party should go for a loyal party member, who has been in APGA’s fold since inception. But APGA state Chairman, Chief Nobert Obi, allayed their fears, promising a level playground for all the aspirants.

He added that the party has not started the sale of nomination forms and would make it public in due time. The All Progressives Congress (APC), on its part, has not commenced the sale of nomination and expression of interest forms for the primary election. State Chairman of the party, Chief Basil Ejidike, who told New Telegraph that his party is presently busy with the membership revalidation and registration exercise, added that it is still early in the day to talk about the sale of forms. However, Senator Andy Uba, Chief George Moghalu, Azuka Okwuosa and Johnbosco Onunkwo are currently neck deep in the battle for the party’s ticket.

This is as it is being touted that the APC will adopt a direct primary election method against the delegate system in which all registered party members will vote to nominate a candidate.

Credit: New Telegraph

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