Monday, 20 September, 2021

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Disquiet In Anambra Over INEC’s Release Of Guber Candidates List
•As Soludo, Umeorji speak


The release of the list of candidates for the November 6th gubernatorial election in Anambra State is currently unsettling the state following the absence of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

While Mr Valentine Ozigbo who was nominated by a faction of the PDP is currently consulting with his legal team on a way forward with also the silence of Sen. Ugochukwu Uba faction,  the embattled APGA factions are trading words over the publication of Hon Chukwuma Umoji as the candidate of the party.

Prof Arinze Chinwuba, Coordinator of All Higher Institutions For Professor Charles Soludo contended that there was nothing to fear about over the absence of his candidate’s name in the INEC’s list, adding that the Jigawa High Court ruling obtained by Chukwuma Umoji is currently being challenged at the court.

Chinwuba further described the court ruling as a nullity, insisting that such spurious court decision cannot stand and that Soludo’s name would surely be at the INEC list as the APGA candidate.

Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Political Matters,Ifeatu Obiokoye, contended that the enlisting of Umeoji as the candidate of the party is a temporary set back, adding that the Umeoji faction obtained a judgement from a Jigawa state High Court claiming that the faction of Chief Edozie Njoku handed over it’s leadership to that of Jude Okeke praying the court to recognize the primary election that produced Chukwuma Umoji.

“But the Jigawa court was not properly briefed about the situation at hand and the Jude Okeke faction represented APGA as a party and didn’t join Victor Oyeh in the matter,” he said.

“When we went to INEC we were told that that had it been the stay at execution of the Jigawa court ruling was obtained it would not have listed Umeoji as candidate of the party.

“At the moment it is a temporary set back and soon the ruling would be vacated and also,” Obiokoye submitted.

Speaking in the same vein, factional Chairman of APGA, Chief Edozie Njoku dismissed the claim by the Jude Okeke led faction that he collapsed his leadership into their own leadership describing it as rubbish.

“The Jude Okeke faction went to a certain Jigawa High Court to get a ruling in their favour without joining the relevant factions and the claim that I surrendered my leadership to them to is all rubbish and it never happened,” Njoki insisted.

“I think that they may have misinformed the court on the true picture and INEC in obedience to the court put Umeoji name as candidate of the party which will not stand at the end of the day,” he asurred.

Honourable Chukwuma Umoji, who spoke to reporters in Awka, on the development, said that the Jigawa court ruling is a vindication of the fact that there was no valid convention that elected Chief Victor Oyeh as the National Chairman of the party.

He explained that on the strength of that, the Jigawa High Court affirmed him as candidate of APGA who was duly nominated by the party which was reflected by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

Umeoji further insisted that the argument being canvassed by Obiokoye and Njoku “goes to no issue as the court has spoken.”

Also reacting, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor  Soludo said that despite not being listed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), he was sure of taking part in the governorship contest in Anambra State.

Soludo said he would not only contest the election, but would win overwhelmingly.

In a press statement made available to Nigerian Tribune in Awka, by Soludo Campaign Organisation and signed by Soludo’s media aide, Joe Anatune, he urged his supporters not to despair over the exclusion of his name on the INEC list, but to have faith.

Part of the statement read: “Our millions of supporters in Anambra State and elsewhere in the world are advised not to be dispirited by the publication. Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo will participate in the governorship election as the APGA candidate.

“His nomination was strictly in line with the Electoral Law and INEC guidelines. INEC observed the APGA Congress on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, where he was nominated after winning 93.4 per cent of the valid votes cast in a free, fair and transparent manner which was broadcast live on national television networks as part of deepening the democratic process in Nigeria.

“Our team of dedicated and competent legal experts have studied the judgment and are confident of overturning it effortlessly. The party is at liberty to nominate the rightful candidate so long as due process is followed. Soludo’s nomination followed due process religiously.”

Soludo said there was no need for Anambra people and all lovers of progress in Nigeria to be worried about the judgment as the judgment would be set aside the way others by Mr Justice Stanley Nnaji of the Enugu State High Court and Mr Justice Egbo Egbo of the Federal High Court in Abuja were thrown out.

He further said, “Millions of Ndi Anambra are understandably shocked that there are still desperate politicians in the state who want to reenact the years which the locusts consumed.  They are determined to go to any and every length to acquire power for its own sake.

“We thought that the state had passed the stage where some of its politicians were moving from one end of the country to the other in the dead of the night in search of judicial orders to impose themselves on the people as their rulers, not leaders.

“Our supporters and indeed all Anambra people, who have been waiting patiently for Soludo’s leadership of the state, are advised not to be deterred by the Jigawa State Court order. They should rather remain supremely confident of not only Soludo’s participation in the November 6 gubernatorial vote but also his triumph in the polls with a big margin which will lead to a new era in our state for the benefit of all,” the statement concluded.

Credit: Nigeria Tribune

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•As Soludo, Umeorji speak

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