The buildup to the Anambra gubernatorial electoral exercise in November 2013 appears to be turning new and surprising corners.

Information available to through competent sources near the center of activity in Anambra indicate that the member representing the Aniocha environs in the house of representative, Honorable Uche Ekwunife [All Progressive Grand Alliance – APGA] has pledged her support for the emergence of the former Central Bank Governor, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo ? who is reported to have dumped the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] for the APGA for the gubernatorial electoral contest.

Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo had unsuccessfully contested for the office of Governor of Anambra State in February 2010 under the party banner of the PDP ? against Dr. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN], Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Progressive Alliance [PPA], Andy Uba of the Labor Party [LP], Nicholas Ukachukwu of the Hope Democratic Party [HDP], Gov. Peter Obi of the APGA ? and others. The election results placed Prof Soludo at the third position behind Dr. Ngige and the winner of the election ? Governor Peter Obi. A total of 97,000 voted to Peter Obi.

Following the end of the 2010 election ? as Governor Peter Obi resumed office at the governor?s desk ? while Uche Ekwunife dumped the PPA for APGA where she won the legislative seat at the lower chamber of the National Assembly ? Dr. Chris Ngige remained in the ACN and successfully contested for the senate seat for the Anambra central district ? Andy Uba dumped the Labor Party and switched back to the PDP where he successfully contested for the senate seat for the Anambra south district. Prof Soludo and Nicholas Ukachukwu returned to private practice.

As the preparations for 2014 neared and as the tenure of the incumbent governor neared completion, the tussle for who to handover the mantle of governorship under the APGA led to the breakup of the APGA into multiple units with the Governor of Anambra State and the National Chairman of APGA [Chief Victor Umeh] at opposite ends of the divide. It immediately became a jumbled litigation affair. But it took the intervention of the former Central Bank Governor who acted to reconcile the two warring parties.

Following the reconciliation effort, the APGA stakeholders involved in the peace effort intimated that Prof Soludo expressed interest in joining the gubernatorial contest under the APGA. Soludo?s disclosure led to the opening of a new negotiation effort. Already, the Governor of Anambra State who had made pledges to the people of the Anambra north district that he would ensure that the governorship mantle will be handed to them ? had gone ahead to anoint an aspirant from Aguleri, a community in the north district of Anambra ? a person by the of Chinedu Idigo. The Governor had even go ahead to invest financially into Idigo?s campaign ? to the extent that Transition Chairman of each local government areas [LGA] where mandated to provide funds [N3million each] to his campaign and to provide for ?purchased crowds? for each campaign stop within their respective LGAs.

Poster: Oseloka Obaze, Anambra SSG, for Governor under APGA. Oseloka Obaze is the brother to Dubem Obaze, the former Commissioner for LGA and Chieftaincy Matters

Poster: Oseloka Obaze, Anambra SSG, for Governor under APGA. Oseloka Obaze is the brother to Dubem Obaze, the former Commissioner for LGA and Chieftaincy Matters

Billboard: Chinedu Idigo for Governor - Governor Peter Obi's favored aspirant. Chinedu is the brother to Adaeze Idigo, the Perm Sec for Ministry of Lands, Anambra.

Billboard: Chinedu Idigo for Governor ? Governor Peter Obi?s favored aspirant. Chinedu is the brother to Adaeze Idigo, the Perm Sec for Ministry of Lands, Anambra.

But Soludo?s injection into the mix changed everything.

Nearly the entire aspirants auguring to vie for the APGA gubernatorial ticket found themselves cuing up to fold their campaign aspirations for the former central bank governor. Chief among them was Honorable Uche Ekwunife who recently assured Soludo that she would fold her campaign should he officially announce his defection to APGA for the gubernatorial race. According to a competent source in Abuja, Uche Ekwunife explained that she would prefer a political appointment rather than an elected office ? as she presently holds. The source indicated that Uche Ekwunife believes she made be better served under a Soludo administration in Anambra ? that is to say that she may be in a better position to get a federal appointment should Soludo becomes the Governor of Anambra State.

Uche Ekwunife?s reaction to Soludo?s embrace of the APGA appear to be shared by a larger segment of the Anambra people resident in the major cities of Anambra. A cursory sampling of opinions of registered voters in Anambra  depict what seems a euphoric sense of pending victory for APGA ? for a third straight time. The elation resulting from Soludo?s possible announcement of joining the party appears shared by people across party-lines ? from the PDP to the ACN and others. Many within the merchants in Onitsha applaud Souldo for his show of courage to dump the PDP for the APGA.

However, not all appear to share of the same euphoric elation. Information available to indicates that the wife of the President of Nigeria, Mrs. Patience Jonathan may have another candidate which she prefers ? and is determine to deliver to victory. The first lady is quoted as saying that she ?will deliver Senator Andy Uba to victory?. When a high power delegation from Anambra ? who had gone to visit with the first lady to lobby for support for Prof Soludo ? met with the first lady and inform her of their purpose of visit ? it was gathered that she immediately reacted to ?throw them out? of her office ? while telling them her candidate was Senator Andy Uba. Chief Emeka Offor was among the delegation that visited the first lady.

Uche Ekwunife?s camp has denied that she has agreed to fold her campaign for Soludo.

Stay tuned  [Evaluation of Peter Obi’s Eight Years: Failures & Successes]


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