Chukwuma Soludo: governorship ambition in trouble as Anambra APGA breaks

Chukwuma Soludo: governorship ambition in trouble as Anambra APGA breaks

By Abankula

The Anambra governorship ambition of Chukwuma Soludo, the former CBN governor, has run into troubled waters.

The deepening schism in his All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) may make INEC apply the Zamfara treatment, reports indicated.

In Zamfara, the All Progressives Congress, in the run-up to the 2019 elections, broke into factions and failed to hold legal primaries for all elective posts.

INEC and the courts later stripped the party of the entire posts won, many by landslide.

Two days to the 23 June primary of APGA to pick its flag bearer, a faction led by Jude Okeke, said the exercise may be futile.

He said INEC might exclude the party from the governorship election slated for November 6.

The Publicity Secretary of the Okeke-led faction of the party, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, gave reasons the disqualification may happen.

In a report by Punch, The group accused the Victor Oye-led faction of the party of alleged refusal to submit the statutory 21 days notice on the Special Ward Congress to the Commission.

Chukwunyere specifically said the Oye faction did not duly notify INEC on the plan to hold ward congresses ahead of the governorship poll within the 21 days recommended by its regulations and Section 85 of the Electoral Act.

The Publicity Secretary, who distributed copies of the INEC letter confirming the non-receipt of APGA’s 21 days notification, said the Electoral umpire had communicated its position on the matter to the Okeke’s faction in two separate letters.

In one of the letters, obtained by our correspondent, the commission addressed his position to the principal counsel of a law firm, Omas and Partners, who had earlier written and asked for the information while relying on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

The letter dated June 18, 2021 and signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, read:

“This is to inform you that the commission did not receive the statutory 21 days’ notice for the nomination of APGA Anambra State governorship candidate from Victor Oye led APGA.

“Accordingly, the commission did not monitor the said ward congress and as such, there is no monitoring report of the Commission.”

The second letter, also signed by Oriaran-Anthony, and addressed to the National Chairman of APGA also read, “Please refer to your letter dated June 16, 2021 forwarding the list of delegates for the nomination of APGA’s Governorship Candidate in the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship Election.

“This is to notify you that the records of the Commission indicate that APGA did not duly notify the Commission of the date of the Congress where the ad hoc delegates were elected as required by Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended)

“Accordingly the Commission is unable to confirm if the Ad hoc Delegates list submitted by your party is the outcome of a democratic process as required by Section 87(7) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended).

“The Commission wishes to emphasize the need for full compliance with all legal requirements for the conduct of Party Primaries as earlier communicated in the Commissions letter to your Party dated 7 June 2021 (REF: INEC/DEPM/UPPM/119/1/37).”

Chukwunyere alleged that the two letters by INEC have therefore rendered APGA’s governorship primary being proposed for Wednesday, June 23, as an exercise in futility because “the use of invalid delegate list will exclude the party from the election.”

Chukwunyere further alleged that the Okeke faction remains the only option and hope for APGA to have a candidate in the Anambra Governorship Election since it had dully submitted all the notices.

Chukwunyere said, “We are aware of the position of INEC on this matter. As disheartening as it is, there is still hope for the party.

“Although the Oye faction had missed the issuance of statutory notice, all hope is not lost if the party backs the Okeke faction.”

“This is because the Okeke faction has served all valid notices for the APGA primary in Anambra. It is important to join hands with the faction now if the party must take part in the election,” he added.

Professor Chukwuma Soludo, is a frontrunner to clinch the governorship ticket of APGA. He is from Anambra south, where it is believed, APGA may pick its candidate.

Seven other aspirants are in the race against him.

They are Chukwuma Umeoji, Carter Umeh, Chief Damian Okoro, Chief Akachukwu Nwankpo, Okwudili Nwankwo and hankGod Kenechukwu Ibeh.

Three of the aspirants are serving members of the Anambra State House of Assembly.