As the screening of governorship aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) October 2, 2009 primary at Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, draws to a close, supporters of one of the aspirants and former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Chukwuma Soludo have drummed up support for the ex-governor.
After a meeting of the Soludo Campaign Organization at the Emmaus House, Awka yesterday, the Director-General of the organization and former Speaker, House of Representatives in the Third Republic, Chief Agunwa Anaekwe, urged the Anambra people to make a wise decision by voting for the former CBN governor to steer the ship of the state come March 17, 2010 to its preferred destination.
He described Soludo as a “material” that is not only electable, but lettered, full of wisdom and with a lot of contacts that would be explored to the advantage of the state if elected governor.
“Soludo has worked in Nigeria and proved himself. He is among the five people who were selected to shape and halt the drifting world economy. He is not looking for job. He wants to develop Anambra State,” he said.
Meanwhile, following President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s directive to the PDP to replace the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Abba Ruma, as the Chairman of Anambra State Congress Committee, the party has named Speaker of the House of Representatives Dimeji Bankole as the committee’s new chairman.
A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, made the announcement in Abuja yesterday. The committee will be responsible for the party’s October 2, 2009 governorship primary in the state.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday, during a visit by the Anambra State Good Governance Forum led by former governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Polycarp Nwite, said the President’s directive became necessary to avoid Nigerians reading meaning to his action.
According to him, “President Yar’Adua has asked the PDP to replace the Minister of
Agriculture, Dr. Abba Ruma, who is the chairman of the state Congress Committee. He took that decision to distance himself from the Anambra State governorship election.
“Also the President barred members of the Anambra State Executive Committee and member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP from conducting the primary election or to have anything to do with the primary election.”
He also said the President had directed the Inspector General of Police (IG) Ogbonna Onovo to ensure that adequate security is provided throughout the duration of the election in the state.
Earlier, leader of the group, Ezeife, who said they paid Nwite a visit to solicit the neutrality of the President in the governorship election next year in the state, added that the manner and mood of the election in the state would determine the success of the 2011 elections.
In the same vein, a chieftain of the party in the state, Chief Chris Uba, has raised an alarm over an alleged move to manipulate the party’s forthcoming primary election, saying he would oppose any move to impose any candidate on the party.
Uba at PDP campaign rallies at Ukpo and Nteje in Dunukofia and Oyi Local Government Areas of Anambra State yesterday, faulted the guidelines released by the NWC of the party for the proposed governorship primary.
Uba said only loyal and committed members of the party would be fielded for elective positions in the state, just as he stressed that there was no way the party’s register would not be used for the ward congresses that would produce delegates for the governorship primary.
He said the party would be running against its own guiding principle of abiding by the rule of law if it does not resort to using the membership register, maintaining that, “Those who are saying that the party register will not be used for ward congresses, Holy Ghost Fire! We have to follow the constitution. The register must be used.”