The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC), the two leading opposition political parties in Anambra State, have already given up on the November 6 gubernatorial election in the state, according to Governor Willie Obiano, who argues that they have practically conceded victory to the ruling All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
In response to a series of questions sent to him by the Anambra State Media Team headed by Information and Public Enlightenment Commissioner C. Don Adinuba on the state’s preparations for the election, Governor Obiano said in an email this morning that the two parties practically gave up participation in the vote the “moment the APGA nominated on June 23 Chukwuma Charles Soludo, the internationally renowned economics professor, reformer and former Central Bank governor as its governorship candidate”.
“The PDP and APC are in such low spirits and disarray now that they cannot choose running mates two weeks after they held their controversial congresses where the PDP, which held two parallel congresses, chose two candidates from the same local government area to fly its flag and the APC announced the result of an election in which not one single person, not even Senator Chris Ngige, the party’s leader in the state who is also the Minister of Labour and Productivity, saw the electoral materials, let alone allowed to vote”.
Chief Obiano contrasted the state of preparedness of the two parties with APGA’s.
“Professor Soludo announced his running mate, Dr Onyeka Ibezim, a medical doctor and accomplished technocrat, a week after his own nomination, to the applause of the whole state”, he proudly stated.
He revealed that there was an intense lobbying for Soludo’s running mate.
There was a good number of solid candidates, he said, “but Soludo and the APGA leadership worked hard and closely to choose the very best”.
In contrast, he declared, “the first person the PDP was considering to run with one of the two claimants to its flag, Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna, who was the Commissioner for Information and Culture in the administration preceding mine, not only rejected the consideration, but personally wrote to the media, including online publications, to urge the party to leave her alone.
“This is one of the few cases in Nigerian political history where persons being considered for high office are rejecting the offer with alacrity. The truth is that everyone knows that the game is over for the PDP, so there is no point wasting their time and resources.
“As though the situation was not bad enough for the PDP, another group in the party went public to attack my predecessor, vowing to resist with every fibre in its muscle the ongoing spirited attempt to impose a deputy governorship candidate on its faction”.
Obiano continued: “Much as the situation is very bad for the PDP, it is far worse in the APC.
“The party’s vehement refusal to conduct any kind of congress or primary election only to have the effrontery to announce at Agulu Lake Golden Tulip Hotel the next day the result based on the fatuous claim that several thousands of its members voted will hunt it terribly, undermine whatever integrity it ever possessed and profoundly dispirit its leadership as well as its rank and file.
“It is a matter of speculation whether any self-respecting person will allow himself or herself to be its running mate in an election which Anambra people have already made up their mind to stand with Soludo all the way”.
He restated the statement he made last week that top APC and PDP leaders have spoken to him in private and pledged to not only vote for Soludo but campaign openly for the former Central Bank of Nigeria governor.
“This Soludo candidacy is unstoppable, which explains why both the PDP and the APC played every trick in the book and pulled all manner of propaganda stunts to stop Soludo from clinching the APGA ticket but he ended up with 93.4% of the votes cast at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre.
“Our congress was televised live and everyone saw the primary election was free, fair and peaceful, but neither the PDP nor the APC bothered to broadcast its events on television.
“The two parties have, for all we care, given up as far as the November 6 gubernatorial election is concerned”.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.