Soludo Presented APGA Flag As Party Launches Campaign For Anambra Election

 

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has flagged off its campaign for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.

This comes six weeks to the date announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the poll across the local government areas of the state.

Party faithful, in hundreds, thronged the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, the state capital on Saturday where a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, was formally presented as the candidate of APGA in the November 6 election.

His emergence as the party’s flagbearer in the poll followed a series of disagreements – that led to court cases – among party leaders over the choice of candidate for the poll.

Incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, who has served the state on two terms, was physically present at the event, along with his wife, Mrs Ebele.

The couple, Soludo, and APGA National Chairman, Victor Oye, among other party leaders, took turns to address the crowd of party supporters at the event.

APGA governorship candidate, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, and his wife, Mrs Nonye, at the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, Anambra State on September 25, 2021.

 

Upon taking the stage, Oye who was the first of the aforementioned four to speak reeled out the achievements of the party over the years.

“APGA has performed in Anambra State,” he said. “Our records in Anambra State are impeccable; our records in Anambra State, nobody can erase it. Our governor, Willie Obiano, has performed creditably and the incoming governor (in his view), Chukwuma Soludo, will perform superlatively.

“There is no political party in Nigeria that has the capacity to turn around the lives of the people as much as APGA has done.”

Oye also took a swipe at the two frontline political parties in the country – All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying, “Very soon, both of them will go into an irreversible coma, and APGA will become the ultimate undertakers.”

 

‘Who Can Battle With The Lord?’

In her remarks, Mrs Obiano who had a majority of her speech delivered in Igbo canvassed support for the party.

According to her, it is important for the people to vote for the party’s candidate in the coming election in order to continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy in the state.

Thereafter, Soludo was presented the party’s flag – symbolising his status as the party’s candidate – by Governor Obiano and Mr Oye.

A screengrab taken on September 25, 2021, shows APGA candidate, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, being presented with the party’s flag during the flag-off of the campaign for the forthcoming election in Anambra State.

 

He began his acceptance speech with a song titled ‘Who Can Battle With The Lord?’ after which he thanked the party leaders and members for their support all through the events that led to his emergence as the party’s candidate.

“With a deep sense of humility and gratitude to Almighty, gratitude to our lovely party that gave me the opportunity to be able to fly this flag, we accept to fly this flag,” the party’s candidate said. “By the special grace of God, the will and wish of the people have been expressed.

“There are 32 support and self-funding groups with a membership of over 500,000 across Anambra, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, everywhere, that have worked tirelessly for over two years.

“The next thing that should happen in Anambra will be to consolidate the wonderful works that are ongoing, especially under the 16 years of APGA in Anambra State.”

Governor Obiano, in his remarks, explained why he believes his party will win again in the forthcoming election.

“In the last 15 and half years, we have delivered the dividend of democracy to Anambra residents, and particularly in the last seven and half years,” he said. “That is why our candidate will win, and win landslide.

“So many things have been said about my achievements which most of you know but let me show some examples. The international cargo and passenger airport in Anambra that I built in 15 months, the runway is the second-longest in Nigeria. It has the tallest tower in Nigeria and the most modern terminal building, and I built this airport without borrowing a kobo.”

Gunmen Kill Police Officer, Two Others In Anambra State

A file photo of a man carrying a gun.

 

Gunmen have killed a police officer and two civilians in an attack at the Ukaegbu Junction by Ezeiweka Road, Awada Obosi Layout in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state. 

The incident, which happened on Sunday, also saw the attackers setting fire on the police patrol van before leaving the area.

Residents who spoke to Channels Television, said the incident took place around 8:30 am when officers from the Awada Divisional Police Station were conducting stop-and-search in the area considered as a flash point.

During the attack, the officer, a tricycle rider and a resident of the area lost their lives.

The Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tochukwu Ikenga in a press release also confirmed the attack.

“The attackers drove in a Sienna vehicle… and started shooting at the patrol vehicle along Ukegbu Junction,” he said.

“Unfortunately, during the exchange of gunfire, one police inspector paid the supreme price.”

Tochukwu said that “in a bid to escape the police responding team, the hoodlums set the patrol vehicle ablaze.”

READ ALSO: One Killed As Gunmen Storm Taraba Community, Abduct Many

Other officers were wounded in the attack, he said, explaining that patrol and surveillance within the area and Onitsha have been intensified with a view to fish out and arrest the perpetrators.

No group has claimed responsibility for recent attacks, but police often blame the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a proscribed separatist group demanding an independent state for the ethnic Igbo people.

IPOB denies its armed wing, Eastern Security Network, is involved in the attacks, but separatist agitation is on the rise in southeast and southwest Nigeria.

Dozens of police officers and other security personnel have been killed since the beginning of the year in targeted attacks in the southeast.

Prisons have also been raided with scores of inmates freed and weapons carted away.

IPOB’s leader Nnamdi Kanu has been in the Federal Government’s custody since he was arrested in June for treason charges.

 

 

Appeal Court Declares Valentine Ozigbo Anambra PDP Gov Candidate

Court To Decide Certificate Case Against Buhari Today
A file photo of the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has declared Valentine Ozigbo as the validly elected candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Anambra Governorship election slated for November 6, 2021.

A three-man panel of justices led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Honorable Justice Monica Dongban- Mensem, made the declaration on Friday following an appeal filed by Ozigbo.

The court held that the appeal challenging the judgement of the Awka High Court, which barred him from parading himself as the PDP candidate in the coming election, had merit and was, therefore, allowed.

It also set aside the decision of the lower court, declaring it null and void.

A file photo of Mr Valentine Ozigbo, the PDP candidate in the Anambra State governorship election.

 

The appellate court also awarded the sum of N10 million in favor of Ozigbo.

It, thereafter, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to publish the names of Ozigbo and his running mate as the duly elected candidates of the PDP in the forthcoming election.

While urging the electoral umpire not to allow itself to be distracted in preparation for the election, the court advised INEC to wait for the decision of the final court in the land and not hurriedly comply with the judgments of trial courts.

In July, INEC dropped Ozigbo’s name from the list of candidates for the election in obedience to a court order.

But an unperturbed Ozigbo stated INEC’s reliance on a court order in not publishing his name as the PDP candidate was “a matter of procedure and temporary”.

He said the PDP had mobilised men and resources to ensure the said order was vacated to enable INEC update its records with his name as the rightful candidate for the main opposition party.

The PDP candidate insisted that the party had forwarded only his name to INEC as its candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra.

‘I Am Anxious For Your Success’: Buhari Endorses Uba For Anambra Election

President Muhammadu Buhari presents APC flag to the party’s candidate in Anambra State, Senator Andy Uba in Abuja on August 31, 2021. Credit: State House

 

Ahead of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, President Muhammadu Buhari has received the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Andy Uba.

The President said he is anxious for the party’s success in the election.

“I am happy to formally welcome you. I certainly wish you the best of luck. I’m anxious for your success, and will closely follow,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

President Buhari met Uba on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja along with APC Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.

Five other governors were also present at the meeting.

READ ALSO: Politicians Use Judiciary As Platform For Supremacy Tussle – Ogunye

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Senator Uba said he was surprised at the endorsement of President Buhari.

Uba noted that the President said he has been looking forward to seeing him as the party’s candidate and would closely monitor the situation with the hope that Anambra would be an APC state.

He said there have been meetings between the Uba family and the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma to straighten grey areas.

“Well, we have been talking with the governor of Imo, can tell you that we have had meetings; we’ve agreed on what am I going to do? That’s why I said, there are many things you can say he agreed on what we’re going to do. So let the Governor explain to you what you’ve done,” he said.

“Well, if you talk about being divided, we are not divided. And I will tell you for sure that we are not divided. At the end, everybody will see that we are not divided. We’re going to win Anambra state,  APC will win Anambra states under me.”

While affirming to have a cordial relationship with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, Uba said his family is not divided.

On his part, Governor Uzodinma maintained that the APC is united with a single sense of purpose of winning the upcoming governorship election in November.

 

See photos below:

 

Anambra Election: Voters’ Registration To Begin On Monday – INEC

 

Ahead of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed August 30 for the commencement of the continuous voters’ registration.

The electoral body disclosed this in a statement issued on Thursday by its Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, adding that the exercise will end on September 5.

“In order to ensure that fresh voters and those who wish to transfer their registration to Anambra State or from one part of the State to another are given the opportunity to do so and to complete the process ahead of the election, the Commission has approved the devolution of the CVR to the 326 wards in the state,” the statement partly read.

READ ALSO: Over Two Million Nigerians Registered Online In Eight Weeks, Says INEC

“This is in addition to the existing 21 Local Government Area offices and the State Head office where physical registration is currently taking place. This brings the total number of registration centers in the state to 348.”

On its preparedness for the election, Okoye said a detailed timetable and schedule of activities had been released, with eight out of the 14 activities fully implemented.

One of such activities includes the conduct of party primaries, the nomination of candidates and commencement of campaign by political parties.

While citing Section 9(5) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), the electoral body’s commissioner stated that voter registration shall stop not later than 60 days before an election.

“This means that the exercise in Anambra State will be suspended by 6th September 2021. This will enable the Commission to clean up the data, compile the register, make copies available to political parties, print the Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) for collection by registered voters and prepare two copies of the register for each of the 5,720 polling units ahead of the election.

“Consequently, in addition to our Local Government and State offices, those who wish to register in-person or physically can now do so at the Registration Area (Ward) level throughout the State from 30th August to 5th September 2021.

“Those who have done the online pre-registration must also complete the physical registration within those dates if they wish to vote in the forthcoming Governorship election. The Commission will suspend the physical registration of voters in Anambra State from 6th September 2021 until after the Governorship election,” Okoye stated further.

He further stated that it had identified 580 pre-registrants who booked for an appointment to complete their registration after September 5.

While each one of them has been contacted by e-mail with rescheduled dates earmarked for the devolved exercise, Okoye explained that the commission had given them the option to choose another date within that period if the date we proposed is not convenient for them.

He also reiterated INEC’s determination give Nigerians a pleasant experience during the CVR exercise, noting that 652 trained staff based on two personnel would be deployed in each of the 326 wards.

In addition, Okoye stated that there will be enough voter registration machines and adequate technical support for the duration of the exercise which will hold between 9 am and 3 pm daily, including the weekend.

“Our State office in Anambra has commenced stakeholder engagements and massive publicity for the exercise. We urge all Nigerians to cooperate with the Commission for the success of the exercise,” he added.

APGA Will Win Anambra Election – Soludo 

A file photo of Charles Soludo.

 

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo on Friday said the party will emerge victorious in the November 6 election.

Addressing party supporters and faithful at the APGA 2021Governorship Campaign Council at the Alex Ekwueme Square in Akwa, Soludo said the ruling party is leading the state from level to level.

“The difference is clear; APGA is that of the people. There are the ones who are coming with a conquering army. They want to conquer Anambra,” the governorship hopeful said.

“We want to win Anambra. APGA will win Anambra, they say their own is to come and take Anambra, Ndi Anambra, are they going to come and take Anambra?” he questioned, with the people replying saying: “No.”

Soludo, who is also an economist and a former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, scored APGA high for delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of the state.

He also commended former Governor Peter Obi, whom he said created the blueprint that enabled Governor Willie Obiano to consolidate on.

READ ALSO: Anambra Election: INEC Names Soludo As APGA Candidate, Exempts PDP

He recalled that in 2010, the poverty level in Anambra was over 50 per cent, noting now that the number is below 20 per cent.

“Poverty level in Anambra in 2010 was 53 per cent, Nigeria should take note. Anambra State under APGA, the poverty rate has gone down to 14.78 per cent. Which other state has that kind of record?

“That is going to be on the ballot, whether Anambra State will continue that type of progress or a conspiracy by some other to haul the development of Anambra State,” he stated further.

The APGA candidate also thanked the people of the state for giving him the opportunity to fly the party’s flag in the polls.

This is coming 24 hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cleared Soludo to fly APGA’s flag in the governorship election in the state.

INEC explained that the clearance followed the judgement of the Court of Appeal (Kano Division) which set aside the judgement of the High Court of Jigawa State on the leadership of APGA and the nomination of its candidates for the Anambra Governorship election.

Anambra Election: INEC Affirms Date For Final List Of Candidates

A section of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja was gutted by fire on April 17, 2020.
A section of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reaffirmed the date for the release of the final list of candidates who will partake in the Anambra governorship election holding on November 6, 2021.

At a meeting on Thursday, the Commission agreed to publish the final list on October 7.

According to a communique by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, the date is the same one contained in the timetable and schedule of activities for the election, which was released earlier.

Mr Okoye said the timetable and schedule of activities approved by the Commission on January 18, 2021, provides for the withdrawal/substitution of candidates in line with Sec. 35 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

Accordingly, by the deadline of July 30 fixed by the Commission, seven governorship and 11 deputy governorship candidates were substituted by 11 out of 18 political parties.

READ ALSO: Anambra Election: INEC Names Soludo As APGA Candidate, Exempts PDP

In addition to this, the Commission was served with the judgement of the Court of Appeal (Kano Division) which set aside the judgement of the High Court of Jigawa State on the leadership of All Progressives Grand Alliance and the nomination of its candidates for the Anambra Governorship election.

As a result of the substitutions and court judgements, the Commission has published an updated list of candidates on its website and will publish the final list on October 7.

Meanwhile, INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu has said that the electoral umpire will continue to deepen the use of technology in conducting elections across the country.

Professor Yakubu made the comment while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day retreat for officers of the commission in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

According to him, INEC does not need new laws to deploy certain technologies.

Based on that, he said the Commission will be deploying “new and innovative” technology for the Anambra poll.

“We may have different tools, but they all work towards achieving one and the same goal,” he said.

“There are some activities, some aspects of technology that we have deployed that the laws are already adequate for us to continue to deploy these tools.

“We don’t need any specific provisions of law, for instance, to deploy the EMSC (Election Monitoring and Support Centre).”

His comment comes weeks after the National Assembly passed the Electoral Act amendment bill amid sharp divisions over whether the electronic transmission of election results should be sacrosanct.

APC Will Win Anambra Governorship Election – Uzodinma

 

Governor Hope Uzodinman of Imo State is optimistic that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will win the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State.

Mr Uzodinma, who chairs the APC Anambra Governorship Campaign Council, said the bond within the APC and the milestones achieved by the party makes it a marketable brand – one whose manifesto the Anambra people will buy, thereby leading to a win at the polls.

“We are going there with a brand, an enviable brand that will be easy to sell, and by the grace of God, I think APC will win Anambra gubernatorial election come November 2021,” Uzodinma boasted on Tuesday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Speaking about the mandate given him by his party, Governor Uzodinma explained that his business was to do his best to see that the Anambra people can agree with the vision of the APC.

He noted that though the south-eastern state is currently being ruled by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), the APC has a better name and is more functional and mobile than any other party in the country.

Governor Hope Uzodinma is confident that the APC will win the election.

 

According to Mr Uzodinma, the APC message will make the Anambra people swoon towards the party and the people will be convinced to go “into a new contract” which will lift them and bring development to their doorsteps.

In his opinion, a vote for the APC will “give the Anambra people the opportunity to once more belong to a national ruling political party in Nigeria”.

 

Petroleum Act Will Help Regulate Environmental Hazards

Governor Uzodinma also reacted to the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying it would help to regulate environmental hazards such as oil spillage.

“All the hazards that follow the production of oil, mostly environmental hazards, are as a result of the absence of regulatory environments,” he stated.

“These laws when put in place, will not only regulate the environment but will also create room for value addition both in the oil-bearing communities, the oil-producing companies, and government royalties. So, it is going to be a value chain. The benefits are going to be so enormous.”

The Governor commended President Buhari for assenting to the act, noting that it had been a struggle over the years.

Four Policemen Feared Killed As Gunmen Attack Area Command In Anambra

The crest of the Nigeria Police Force crest is on a police officer’s uniform. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

Four policemen have been reported killed during an attack by gunmen on the Police Area Command in Nnewi, Anambra State.

The attack which occurred on Monday was alleged to have been carried out by suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

The spokesman for the Anambra State Police Command, Tochukwu Ikenga, told Channels Television that his office had yet to receive a detailed report on the incident. He, however, said that the police battled the assailants and warded them off.

According to sources, the gunmen stormed the Police Area Command on Monday afternoon and engaged the security operatives in a fierce gunfight.

The gun duel with the assailants – who came to the police facility in about seven vehicles – lasted for more than one hour.

This caused pandemonium among residents in the area who scampered to safety.

An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity told Channels Television that the gunmen overpowered the security operatives and carted away with some of their arms.

By the time a reinforcement from the Nigerian Navy arrived, according to the witness, the gunmen had left.

The military operatives were said to have gone after them but to no avail.

But the police could not immediately respond to the claim at the time of filing this report.

The attack is believed to be a reprisal for the killing of two suspected members of the proscribed group on Sunday morning.

Since the beginning of the year, dozens of police facilities, including a state police command have come under attack in the South East.

This led to the death of several police officers with many others injured – a situation that has become a source of concern for leaders in the region.

Anambra Poll: ‘I Was Surprised’, Soludo Reacts To Exclusion From INEC’s List

APGA candidate in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, Prof Chukwuemeka Soludo speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today in Abuja on July 19, 2021.

 

The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Professor Chukwuemeka Soludo, has reacted to the exclusion of his name from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) list, saying it came as a surprise to him.

INEC had on July 16 excluded Soludo from the list it published recently for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, citing court cases as the reason for doing so.

However, An Anambra High Court in Awka on Monday ordered INEC to restore Soludo as the APGA candidate in the poll that is barely four months from now.

Speaking hours after the court verdict, the APGA candidate said he was consoled by the outpouring of support from the over 20 million Anambra indigenes both within and outside of the country.

READ ALSO: Courts Order INEC To List Soludo, Uba As APGA, PDP Candidates

He also explained that he is hopeful of getting justice both at the Court of Appeal and possibly at the Supreme Court if the case lingers to the apex court.

“When it came last week, I was a little bit surprised, not terribly so. I have been through this road before. When I ran in 2010, we had about 13 court cases in three months and thanks goodness, the Nigerian judiciary stood firm and came through in the end,” he said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Surprising that INEC could take that seemingly surprising decision but not surprising because we see this all the time around the country. What happens today is a very important step in the whole process.

“Of course, those other court judgements have been appealed appropriately. One is confident that the Court of Appeal and probably, if it ends in the Supreme Court will do the sound justice.”

Senator Ubah Emerges APC Governorship Candidate In Anambra

 

A former Senator who represented Anambra South Senatorial District, Andy Ubah, has been declared winner of the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

Ubah emerged the winner in the primary election contested by 13 other aspirants.

Declaring the results of the exercise on Sunday morning at the Golden Tulips Hotel, Agulu, Anambra State, the Chairman of the Anambra State Primary Election Committee and Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, said Senator Ubah polled 230, 201 votes out of the total votes of 348,490, to defeat his closest rival, Onunwoku Johnbosco who polled 28, 746 and 12 other contestants.

Abiodun said the election took place in 20 out of the 21 Local Government Areas of the state, noting that the election could not hold in Onitsha South due to the failure of the Returning Officers to conduct the election after collecting election materials from the committee’s secretariat.

The governor further disclosed that an Option A-4 method was adopted in the election, and blamed the delay in the conduct of the election as scheduled on the failure of the contestants to supply 30 of their representatives as directed by the committee.

Read Also: Soludo Emerges APGA Governorship Candidate In Anambra

According to him, only nine aspirants had supplied their representatives to the committee as at 9:00 am on Saturday.

Abiodun explained that despite the minor hiccups, Returning Officers, backed by security escorts were posted to all the 326 wards in the state, declaring that “the process was free, fair, transparent and in line with the party’s guidelines, as promised by this committee”.

The election committee chairman, however, debunked insinuations from some of the contestants that the exercise was deliberately delayed, pointing out that his committee only needed to be thorough and transparent.

He added that the minor delay was not the fault of the committee or that of the party members, but that of logistics.

Abiodun thanked party members and all stakeholders, especially the committee members, who according to him were carefully chosen for the task. He also called for all hands to be on deck to ensure victory for the party in the coming governorship election.

PDP Factions Hold Governorship Primaries In Anambra

A file photo of the PDP logo.

 

Joy Odinye, Awka

Two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday conducted primaries for the upcoming governorship election in Anambra state.

The INEC-recognised Chris Ubah faction conducted its primary at Paul University primary school, while the Ndubuisi Nwobu-led faction conducted theirs at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, also in Awka.

Some 665 delegates participated in the Chris Ubah faction primary, and while all the aspirants were included on the ballot paper, the majority were not present as they align with the Ndubuisi Nwobu-led faction.

Announcing the result after the voting exercise, the Chairman of the electoral committee, Captain Obidi Ebede, declared Senator Ugochukwu Ubah winner, having scored 275 votes.

He was also presented with the Certificate of Return.

The parallel primary election at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka, was still ongoing as of the time of filing this story.