- APGA not a regional party, says Sowunmi
The quest for a second term in office by Governor Willy Obiano of Anambra State got some boost, last week, as two prominent personalities opted to be at the forefront of the governor’s campaigns.
Obiano, who was massively endorsed to run again by many stakeholders in the state during last Monday’s formal flag-off of his campaigns in Awka, the state capital, now has Bianca, widow of the late founder of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and former Biafran warlord, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, to spearhead his campaigns. Pairing up with her is a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who had once contested to be governor of Anambra, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
Those also with the governor ahead of the crucial November 18 election are members of the Anambra State House of Assembly, federal legislators from the state, as well as key APGA chieftains from the South-West and the northern zones of the country.
The campaign flagging-off ceremony, which took place at Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square Awka, drew thousands of participants from the 21 local government areas of the state and from across the 36 states’ branches and national executive committee of APGA.
The venue was filled to the brim by party supporters as Phyno, the popular musician, rendered some of his hit songs while awaiting the key speeches. The APGA members and chieftains were dressed in their branded APGA attires bearing the pictures of Governor Obiano.
WHY WE ARE FOR OBIANO-SOLUDO, BIANCA
Throwing his support for the re-election of the APGA candidate, Soludo said, “Anambra State has taken off, gearing to be listed among the five best economies in Africa.
“I have come with the message of continuity; we are not going back to Egypt. I was under pressure to contest for governorship of Anambra State, but let me say it publicly; why I am not contesting now is because it is not possible right now to contest because APGA has got a plan to move Anambra State forward. So I am here to reiterate my endorsement for the Governor.”
Soludo, who gave six reasons for supporting the re-election of Obiano, said APGA was the party with the credible plan for Nigeria and that in Anambra State, there was no credible opposition.
As for Mrs. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, she, in her speech, ‘invoked’ the spirit of her late husband to lead APGA successfully into the coming electoral battle. She expressed joy that “the legacy of Ojukwu is being sustained even in his absence.”
Same way, Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Mrs. Rita Maduagwu, who spoke on behalf of the House members, threw their support for Obiano, saying there was no vacancy in the Anambra State Government House. She declared that Obiano had performed well and deserved a second term.
Summing up the state’s lawmakers’ position, the speaker said, “We, the House of Assembly members, 30 of us, hereby endorse Obiano for second term; our swords are our bonds.”
Similarly, Alex Oti, a former Abia State AGPA governorship candidate in the 2015 general election, gave his support for the re-election of Obiano, saying that Anambra State was very lucky because it had the right kind of leadership. “On behalf of the people of Abia State, we endorse, whole-heartedly, the second tenure of Obiano,” Oti stressed.
Again, the chairmen of the 21 local government area transition committees also took their turn in endorsing Obiano for another tenure. Speaking through their leader, Chief Uche Okafor, the transition committee chairmen said, “Governor Willie Obiano is hereby re-elected unopposed. We want them to respect the decision of Ndi Anambra and any attempt to manipulate the process will be vehemently resisted.”
Obiano, who spoke last at the ceremony, was elated with the massive support he got, just as he recalled his achievements in the past four years. He urged the people to vote for APGA on November 18.
Charging the electorate to vote him in once more, Obiano contended, “Go and spread the gospel of APGA, collect their money and vote APGA to actualise the wish of our great late leader, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. We will win on November 18, and after my tenure, it will go to the South and I will effectively back any southern candidate to deliver him.”
APGA, A FORCE TO RECKON WITH- SOWUNMI
Meanwhile, a national leader of APGA from the South-West, Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi, has predicted victory for the party in the November 18 poll but he is urging the Independent National Electoral Commission to make sure that all forms of rigging are checkmated ahead of the election.
Speaking in Awka, during Obiano’s campaign flag-off, Sowunmi, who is the immediate past National Vice-Chairman of the party, said, “APGA is the party to beat and it has been a ruling party here and nobody has been able to defeat it, even when the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) was controlling the central government. It was a bare-face robbery by PDP that time, but the judiciary rose up to the occasion and returned the mandate to Obi and since then, it has been forward ever and backward never.
“APGA is the heart of Anambra people and the good work by the present government is there for everybody to see and I have no doubt that APGA will win the coming election.”
Sowunmi, harping on the sanctity of the electorate’s verdict, added, “From what I have seen, it will be a big task for anybody to think that this election can be rigged in Anambra State. The people here are fully for APGA.
“The PDP and APC (All Progressives Congress), combined, can never defeat APGA in Anambra State and they should not try doing anything funny, because it is very glaring that any party that happens to upstage APGA in this state can only depend on a miracle or rely on outright rigging.”
Sowunmi, however, counselled the Anambra voters, saying, “My message is that all Anambrians should vote wisely and follow their hearts and put into consideration, the immense contribution of Governor Obiano, under APGA, before casting their vote.
He said, “The INEC should make sure that it declares the result according to the voting pattern in the election, which from what I have seen today at the rally, is greatly in favour of Obiano and his party.
“APGA is a force to be reckoned with and it has national spread, considering that it won election in about seven states where they had members in the national and state assemblies.
“Some people hold the erroneous view that APGA is a regional party; nothing can be farther
from the truth, because APGA has followership from all parts of the country.”