Anambra: APGA declares Soludo standard-bearer

•Faction suspends him, accuses him of anti-party activities

AHEAD of the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has declared former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, as the winner of the party’s primary election. 

The exercise took place at the Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, Anambra State capital, on Wednesday. 

Soludo, who is from Anambra South senatorial district, emerged the governorship candidate with 740 votes. 

He was followed by Honourable Okwudili Ezenwankwo, who polled a distant 41 votes; Chief Damian Okolo came third with seven votes, while ThankGod Ibeh came fourth with four votes. 

The total delegates for the primary were 812, accredited delegates, 795, while total vote cast is 792. 

The state governor, Willie Obiano, who witnessed the exercise that lasted 11 hours amidst tight security, said he had always wished to hand over power to a successor from the south, in the spirit of equity and fairness. 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), however, said the preparation for the conduct of the primary election to produce APGA’s standard-bearer fell short of the provisions of the Electoral Act. 

INEC, in a statement signed by Festus Okoye, admitted that the commission was notified by the political party but insisted that its processes and preparation fell short of certain provisions of the Electoral Act. 

Okoye argued that the outcome of the Wednesday’s primary could be subject of litigations by aggrieved aspirants, since it fell short of provisions of the Electoral Act. 

Meanwhile, the Jude Okeke-led National Working Committee (NWC) of APGA has announced the immediate suspension of Soludo from the party, over alleged anti-party activities. 

Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, the acting national publicity secretary of the party, Comrade Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, said the decision was taken on Tuesday at a meeting of the party. 

He applauded the peaceful and successful special delegate ward congresses where three-man ward delegates was elected for the July 1 governorship primaries. 

He explained that the party decided to suspend Soludo due to “his unrelenting effort at ensuring that the party is not united to focus on winning the governorship election.”

 

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