Anambra: Race for deputy governor begins
WITH the governorship primaries of the major political parties for the November 18 election in Anambra State over, the battle has been shifted to who would be selected as deputy governors to those who secured their parities’ tickets.
In the All Progressives Congress, APC, some notable names were already making the rounds, although it was gathered that stakeholders of the party would consider the choice of the governorship candidate, Dr. Tony Nwoye, whose prerogative it is to appoint his running mate.
Sources in the party, however, said though Anambra Central and South senatorial zones stood on the same pedestal to produce Nwoye’s deputy, a very loyal ally of the APC candidate from Anambra Central was top on the list of those in contention. The said ally, who is a grassroot politician, had remained in the Nwoye camp even during his days in the PDP.
A source in APC told Vanguard, yesterday, that some stakeholders were also considering nominating one of the governorship aspirants who lost to Nwoye to be his running mate.
Some of the former aspirants from outside Nwoye’s Anambra North were Dr. Obinna Uzor, Chief Barth Nwibe, Johnbosco Onunkwo, George Moghalu and Senator Andy Uba. Whether any of them would agree to be Nwoye’s running mate would be seen as the days of the election draw near.
For the PDP, two names were making the rounds. One of the names is a professor of Mass Communication at Nnamdi Azikiwe University and dean of the faculty of social sciences in the institution, Stella Chinyere Okunna, who was commissioner for information and later for economic planning and budget during the administration of the immediate past governor, Mr. Peter Obi.
Those bringing up Okunna’s name argue that the fact that she is from Anambra Central and married to Anambra South, places her at an added advantage, coupled with the fact that her activities during her tenure as commissioner for economic planning and the anchor person for UNICEF activities, brought her close to the rural people of the state where she is very popular.
Another name being mentioned was a former member of the Anambra State House of Assembly from Aguata, who was said to be the choice of a chieftain of the party, Chief Chris Uba. Vanguard gathered that Uba, as a stakeholder, who was with the Sheriff group during the PDP crisis, was asked to nominate a deputy governor. The final choice would, however, depend on the candidate of the party, Chief Oseloka Obaze, who, a top member of the party said, would decide ultimately who would be his running mate.
The incumbent governor and the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Willie Obiano, had already retained his present deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, who is from Anambra Central. Before the primary, there were speculations that the deputy governor might be dropped for another person from south senatorial zone, but the governor surprised everyone when he announced the retention of his loyal deputy. Some people in APGA said the director general of the Obiano Campaign Organization, Chief Victor Umeh, might have contributed towards the retention of Okeke as Obiano’s deputy as he was said to be Umeh’s choice for the position.