By Jude Atupulazi
Ahead of the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State, members of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the state have been told that they alone will determine the fate of the party in that election. Addressing stakeholders of the party in Awka last weekend at a PDP Southeast Stakeholders meeting at Marble Arch Hotel, the PDP National Vice Chairman, Southeast, Deacon Austin Umahi, said the party in Anambra had the human and material resources to take over the state unless they did not want to.
The last time a PDP governor was at the helm in Anambra was in 2006 after the then incumbent, Senator Chris Ngige, was booted out by the court by an APGA candidate, Peter Obi, now in PDP.
Since then, all efforts by the party to regain the governorship seat in Anambra had not yielded fruit as, oftentimes, the power play within the party had put paid to the party’s chances.
But addressing the members of the Southeast Zone of the party last weekend, Umahi said it was time the party buried all differences by coming together to work for its own good. He said this would only be possible if the party produced its gubernatorial candidate through a credible, free and fair process.
Umahi, regretting that PDP caused its own failure during the last guber election in the state, despite having the wherewithal to pull through, said now was the time to put its house in order by everybody working in concert to produce and support its candidate.
He said the Southeast Zone of the party would support the state chapter of the party in the coming election by ensuring that whoever emerged as candidate did so through the right process.
He praised the leadership of the state chapter of the party led by Chief Ndubisi Nwobu and urged members to cooperate with it.
For his part, the state chairman of PDP in Anambra, Ndubisi Nwobu, said the party was poised to produce a guber candidate through a transparent process, assuring that under his watch, the party would shut its doors to what he called merchandizing. He said the party had no option but to do that as failure to do so would render its efforts useless.
He expressed happiness at the affirmation of the electoral victories of the party’s candidates at the state election petitions tribunal sitting in Awka, even as he expressed the hope of more victories.
In her own contribution, the senator representing Anambra Central in the senate, Senator Mrs Uche Ekwunife, stressed the importance of supporting whoever emerged the party’s guber candidate, as, according to her, all their efforts would be in vain if they failed to recapture power in Anambra. This was even as she claimed that the state belonged to PDP, which, she observed, had only been losing because of the infighting in the party, just as she urged the party to give women more support.
Opportunity was given to some of the guber aspirants to address the meeting, with one of them, Hon Chris Azubogu, insisting that the party must zone the guber slot to the South.
An attempt by one of the aspirants, Chief Obiora Okonkwo, to argue against zoning, was met with shouts of disapproval by members.
It will be recalled that a group, Great Anambra Forum, GAFORUM, has been in the forefront of the party zoning its governorship to the South. It also insists that such a candidate should, among other things, be homegrown. The group is led by Chief Fabian Ozoigbo.