Anambra election: Soludo wins APGA’s guber primary
. Extends olive branch to all contending interests in party
. Promises to work for Anambra’s greatness
. Commends INEC
By Stanley Nwako, Iyke Okpanku, Emeka Chiaghanam and Ifeanyi Ndukwe
CHARLES Chukwuma Soludo, yesterday, emerged the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)’s flag bearer for the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.
Prof Soludo scored a total of 740 votes out of 792 valid votes cast by delegates for four contending aspirants.
Declaring the results of the exercise, Returning Officer at the primaries, Samson Olalere said Soludo fulfilled the provisions of Electoral Act and APGA guidelines.
According to Olalere, Soludo beat the Member, Representing Orumba North and South Federal Constituency of National Assembly, Okwudili Ezenwakwo, who scored 41 votes, to second position, while Damian Okolo got seven votes and ThankGod Ibeh scored four votes to come third and fourth respectively.
Dr. Olalere also issued Soludo with Certificate of Return after Gov. Willie Obiano raised up his hand as the duly elected candidate of the party for the forthcoming election.
A total of 812 delegates were registered out of which 795 were accredited and 792 voted.
Congratulating the party’s flag bearer for his victory, Gov. Obiano called on party faithful to continue to support the party, adding that only this would give it victory in the general election.
“We’re grateful to national and state working committees of the party and party faithful for a peaceful and successful primary. As a party, our job has just started. Definitely, we are going to win the 21 local government areas as we did in the last gubernatorial election. Ndi Anambra will always vote APGA,” the governor said.
In his acceptance speech, the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor said he could not thank APGA and its National Leader, Gov. Obiano enough for nominating him as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship election.
“I accept your nomination for the November 6 governorship election. I am proud that I came from Anambra. I offer nothing but statement of gratitude, thank you for the mandate to fly our flag. I assure INEC that APGA is a law-abiding party. I salute the other aspirants. I salute you. This is the time to unite. We won the primary by over 80 per cent, but let us come together. The coming election is consequential for the state. It will determine our match for progression of retrogression,” he said.
He made a call to all contenders in the race for the APGA ticket and all vexed interests to come together. “This is the time for us to unite by closing ranks to ensure that the party did not only win the November 6 election but also, ensure that the good foundation laid by Gov. Obiano is sustained for even more development,” the professor of economics said.
He also commended Gov. Obiano and previous governors of Anambra for not only transforming the state, but also taking the state to the next level.
“There is no state government in Nigeria with comparable revenue like Anambra State that is doing well than the present administration, saying there is no need to change a winning team. We need continuity, consolidation and transformation; we need to build on what is on ground. We will unveil our campaign manifesto in August. I am a poor boy whom God has raised to serve. I have been decorated with over 200 awards.
I believe it is now time for me to serve my people. I have decided to give back to the people. I am so happy for the results of the election. It’s with humility, gratitude and total submission to the will of God that I hereby accept your nomination as the winner of APGA primary elections. At this time in my life, I believe it’s now time to come home after serving at the international and federal levels to serve my people as I desire to give back to society.
The real job of taking Anambra State has just begun with tonight’s victory. If elected into office, my administration will be that of community building on the foundation of the past administrations, in particular the tremendous transformation the state witnessed under the administration of Gov. Willie Obiano. It’s my promise to ndi Anambra, if elected into office to take Anambra State to new heights,” Soludo continued.
There was a joyful uproar of excitement among 812 delegates who sat expectantly inside the conference hall of Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, when Soludo’s victory was announced after over two-hour collation and counting of votes in the exercise that was monitored by a five-man Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) team, led by Musa Husunu.
Early indications to possible Soludo victory by wide margin began to emerge around 6:00pm, midway into vote collation and counting, through the frequency and tally of votes among the four aspirants that took part in the primaries election after Akachukwu Sullivan Nwankpo opted out of the race to support the former CBN governor’s candidacy.
National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Oye, Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Uche Okafor, members of the electoral panel, members of board of trustees and state, as well as national working committee and others were in attendance.
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