The alleged plan to impose a sole governorship candidate on the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the 2019 election in Imo State by the Anambra State governor, Mr. Willie Obiano is generating serious tension among the party’s gubernatorial aspirants and other stakeholders.
It was exclusively gathered that the Anambra governor, who is regarded as the leader of the party in the entire Southeast, has allegedly communicated his choice of candidate to the party leadership at a meeting held in Awka, the Anambra State capital recently. Although, the identity of the Anambra governor’s candidate is still being held as a top secret, but investigations by this newspaper, revealed that the said aspirant, holds a national office in the party and was actually drafted into the race by Obiano and other APGA chieftains from Anambra State.
It was gathered that development has heated up the polity within the party, and also made the leadership of the party in the state apprehensive over what will be the outcome of such imposition, after they had repeatedly assured the aspirants of free and fair primaries. It was also learnt that the said aspirant, a Lagos State based legal practitioner and property developer from Owerri zone, has just recently conveyed his intention to contest the governorship election to the leaders of the party. Meanwhile, APGA parades the highest number of governorship aspirants in the state with over 20 persons indicating interest to fly the party’s flag.
Some of the major aspirants include, Okey Ezeh, Uche Onyeaguocha, Frank Nneji (CEO ABC Motors), Steve Nwoga, Ike .C. Ibe, David Mbamare and Dr. Obi Njoku, among others. According to an aide to one of the aspirants, “any plan to impose a candidate on the party by any person or group of persons will be resisted. All the aspirants have equal stakes in the party and they are all committed to free and fair primaries. Anything short of that will scuttle the chances of the party”. Contacted, the state’s Publicity Secretary of the party, Dr. George Nkworji, said that the Anambra governor is only interested in strengthening the party in the state ahead of the 2019 elections and does not harbour such plans. According to him, “the insinuation is the handiwork of the opposition and enemies of the party who are afraid of the party. Governor Obiano cannot even contemplate that. He is only working to strengthen APGA in Imo and other Southeast states. So there is no plot to impose any candidate by the Anambra governor or any other person.”