By Okey Chris
United Progressive Party (UPP) has rejected the purported endorsement of Governor Willie Obiano’s re-election by the Old Aguata Union (OAU) which comprised three local government areas – Aguata, Orumba North and Orumba South of Anambra state.
OAU had, in a meeting organised by the former governor of the state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and Prof. Charles Soludo at Amaokpala in Orumba North local government took the decision, but three local government chairmen of UPP in the zone rebuffed it.
They stated that the position did not reflect nor represent the political interest of Old Aguata people.
The trio, Otti Patrick, Chairman of UPP in Aguata LGA; Hon. Nwosu Ugochukwu, the UPP Chairman, Orumba North LGA; and Abuchi Okeke, UPP Chairman, Orumba South LGA in a joint press release, said the party was appalled that eminent sons of OAU could stake their integrity and honour without considering the yearnings of their people for purposeful leadership, good governance and dividends of democracy.
“Dr. Ezeife’s recent political activities have become a source of embarrassment for a statesman that ought to carry himself with dignity as the first governor of Anambra state,” they alleged.
The UPP chairmen also described Prof. Soludo’s involvement in the endorsement saga as “a political desperation” targeted at making him (Soludo) a governor at the end of Obiano’s second tenure.
“Soludo’s disqualification in the most ignoble manner by the leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to contest for the November 2013 governorship election on the party’s platform ought to be a food for thought to him before he takes a leap in the dark by supporting Obiano’s candidacy with the fallacious assumption that he will hand-over to him in March 2022,” the officials said.
He said Soludo’s exposure with the World Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria should have helped him to agitate for the socio-economic development of his people in Old Aguata, instead of hobnobbing with Dr. Obiano to succeed him, “when his poor performance has sentenced him as a one-term governor.”
The political party leaders further expressed concern over what they termed “deliberate blackmail of traditional rulers in Anambra state by Governor Obiano to serially endorse his re-election,” noting that it was “unfortunate since traditional rulers by their exalted position are not supposed to be involved in partisan politics.”
“To coerce our esteemed traditional rulers to endorse his candidacy for fear of withdrawing their Staff of Office is the height of executive recklessness. We state categorically that no amount of forced endorsements will save a governor who failed to fulfill his campaign promises and raised the people’s standards of living as power resides with the people.”