Deep concern is being expressed over the lukewarm attitude and low turnout of governorship aspirants in Anambra State to the purchase of the All Progressives Congress (APC) expression of interest and nomination forms for the November 6 State Governorship Election. Investigation by The Nation on Sunday showed that only three aspirants have so far purchased the N22.5 million forms over three weeks after the commencement of the sale of forms.
It was gathered at the close of work on Friday that only Senator (Dr.) Emmanuel Andy Uba, Dr. George Nnadubem Moghalu and one aspirant whose name our Correspondent was unable to confirm, have picked their forms in the party National Secretariat in Abuja. Party chieftains and political observers are concerned about the lukewarm attitude of party members in the state towards the purchase of the forms.
The concern is coming on the heels of the party’s renewed quest to capture Anambra State in order to increase its presence in the South-East geo-political zone of the country before the general elections of 2023. A party chief from Nnewi, Chief Stanley Nwakonobi in a telephone interview expressed surprise at the poor turnout of aspirants to the purchase of nomination forms despite the consultations, enthusiasm and interest initially shown by no fewer thirteen aspirants for the party’s ticket for Agu-Akwa Government House in Akwa.
A source in the party’s Directorate of Organization saddled with the responsibility of the sale of the forms who spoke to our Correspondent in confidence confirmed the poor turnout of aspirants and the attendant concern the development is generating in the party. “As at close of work today only three aspirants have sent their agents to purchase expression of interest and nomination forms. This development is causing some concerns among the party chieftains and members within and outside the state.
“Though there is still time for the sale of forms, but the lukewarm attitude of our members in Anambra State is not in tune with the vision of the Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to capture more states in the South-East to the party.”
But a source in the state has attributed the poor turnout of aspirants to purchase the party’s nomination forms to subtle efforts by an independent group, Anambra APC Patriots to provide a platform for all the aspirants to meet with a view to getting them throw up the best candidate among themselves. A meeting to this effect recently held at Hilton Transcrop Hotel, Abuja, where nine of the aspirants met to present their plans and programmes for the state.
The organisers of the meeting, which had in attendance, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, members of the party’s national caretaker Committee, party chieftains in the state, said the interactive session was a platform to getting the aspirants to work together for the good of the party. Nine of the aspirants at the interactive session include, Sen. (Dr.) Emmanuel Andy Uba, Dr. George Nnadubem Moghalu, Dr. Chidozie Nwankwo, Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo and Sir. Azuka Okwuosa.
Others are Mr. Paul Izuchukwu Orajiaka, Chief Ben Etiaba Jnr, Col. Geoffrey Onyejegbu (rtd) and Comrade Maxwell Okoye.