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    The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Victor Oye, says the winner of the November 6 Governorship Election in Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, will replicate his successes at the Central Bank of Nigeria when sworn in by March 2022.

    He spoke in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Soludo of the prolonged election that ended with a supplementary poll in the 21st local government in the South-East state.

    Sixty one-year-old Soludo won with 112,229 votes beating Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party, who polled 53,807 votes, and Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress who got 43,285 votes. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressive Party polled 21,261 votes came fourth.

    Commenting on the development, the APGA national chairman said, “This is a victory for democracy, not only for APGA but for all Nigerians because INEC has set a pace, an example worthy of emulation.

    “The BVAS despite initial hiccups was able to deliver a free and transparent election. That is most important. We are a nation that is on the move to greatness. So, we keep experimenting. The BVAS experiment was worth the while and we are very happy and satisfactory that our efforts paid off eventually.”

    Oye said Soludo, a governor at the apex bank between 2004 and 2009, is the best candidate in the just concluded election.

    “Our candidate for this election, Chukwuma Soludo, is the best anybody could have had and we are confident that he is going to deliver the dividends of democracy for our people and we hope all Nigerians are happy with us.

    “There were so many tensions and too many expectations from the people because of the man at the centre of the storm, Chukwuma Soludo. This is because they know he’s coming to transform Anambra,” he said.

    ‘APGA can conquer South-East states’
    Also, the APGA chair said with the repeat victory of APGA in Anambra State, the party can conquer the remaining four states in the South-East geopolitical zone.

    At the moment, Imo and Ebonyi states are controlled by the All Progressives Congress, Abia and Enugu remain the stronghold of the Peoples Democratic Party while Willie Obiano of APGA is the incumbent governor of Anambra and he is expected to hand over to Soludo in March 2022.

    Speaking on the chances of APGA in the zone, Oye told our correspondent, “We are a very modest political party and very focused. We don’t get do emotionalism, we work according to the realities of the moment.

    “As far as we are concerned, South-East is conquerable; we can take the whole South-East because in Anambra, we have performed as a political party, we have shown leadership.

    “We are going to extend our ties to other states and places in the federation so they will key in.”

    ‘Soludo’s will start transformation of Anambra from Day 1 in office’
    Oye expressed confidence that Soludo would keep the ground running from day 1 in office and would replicate his success at the apex bank.

    He said, “Soludo comes in with enormous experience that would transform the state.

    “He is going to keep the ground running as soon as he is sworn in on the 17th of March, we are very sure of that and we expect that in the first 100 days, people will know the direction his government is going.

    “In the first 100 days in office, the whole world will know that somebody has come to Anambra State as a governor because he is going to impact positively on every sector of the state. The expectation is high and now that he has come in, he will perform the miracle he performed at the Central Bank in Anambra State. We are confident about that.”

    ‘Umeoji, other defectors free return to APGA’
    Some aggrieved members of the party including a former APGA candidate, Chukwuma Umeoji, had defected to the APC during the build up to the election but the Supreme Court in Abuja affirmed Soludo as APGA governorship candidate and sacked Umeoji.

    When asked for his word to the defectors, Oye said they are free to return to the party if they choose to.

    “When some of them defected, they didn’t believe in defection; they wanted to experiment and now that they the adventure didn’t work out, they would definitely go back to where they belong.

    “We don’t have any grudge against anybody. We are focused as a political party. When people err and they repent, they will be forgiven. If they come back with sufficient cause to be reintegrated, they will be reintegrated. After all, it is politics and what is permanent in life is change,” the APGA chieftain said.

    Copyright PUNCH.

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