The party primaries held across the country last Wednesday witnessed a major casualty in the person of Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, wife of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. She ran under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), a party founded by her late husband and Biafra hero.
Bianca was seeking the mandate of her constituency delegates [of the Anambra South Senatorial zone] to run for the senate in the February 2019 general elections.
At the election, which was marred by chaos and shooting from thugs who invaded the Ekwulobia Township Stadium venue of the primaries, Chief C. N. Ukachukwu defeated Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Dr. Anselm Enyimba and Mbazulike Amechi Jr to clinch the ticket.
The gunmen, who invaded the venue of the election and scared away delegates thus disrupting the election, were alleged to have been commissioned and mobilised by a disqualified senatorial aspirant of the party, although Orient Weekend has not been able, as at press time, to ascertain either the identity of this sponsor or the motive for the invasion.
It took the combined efforts of the Anambra state commissioner of police, Garba Umar, and his team to disperse the thugs with teargas before the election could hold at night.
Political analysts, however, believe that the controversial emergence of Mrs. Ojukwu and her eventual humbling by political neophytes not only dented the image of the party founder but also demystified the late Ikemba whose spirit and persona had been the driving force behind the success of the party in Anambra state and the country at large.
A school of thought also believes that the party should have given the wife of the Ikemba the ticket as a mark of respect for her late husband while others opine that Bianca should have seen the handwriting on the wall when her emergence tore the late Dim Ojukwu’s family into shreds.
Could this have happened if Ojukwu were alive and what are the implications for the party, one of the people who know better asked this reporter?
In Anambra Central, Chief Victor Umeh, a senator representing the zone at the red chamber was returned unopposed by APGA, while the PDP and APC were yet to announce the venue or list of their senatorial primaries/candidates as at press time.
Umeh, who stood as a sole candidate, was announced winner, after he polled 207 votes from the total vote of 209. But an official record shows that those aspiring for the seat under APC in Anambra central were Uche Ekwunife, Ebele Obi and Uzoma Igbonwa.
In Anambra north senatorial zone, however, Princess Stella Odua and Prince Emeka Chinedu emerged as sole candidates of the PDP and the APGA.
Odua, who currently represents the zone, dramatically returned to the PDP and was declared candidate after several months of parading herself as an aspirant under APGA. But Prince Emeka, a former deputy governor and commissioner in Anambra state, won unopposed after APGA denied Odua a waiver and disqualified her.
At the Federal House of Representative primaries, of the three major political parties, all the members of Anambra State House of Assembly contesting for the positions lost out in the game.
They include the majority leader, Victor Okoye [Anambra East and Anambra West] who was disqualified by the party while his opponent, Chinedu Obidigwe emerged unopposed.
Also, there was no formal report on whether Chris Emenaka [Anambra East] later dropped his ambition for the red chamber in preference for a third term bid. This is because his name was not published by the party even though he earlier declared interest to run for the seat.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and All Progressives Congress (APC), have, so far, all concluded their controversial national assembly party primaries in the state with Chris Uba, Andy Uba and Nicholas Ukachukwu emerging as standard flag bearers.
In the PDP, Chris Uba polled 931 votes to defeat Obinna Uzor and Chuma Nzeribe, who respectively got 20 and zero votes while his elder brother, Andy, the incumbent in the red chamber, is expected to emerge the APC candidate according to an official list of the party which published his name as sole aspirant.
Others were Benson Nwawulu, of Ogbaru I, who lost out to Chinwe Nwaebili as candidate of APGA for Ogbaru federal constituency; Harford Oseke, current deputy speaker of the Assembly, defeated by Anayo Nnebe as candidate of APGA for Awka North and Awka South constituency.
Similarly, Hon. Ikemefune Uzoezie and Hon. Ikechukwu Umeh of Aguata II and Aguata I state constituencies lost out [under APGA] in the Aguata federal constituency poll won by Chukwuma Umeoji.
Also, Kingsley Iruba [Nnewi South I] contesting for Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo federal constituency, might not pick ticket of APGA for which he is vying with Owelle Mbaso, Humphrey Nsofor and others.
Orient Daily learnt that the primary poll, which could not hold October 2 as delegates were reportedly locked out of the venue till night, might favour less-known aspirant of the party when it is rescheduled.
Another House of Assembly member the APGA delegates failed to elect for federal House of Representatives seat was Chugbo Enwezor of Onistha I constiteuncy, now aspiring for Onitsha north and Onitsha South Federal constituency. He was defeated by Patrick Obianyo, a former labour leader in Anambra state.
Also, the member representing Orumba North state constituency, Romanus Obi allegedly lost out to a market leader, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo on a controversial APGA primary for Orumba North and Orumba South federal constituency. Ezenwankwo allegedly polled 85 votes while others, Chinwe Nnabuife got 40, Ernest Okafor (27), Winston Udeh (16) and Casmir Nwafor (5).
Other national assembly ambitions hatched in the Anambra State House of Assembly but botched by delegates, stakeholders or personal decision were Vivian Okadigbo, a two-term from Oyi state constituency and Onyebuchi Offor of PDP (Ekwusigo constituency). Both of them reportedly nursed ambitions for Oyi/Ayamelum and Nnewi North/ Nnewi South/Ekwusigo federal constituencies.
However, in all, other candidates of Federal House of Representatives for PDP and APGA known, so far, are Chris Azubuogu, two-term member, Nnewi North/Nnewi South/ Ekwusigo constituency (PDP); Dozie Nwankwo, Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia constituency (APGA); Obinna Chidoka, Idemili North/Idemili South constituency (APGA); Lynda Ikpeazu, PDP-Onitsha North/Onitsha South constituency and Eucharia Anazodo (PDP), Aguata federal constituency.
The PDP candidates emerged unopposed, APGA flag bearers scaled through controversial primaries some of which their results have not been declared, while those of the APC remain undetermined as at press time.