Former Fidelity bank director, Mr. Willie Maduacbuchi Obiano yesterday emerged the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate for the November 16, Anambra state gubernatorial election.
He polled a total of 817 votes at the party?s congress held at the Women Development Centre, Awka, and the Anambra state capital to clinch the party ticket.
He was trailed far behind by a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Paul Odenigbo who scored a total of 49 votes. 33 votes were invalidated. A total of 1072 delegates took part in the congress.
Votes scored by other contestants, included, Iyom Uche Ekwunife, member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia federal constituency in the House of Representatives and chairman of the House Committee on Environment, Iyom Uche Ekwunife (150); member representing Awka federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Nwogbo (22); former Minister for state, Prince John Okechukwu Emeka(1) while Mr. John Nwosu(18).
Delegates went into wild jubilation immediately Obiano was decaled winner. They danced and sang praises to God.
Chairman of the congress panel, Chief Martins Agbaso, commended the maturity of the aspirants and peaceful comportment of the delegates as well.
Obiano in his acceptance speech thanked delegates and party members for finding him worthy and pledged to surpass achievements of his predecessor if he eventually became Governor.
He pleaded with other aspirants to support his candidacy.
Immediate past Secreatary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Oseloka Obaze expressed happiness that someone from the North Senatorial zone eventually clinched the party flag.
Obaze, had few days to the primary urged aspirants from the North Senatorial zone to zero in to one aspirant from the zone so as to ensure that the produced the party flag-bearer.
Obaze was among the aspirants earlier disqualified by the screening panel. Other aspirants earlier disqualified from the race included, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, Mr. Emma Nweke; an industrialist, Dr. Chike Obidigbo and Prince Chinedu Idigo.
A chieftain of the party, Chief Austin Ndigwe described the outcome of the congress as a demonstration of democracy at work. He expressed optimism that the party would win the gubernatorial election as according to him the achievement of Governor Peter Obi had already won more than 50 per cent of the votes for the party.
Agbaso had urged delegates shortly before voting commenced to ensure that the best candidate emerged as according to him ?our decision today will determine whether we have decided to either kill our party or keep it alive and the type of future we want to bequeath Anambra state?.
State chairman of the party, Chief Mike Kwentor decribed the outcome of the congress as ?voice of the people? and expressed optimism that APGA would retain the Government House seat.
The seven aspirants earlier cleared by the party screening panel headed by Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi to contest the party ticket were, the member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia federal constituency in the House of Representatives and chairman of the House Committee on Environment, Iyom Uche Ekwunife; member representing Awka federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Nwogbo; former Minister for state, Prince John Okechukwu Emeka; former Fidelity bank director, Mr. Willie Obiano, former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Paul Odenigbo, Mr. John Nwosu and Mr. Pat Obianwu
Obianwu, however, withdrew from the race shortly before voting started. He said he stepped down for Mr. William Obiano and called on all his supporters to vote for him.
He said his decision to withdrawn was taken to ensure that APGA won the governorship election.
Emeka was also said to have withdrawn from the contest shortly before the election started. He did not even show up at the venue of the congress.
Accreditation of delegates started at about 10am ended about 1.52 pm while voting started 2. 18 pm. A total of 1072 delegates participated in the congress.
Though there was heavy security presence at the venue, the exercise was conducted peacefully.
Source: Mazi Odera