Anambra gov poll: APGA disqualifies Soludo, 5 others

By The Citizen

The screening panel of the All Progressives Grand Alliance on Friday disqualified six of the party's aspirants, who are interested in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State.

A front-line contender in the race and ex-Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, was affected in the disqualification.

A statement by the Chairman of the Governorship Screening Panel, Alhaji Tayo Sowunmi; Secretary, Mr. Ifeanyi Mbaeri, and a member, Chief Onwuka Ukwa, said at the conclusion of the panel's sitting that some of the aspirants failed to scale through the test.

Apart from Soludo, the other five aspirants that failed the screening were Mr. Emmanuel Nweke, Ogbuefi Tony Nnaechetta, Mr. Chinedu Francis Idigo, Dr. Chike Obidigbo and Mr. Oseloka Obaze.

The panel, however, said that seven aspirants were successful.

The successful aspirants are Mr. Chukwuemeka Nwogbo, Mr. Paul Odenigbo, Lillian Ekwunife, Chief Willie Obiano, Mr. John Nwosu, Mr. John Emeka and Nwachi Obianwu.

It was learnt that some of the reasons given for not clearing the other aspirants ranged from non-presentation of their voter cards, lack of evidence of financial strength to execute the campaign, incomplete certificate and failure to submit tax clearance.

One of the affected aspirants, Idigo, while reacting to his non-clearance, said he was surprised at the reasons given for dropping him.

Idigo, who was at the APGA headquarters, venue of the screening, said he was going to make another presentation to the appeal panel today (Saturday).

He said they were informed that evidence of financial status was going to be part of the screening requirements.

'The outcome of the screening came as a surprise to me but I am going to prepare my appeal immediately and submit it to the Appeal Panel,' he stated.

Through his media aide, Bonaventure Melah, Soludo said he had joined APGA to help build it into a formidable political party, adding that he would keep his eyes on that objective.

Melah said, 'Our attention has been drawn to the news that the APGA three-man screening panel for governorship aspirants has not cleared Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and five other aspirants. I called to inform him of the development and he had a good laugh.

'Without knowing the reason for the decision, he stated that he accepted whatever decision the party had taken.'