A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Charles Soludo, has said he would not run in the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for later this year.
Media reports quoting sources from the All Progressives Congress in Anambra had listed Mr. Soludo among 13 politicians planning to bid for the ticket of the party for the election expected to hold in November.
Mr. Soludo, a professor, said he was not a member of the APC.
The reports had it that Emeka Ibe, Chairman of the APC in Anambra state, on Tuesday in Awka named aspirants who had declared interest in running under the party.
Among the 13 aspirants named were Mr. Soludo, Tony Nwoye, and a former Senator, Uche Ekwunife.
But Mr. Soludo in a statement on Wednesday was particular about a publication in the Vanguard Newspaper on Wednesday.
He said “My attention has been drawn to a publication in the Vanguard Newspaper of Wednesday, January 25, 2017 entitled: “Andy Uba, Soludo, Others battle for APC Gov ticket” in which the state chairman of the party was reported to have listed my name among those contesting for the party’s nomination for the Anambra governorship election.
“Since the said publication, I have received hundreds of calls, texts and emails seeking clarification on the matter. I also sought and obtained the phone number of the said state chairman and spoke to him in order to ascertain the veracity of the story, and he confirmed to me that he was mis-reported.
“Consequently, I wish to clarify that I am not a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and could therefore not be contesting for its party nomination”, Mr. Soludo added.
With the successive victories of the APC in Edo and Ondo states governorship elections recently, there had been reports of Anambra politicians defecting to the APC in a bid to contest for the party’s ticket in the forthcoming Anambra polls.
Political watchers had argued that Anambra may succumb to the bandwagon effect and elect a governor on the platform of the APC.
Late last year, the owner of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, was also reported to have joined the APC.
Mr. Ubah, who was the 2013 governorship candidate for Labour Party LP, had crossed to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in 2014.
In the build up to the Anambra election, observers had noted that APC’s governorship primaries will be the battle for the ‘big boys’ because of the influx of political giants in the state to the party.
Andy Uba, the sitting PDP senator for Anambra South; Tony Nwoye, the 2014 governorship candidate of the PDP; and Uche Ekwunife, who was in the Senate on the platform of the PDP are among those alleged to have interest in the APC ticket.
Another influential APC leader from the state and the party’s National Auditor, George Moghalu, was on New Year Day reported to have made public his interest to contest.
Most of these political giants contested under different parties in the 2013 election in the state.
The idea was to form a powerful coalition so as to muscle out the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano.
With the power of incumbency, numerous awards and achievements, Mr. Obiano is believed to pose a big threat to the ambition of his challengers.
Mr. Obiano, whose slogan is ‘Willie is Working’, won the Zik Prize for Leadership and Silverbird Television Man of the Year, among other notable awards.
He was also recently endorsed by traditional rulers in the state for a second term.
The PDP on the other hand remains quite strong in the state as it boasts of majority of members of the National Assembly from the state and also strong structures on ground.
The party is believed to be working hard to win the election as part of its plan to bounce back before the 2019 general elections.
With all the foregoing at play, observers expect this year’s governorship race in Anambra State to be even more intriguing than the 2013 election.