The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has flagged off its campaign for the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State.
This comes six weeks to the date announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the poll across the local government areas of the state.
Party faithful, in hundreds, thronged the Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, the state capital on Saturday where a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, was formally presented as the candidate of APGA in the November 6 election.
His emergence as the party’s flagbearer in the poll followed a series of disagreements – that led to court cases – among party leaders over the choice of candidate for the poll.
Incumbent governor, Willie Obiano, who has served the state on two terms, was physically present at the event, along with his wife, Mrs Ebele.
The couple, Soludo, and APGA National Chairman, Victor Oye, among other party leaders, took turns to address the crowd of party supporters at the event.
Upon taking the stage, Oye who was the first of the aforementioned four to speak reeled out the achievements of the party over the years.
“APGA has performed in Anambra State,” he said. “Our records in Anambra State are impeccable; our records in Anambra State, nobody can erase it. Our governor, Willie Obiano, has performed creditably and the incoming governor (in his view), Chukwuma Soludo, will perform superlatively.
“There is no political party in Nigeria that has the capacity to turn around the lives of the people as much as APGA has done.”
Oye also took a swipe at the two frontline political parties in the country – All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying, “Very soon, both of them will go into an irreversible coma, and APGA will become the ultimate undertakers.”
In her remarks, Mrs Obiano who had a majority of her speech delivered in Igbo canvassed support for the party.
According to her, it is important for the people to vote for the party’s candidate in the coming election in order to continue to enjoy the dividends of democracy in the state.
Thereafter, Soludo was presented the party’s flag – symbolising his status as the party’s candidate – by Governor Obiano and Mr Oye.
He began his acceptance speech with a song titled ‘Who Can Battle With The Lord?’ after which he thanked the party leaders and members for their support all through the events that led to his emergence as the party’s candidate.
“With a deep sense of humility and gratitude to Almighty, gratitude to our lovely party that gave me the opportunity to be able to fly this flag, we accept to fly this flag,” the party’s candidate said. “By the special grace of God, the will and wish of the people have been expressed.
“There are 32 support and self-funding groups with a membership of over 500,000 across Anambra, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, everywhere, that have worked tirelessly for over two years.
“The next thing that should happen in Anambra will be to consolidate the wonderful works that are ongoing, especially under the 16 years of APGA in Anambra State.”
Governor Obiano, in his remarks, explained why he believes his party will win again in the forthcoming election.
“In the last 15 and half years, we have delivered the dividend of democracy to Anambra residents, and particularly in the last seven and half years,” he said. “That is why our candidate will win, and win landslide.
“So many things have been said about my achievements which most of you know but let me show some examples. The international cargo and passenger airport in Anambra that I built in 15 months, the runway is the second-longest in Nigeria. It has the tallest tower in Nigeria and the most modern terminal building, and I built this airport without borrowing a kobo.”