From Kenneth Udeh, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cleared all 16 aspirants seeking its ticket for the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for November 6.
Those cleared are Senator Uche Ekwunife, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, Godwin Ezeemo, Valentine Ozigbo, Chris Azubogu, Walter Ubaka Okeke, Chidi Alexandra Onyemelukwe, Winston Ndubueze Udeh, Dr. Andrew Ifedi Okwenna and Dr. Godwin Maduka.
Others are Sen. Ugochukwu Uba, Chief Emeka Etiaba (SAN), Hon. Chukwumaeze Nzeribe, Hon Tony Nwoye and Hon. Genevieve Ekwochi.
The clearing of the aspirants is coming at a time the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP has approved the appointment of the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseke, as chairman of the party’s e-registration planning committee.
The clearing of the 16 aspirants who collected PDP’s expression of interest and nomination forms is contained in the report of the party’s screening committee headed by former Kogi State governor, Capt Idris Wada, which submitted its report on Wednesday.
Other members of the screening committee, apart from Wada, are Sen. Ehigie Uzamere, Hon. Jones Onyereri,Hon.Martha Bodunrin, and Hon Ugwu James (South East zonal secretary).
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, confirmed that all the aspirants that purchased the party’s governorship forms were cleared by the screening committee.
It was gathered that the screening committee, in its report, asked the leadership of the party to persuade the aspirants to find a way of trimming down their numbers before the primaries scheduled for June 26, to create an environment free rancour.
The committee also proposed that the National Working Committee (NWC) ensures that all serving PDP governors work with former governor of Anambra State and PDP vice presidential candidate in 2019 presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi, to mobilise the voters and all stakeholders in the party, to achieve victory on November 6.
It was gathered that the committee also recommended that the party should advise delegates to the governorship primaries to select the best among the aspirants, who can win the election, instead of collecting money and returning someone who does not have the capacity to win the election.
The committee also recommended that any delegates proven to have collected money from the aspirants should be disqualified from voting.
Speaking on report of the screening committee, Senator Ekwunife said Anambra needs an experienced administrator as next governor.
“Anambrarians need someone who understands the state and the people. The people need someone who understands the challenges confronting the state. I am confident that I will be the best governor Anambra has ever produced because I will be fair, just and most importantly govern with empathy,” Ekwunife said.
On her chances, she said: “The people will vote for me because they know me and I know them. I have always been part and parcel of the people. This time round, the people need someone they know and understand. I schooled and worked here in this state all through the years of my life.”
On the coming PDP e-registration exercise, Ologbondiyan confirmed that Governor Obaseki will head the e-registration committee, while Adamawa State governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, will serve as deputy chairman.
Ologbondiyan explained that the statutory members of the committee are the National Organising Secretary, National Treasurer, National Financial Secretary, Deputy National Secretary and the National Publicity Secretary.
He revealed that nominations would be taken from the Board of Trustees, the National Assembly, Forum of State Chairmen as well as the youth and women wings of the party.
The national publicity secretary had also said the PDP NEC unanimously passed a vote of confidence in the National Chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus, as well as member of the National Working Committee (NWC).