Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has described his omission on a list published by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as a temporary setback even as he expressed confidence in taking part in the governorship contest in Anambra state.
INEC has published Hon Chuma Umeoji as candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in place of Soludo, citing a court order.
But Soludo reacting to his exclusion said he will not only contest the election, but will win overwhelmingly. In a press statement issued by Soludo’s media aide, Joe Anatune, he urged his supporters not to despair over the exclusion of his name on the INEC list.
Part of the statement read: “Our millions of supporters in Anambra State and elsewhere in the world are advised not to be dispirited by the publication. Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo will participate in the governorship election as the APGA candidate.
“His nomination was strictly in line with the Electoral Law and INEC guidelines. INEC observed the APGA Congress on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, where he was nominated after winning 93.4 per cent of the valid votes cast in a free, fair and transparent manner which was broadcast live on national television networks as part of deepening the democratic process in Nigeria.
“Our team of dedicated and competent legal experts have studied the judgment and are confident of overturning it effortlessly. The party is at liberty to nominate the rightful candidate so long as due process is followed. Soludo’s nomination followed due process religiously.”
Soludo said there was no need for Anambra people and all lovers of progress in Nigeria to be worried about the judgment which will be set aside the way others were thrown out.
He further said: “Millions of Ndi Anambra are understandably shocked that there are still desperate politicians in the state who want to reenact the years which the locusts consumed. They are determined to go to any and every length to acquire power for its own sake.
“We thought that the state had passed the stage where some of its politicians were moving from one end of the country to the other in the dead of the night in search of judicial orders to impose themselves on the people as their rulers, not leaders.
“Our supporters and indeed all Anambra people, who have been waiting patiently for Soludo’s leadership of the state, are advised not to be deterred by the Jigawa State Court order. They should rather remain supremely confident of not only Soludo’s participation in the November 6 gubernatorial vote but also his triumph in the polls with a big margin win,” he said.
INEC in a statement said:“The Commission also considered and took cognizance of the Judgments/Court Orders served on it in relation to the primaries of the political parties and other processes leading to the election,” INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said in a statement as he assured of the body’s continued obedience to the country’s laws.
“In line with section 31(3) of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended) the personal particulars of the candidates will be published in the Commissions Notice Board in Awka, Anambra State while the names of the candidates, their gender, party, age, qualification and the Commissions decision/ remarks are herein attached.”
Although the Victor Oye-led group had done the primary which was won by Soludo, another poll conducted by the Jude Okeke faction saw Umeoji coasting home to victory.
A preview of the list showed that 18 candidates were cleared to contest for the election in the southeast. Andy Uba was equally listed as the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress.
FULL LIST: ANAMBRA GUBER POLL
Below is the full list of candidates for the November 2021 Anambra election as released by INEC: