David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Better Nigeria Peoples Party (BNPP) has elected a non-indigene of Anambra State, Chief Ikem Ohanugo, as its governorship candidate for the November 18 poll.
Similarly, the Independent Democrat has also elected a farmer, Mr. Franklin Ndife, as its flag-bearer for the same governorship election, contrary to popular practice where core politicians jostle to land the coveted ticket.
The BNPP candidate, Ohanugo, who hails from Imo State, was unanimously elected in a voice vote by 42 delegates drawn from the 21 local government areas of the state.
Announcing the winner in Awka, the state party chairman, who doubled as the primary election chairman, Hon. Emeka Obiako described the exercise as peaceful, decent and free of rancour.
He said the choice of the flag-bearer by the party was to prove that there is no difference between Anambra and Imo states, and that a non-indigene can govern the state better than most of its citizens.
â€œMy candidate is not even from Anambra, but from Imo. We want to show them that Anambra and Imo are the same. Ikem was born and bred in Onitsha. Someone who has lived in Onitsha for decades can be said to be a citizen of Anambra.
â€œHis father was the first and best chairman of the old Onitsha local government area comprising of Onitsha north, south and Ogbaru. He was also the first chairman of the Onitsha Market Traders Association (OMATA)â€, he said.
Obiako described the partyâ€™s candidate as a humble and unassuming, seasoned politician, whose friendly disposition extends to all, irrespective of religious affiliation and geographical location. In his acceptance speech, Ohanugo Ikem said he would encourage non indigenous policies, and revotionalise agriculture and industrialisation in the state, if voted into power.
Meanwhile, Ndife, a 35-year-old farmer, who was elected by 243 delegates of the party, said in his acceptance speech that he would work to stamp out poverty and also ensure youth empowerment of the people if elected governor of the state.
Ndife, who was announced winner of the gubernatorial primary contest by the Cross River State chairman of ID, Mr. Sunday Michael, said his major interest would be to empower youths, as older politicians in the state have through their policies impoverished women and children.
The national chairman of ID, Chief Edozie Madu, who congratulated Ndife on his emergence, said it was time for the youths to take over governance.
He said the party met and agreed that it would field a young candidate who would be acceptable to a larger population of the state, and that it also agreed that the youth will run with a female deputy as a way of showing its concern for the plight of women in the society.