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In Anambra, Ex-Governorship Candidates Lock Horns in Senate Race

In Anambra, Ex-Governorship Candidates Lock Horns in Senate Race

Anambra State will not be holding governorship contest in this year’s general election, but the Senate race in the state is now dominated by former governorship contestants, David-Chyddy Eleke reports.

Given that there will be no governorship election in Anambra this year, the highest post in contest for Anambra people is the Senate election.
In all the three senatorial zones of the state, the candidates in all the leading political parties are mostly men and women who have tried their hands on the governorship contest, and this shows how grounded they are about the politics of the state.

There are however a few, who are also in the contest for the Senate race who have never given the state governorship seat a shot, but they too are no less politicians, as they consist of men who know the political terrain of the state very well, and are determined to do battle in the Senate contest. All these make the coming contest a tough battle.

Political Parties Involved and Their Candidates

In Anambra State, there are three established political parties in the state. They include the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), which is the ruling party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which commands a huge followership, having had the opportunity of providing governors in the state in the past, and the All Progressives Congress (APC), which uses its influence as the rulling party at the national level to present a strong showing in every election in the state.
Meanwhile, the Peter Obi factor has increased the number of political parties that have wide acceptance in the state to four, with the latest acceptance of Labour Party (LP).

Surprisingly, even as a fairly new political party in the state, the Labour Party is not only fiercely popular, but also parades high class politicians who have won elections in the past or led electoral victories in the state.

The three senatorial zones in the state include Anambra Central, Anambra South and Anambra North. In each of the three, political heavy weights have all lined up, gearing for battle during the February 25 election.

Anambra Central

Hon Dozie Nwankwo, a current member of the House of Representatives is flying the flag of APGA as he seeks to move up from the green to red chambers. He will be up against Senator Uche Ekwunife of PDP, a sitting Senator, who is also known to be a tenacious politician, and a grassroot mobiliser. She is known to be a veteran governorship contender, and has tried her luck in governorship race across political parties.

Both Ekwunife and Nwankwo would be having the candidate of the Labour Party, Senator Victor Umeh to contend with. Umeh had left APGA for Labour Party shortly after the primaries of the party, which was said to have been skewed against him as a way to humiliate him.

His entry into LP and the popularity of the presidential candidate of the party, Mr Peter Obi in Anambra State has long sent cold shivers down the spine of his challengers. From the APC, Mr Kodilichukwu Okelekwe, also a former governorship contestant is also in the race, but his chances are viewed as not being bright because of the lack of acceptance of APC in the state.

Feelers from electorates however suggest that the race may be between Ekwunife and Umeh, and both candidates are not unaware of the threat posed by the aspiration of their challengers, and have been working hard to ensure victory for themselves. Umeh and Ekwunife are not new to both political and legal battles between each other and February 25 will afford them another opportunity to test their popularity.

Anambra South

Here, the battle will be between the candidate of Young Peoples Party (YPP) Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, who is an incumbent Senator, and a very highly loved grassroot politician and Hon Chris Azubogu of APGA, who is an incumbent member of the House of Representatives.

Though other political parties like the PDP, APC, LP also have candidates in the election, but they have not demonstrated enough ability to defeat the two candidates mentioned above.

The PDP will be represented by self-styled godfather of Anambra politics, Chief Chris Uba, while APC has Hon Chuma Umeoji and LP, Dr Obinna Uzor. Though the APC candidate, Umeoji, who is also an incumbent member of the House of Representatives has been adjudged a strong politician, who used his cult following to harass the APGA factional candidate in the 2021 governorship election, Prof Chukwuma Soludo. He later left the party for APC after a court rulling which insisted on Soludo as APGA candidate.

The race is indisputably between Ifeanyi Ubah and Azubogu. But while Azubogu will be banking on the popularity of APGA in the state, and the efforts of the state governor who is the leader of the party, Ubah has already used philanthropy and empowerment to gain acceptance among the people of the area, and may be very difficult to upstage.

Anambra North

Chief among the contestants in this zone are wife of the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Mrs Ebele Obiano, incumbent Senator representing the area; Princess Stella Oduah and former member of House of Representatives, and one time chairman of PDP in Anambra State, Hon Tony Nwoye, who is also a veteran governorship election contender.

While Obiano is of APGA, Oduah represents PDP, while Nwoye is flying the flag of LP.

All the three politicians have been adjudged as very strong in their own ways, and each having advantage in various places over the other.
Credible sources within the zone have however said that even though there are other candidates in the race, these three are the candidates who can win the election.

Mrs Obiano, banking on the influence of her husband is hoping for victory, while Oduah is hoping on the power of her philanthropy for victory. Nwoye, on the other hand, has been identified as a grassroot mobiliser, and experienced politician who has a cult following in the entire state, and most especially in Anambra North. He has been adjudged to be in good standing for victory in the election.

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