Anambra billionaires to review stance on Soludo as Ozigbo invites stakeholders
Barely three days to the close of the substitution window set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the November 6, 2021 gubernatorial poll in Anambra State, billionaire captains of industry in the state have planned a meeting to review affairs in the three major political parties.
The Guardian learnt that during the meeting, scheduled for Friday, July 30, the billionaires would deliberate on the implications of pending lawsuits and factionalisation of the governing All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on the governorship candidate of the party, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.
It would be recalled that some multi-billionaire businessmen endorsed Soludo for the forthcoming election before the litigations and factionalisation came up.
One of the billionaires told The Guardian that the meeting became necessary following the listing of another aspirant as APGA candidate by INEC. He said there was the need to know how to deploy campaign funds so that the group would not put all their eggs in one basket.
He disclosed that the forum would also discuss representations from the African Democratic Congress (ADC), which he described as an offshoot of APGA. According to him, some of the persons in the group are of the view that the former Special Assistant to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Technical Matters, Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, should be accommodated.
“We want to hear from lawyers and some old politicians on the developments in the major parties and consider governorship candidates that have bright prospects and are not harassed by court cases,” the billionaire, an oil magnate, said.
This is just as the gubernatorial standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, convened “an important meeting” of PDP stakeholders to update them on his “reconciliation efforts, litigation, campaign organisation and other matters of interest.”
Ozigbo said those expected at the meeting include, the Anambra PDP leader (Mr. Peter Obi), Board of Trustees and National Executive Council members from the state, fellow 2021 governorship aspirants, senators, House of Reps member, all former National Assembly members still in the PDP and all members of the dissolved PDP state executive committee.
While indicating that the meeting would hold on Thursday, July 29, Ozigbo told the invitees: “I will be honoured by your presence. I look forward to receiving you.”
A source within his VCO Campaign Organisation told The Guardian that the PDP candidate’s meeting with stakeholders is ostensibly to reassure them of his candidacy and stave off “plans by a rival governorship aspirant to lure them out of PDP to a smaller party.”
It would be recalled that following crisis in APGA, PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the build up to the November 6 governorship election, three other parties: ADC, Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Labour Party (LP) emerged as strong contenders.
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