By Joe Chukindi, Awka
Contrary to the popular notion canvassed around Anambra State that Chief Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA) in the Anambra Central rerun billed for 5thMarch may run as a sole candidate, INEC has stated that 12 other people will be running against Umeh in the election.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) of the Independent National Electoral commission(INEC), Dr Lawrence Azubuike stated this when party members called at his office.
Azubuike was reacting to questions from some of the leaders who were expressing worries that with candidates of the PDP and APC out of the game, that of the APGA may be going to the senate as a sole candidate, which they said will defeat the very essence of democracy.
The REC said it is not true that Umeh will be a sole candidate as 15 candidates had vied for the position on March 28, and with the candidates of the PDP and APC out, the APGA candidate will be faced with 12 other candidates to beat.
Our correspondent through investigations gathered that the candidates include; OYEH MERCY UCHE of ACCORD Party, OBY KATE OKAFOR of ACD, CHIEF ANAYO AUGUSTINE NWEKE, ADC, CHRISTOPHER AKUDO C.U. CHUKWENDU CPP and OKAFOR IKECHUKWU of ID.
Others are; CHIEF DENNIS N.F. OGUGUO, KOWA, KINGSLEY CHUKWUMA NWOFOR LP, EKWEOZOH CHRISTOPHER NKEM MPPP, UBAKAMMA JEROME IKENNA NCP, REV. CHARLES ONYEKACHI EKWUEME PDC, IGWILO MICHAEL PPA and IKECHUKWU FLINT OBIEKWE UPP.
A source told our correspondent that the candidates of the parties who are all regarded as mushroom parties have been strategizing among themselves over how they can pull support for one of their own against Umeh who is seen as the super candidates.
But another source said all the candidates are ‘hungry’ and will need only settlement for them to switch their allegiance to the APGA candidate, who is seen to be the most financially buoyant for now.
INEC has maintained its insistence that only candidates and political parties that participated in the March 28th 2015 general elections will participate in the rerun election, and this has put out the PDP, whose candidate, Mrs Uche Ekwunife was said not to be duly nominated for the election, and APC, whose candidate, Dr Chris Ngige has declined the contest on the grounds that he has been appointed as a minister.