As 2023 draws near, it appears that the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA’S ticket for Anambra Central Senatorial District will be keenly contested.
AT gathered that contrary to what was operational in the past, the ticket would not be the exclusive preserve of the former National Chairman of the party, Senator Victor Umeh as a number of politicos within the party are angling to take a shot at the ticket.
Umeh who served as National Chairman of APGA for ten years had been gifted the Senatorial ticket of the party in 2015 and 2019 on a platter of gold. On both occasions, Umeh had jostled with Senator Uche Ekwunife edging her out of in 2015 but then failed to return in 2019.
Umeh’s decision to return to the Senate in 2023 was perhaps informed by the demand by a coalition of progressive groups to Umeh to declare for the seat.
However, two contenders have emerged to give Umeh a run for his money, while it is rumoured that two other titans are still in their.consulting stages and would also declare for that position.
The two sure contenders for now are Uzuegbunam Okagbue, Chief Protocol Officer to Governor Willie Obiano and Honourable Dozie Nwankwo, a two time member of the House of Representatives.
Okagbue, a former Executive Director of one of Nigeria’s biggest banks hails from Umunachi in Dunukofia Local Government Area.
For Dozie Nwankwo, his decision.to run for the ticket despite his poor performance in the House has startled onlookers. Also, his declaration seems to have.unsettled the Umeh camp as Nwankwo’s declaration will reduce Umeh’s appeal to.party members as well as Umeh’s political family, which has Nwankwo as a key member.
This has prompted Umeh to kickstart his ambition earlier than expected, according to a source who pleaded for anonymity, Umeh many moves at this point in time was provoked by the declarations of the duo of Okagbue and Nwankwo. The source alleged that Umeh had rather focused his radar on the incumbent APGA Chairman, Victor Oye, who is reported to also nurse such ambition. Prior to this period, there seema to be no love lost between Umeh and Oye, even though Umeh had played a major role in ensuring that Oye succeeded him as national chairman. Following the 2019 elections, Umeh had in a letter to Willie Obiano had accused Oye of defrauding a number of APGA’S aspirants in the build up to the party’s primaries. This was however dismissed by Oye who described Umeh’s letter as blackmail. Oye, it is gathered is currently eying the Senatorial ticket and intends to give Umeh a run for his money.
While, Umeh is banking on his extensive political contacts and achievements as a senator from 2018 to 2019 to edge out the likes of Nwankwo, Okagbue’s declaration may also add to Umeh’s troubles. First of all Okagbue as head of Obiano’s protocol is also force in his own right, hails from a renown family in Anambra and is said to possess deep pockets. Umeh it is alleged is not underating anyone. He has already begun courting the likes of Chukwuma Soludo, the governor-elect of Anambra State and those deemed having some influence on Soludo. It has even been rumoured that Soludo is quite disposed to Umeh’s ambition since it was one of the agreements reached with Umeh in order for the latter to support Soludo’s guber ambition.
The disposition of the governor elect however has also been touted by the other two aspirants . At a thank you meeting between Nwankwo and APGA chieftains, Nwankwo had boasted of Soludo’s support for his senatorial ambition to the attendees describing his nicking the party’s ticket as a done deal. For Okagbue, while he is deemed as a rookie, there are still hopes that he posseses some magic in his sleeves.
AT promisessto keep our readers posted on all happenings arising from the battle for the Anambra Central ticket in APGA.