[By Theo Rays]
The perceived aspiration of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, as well as another two-time governorship candidate, Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu to win ticket of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for the 2021 governorship election in Anambra State, this year, may face stiffer competition following calls by traders and other groups to Hon Okwudili Ezenwankwo to join the political race under the party.
Hon Ezenwankwo, a market leader and serving member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Orumba North/South Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives got the nod of the traders during a ceremony to distribute relief materials as bungalows, vehicles, food stuffs and clothes among other things to the youth, women, the needy, including members of APGA organised by the Okwudili Ezenwankwo Foundation (OEF) at his country home of Nanka in Orumba North.
The traders who converged under the aeges of APGA Ex Market leaders and Stakeholders Forum said they are asking Ewepudike to run for Governor because he has acquired enough experience needed to take over the helm of Anambra affairs from where Governor will stop in 2022.
Chief Chuma Eruchalu who read a written address presented to Ezenwankwo stated that the traders forum drawn from all the zones in the State such as Onitsha zone, Awka, Zone, Nnewi zone, Aguata zone, Ogbaru zone and Idemili zone picked Ezenwankwo as the best to succeed Obiano after a careful study of the situation of things in Anambra State.
Eruchalu assured their host who served as the President General of the defunct Amalgamated Market Traders Association of Anambra State (AMATAS) for about 10years that the forum will mobilize all the necessary support for him if he considers to join the race for the Anambra job.
He said “Well if you talk about those who are in ground and who understands the true situation of things in Anambra, I think we are no one. And it is on this background that we have deemed it right to come and ask you to come out and contest for the governorship seat of Anambra State in 2021 election. We know you can do it and we have made up our mind that we will support you in our capacity as traders from all the markets in Anambra State.”
Other groups that asked the Reps Member to run the 2021 race under APGA include Okwudili Ezenwankwo Mandate Group (OEMG) and Anambra Integrated Campaign Group (AICG) plus women and youth. In his words, the leader of OEMG Comrade Okechukwu Obi said that Ezenwankwo has not just build the bridges needed to retain APGA at the government house in Awka with his widespread of popularity and acceptability everywhere in Anambra State but also carries the strength needed to sustain the tight security put in place by Governor Obiano.
In his response Ezenwankwo said that he will take the necessary steps to look into the issue adding that he will pray and consult with God and also consult with relevant stakeholders in the party. “Well I have listened well to what you have read and said before my family and my constituents that I should come out and contest the election for Governor of Anambra State. I want to assure that it is not going to be swept under the carpet, I will look into it, pray and consult with God along with my family and also reach out to relevant stakeholders after that I will call you and give my answer” he added.
Earlier on, the National Chairman of APGA Ozomkpu Victor Ike Oye said that the party is carefully watching the performances of those serving under its platform adding that he came to Nanka to witness the ceremony to encourage Ezenwankwo’s massive philanthropic drive.
“I am here to encourage you to continue what you are doing for humanity. What you have done here today will open both spiritual and physical doors for you because the Bible says that God loves a cheerful giver and givers never lack. Givers always receive open doors from God right round,” he added.
According to the Director of Okwudili Ezenwankwo Foundation, Barr Clifford Okoye, items distributed to the people by the Reps Member include; 2 bungalows built and donated to two people at Nnewi and Ogboji in Orumba South, 20 units of shuttle buses, five tricycles, popularly known as keke, 20 motorcycles, 700 bags of 50kg rice, 1500 bags of 25kg rice, clothes, gallons of insecticides and spray, among other things, plus cash to help people raise their businesses.