...Ekwunife, Okonkwo trail at 5th Place with 40%
…Ekwunife, Okonkwo trail at 5th Place with 40%
The gubernatorial candidacy of Valentine Ozigbo, a Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist, received a fresh boost over the weekend when he emerged top on the list of his Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) sixteen aspirants.
There is no doubt that the upcoming Anambra State gubernatorial elections will be one of the most keenly contested elections in the history of the southeastern state.
A few months to the poll slated for November 2021, there is a long list of aspirants from five political parties vying for the #1 seat in Anambra. As the election date draws near, various news platforms, political analysts, and public affairs commentators have carried out analyses on the aspirants, the chances of the political parties at the polls, popularity with the electorate, and the aspirants’ chances of clinching.
Elombah TV, a popular first-generation online news platform in Nigeria, has taken the lead in presenting the Anambra gubernatorial aspirants and the issues surrounding the November governorship polls to their audience.
On Saturday, May 15, 2021, the influential news platform turned the spotlight on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition party, and its 16 gubernatorial aspirants.
The interactive session was broadcast on Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube was anchored by Mr Daniel Elombah, a UK-based Anambra-born journalist and the publisher of Elombah News and Elombah TV. The main discussant was Chima Christian, a famous political analyst, an on-air personality, and media practitioner based in Awka, the capital of Anambra.
According to Elombah, the program aims to run an in-depth analysis of each of the PDP aspirants, present their profiles, and assess their candidacy and their capacity to win their party primaries, as well as win the general elections.
In what has been generally adjudged as the most objective, indepth, and straightforward analysis so far, Valentine Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc, emerged as the most likely to clinch the PDP gubernatorial ticket in June 2021 with the high score of 90%.
While speaking on the qualities of Mr Ozigbo that made him the most rated among the PDP aspirants, Mr Chima, the forum discussant, described the accomplished business leader as “an intellectual” and remarked that “excellence is what you see all around him”.
According to Mr Christian, Mr Ozigbo has distinguished himself through record-breaking exploits in the Nigerian financial sector and then in Transcorp Plc, one of the largest conglomerates in Nigeria with 300,000 shareholders with interests in power, oil and gas, agribusiness, energy, and hospitality.
“Val Ozigbo has been an accomplished businessman. He was sitting at the top leadership of Transcorp Plc. He has a nice profile and CV cut out there,” Christian said.
“He has three degrees and one is from Lancaster University. I have spoken to him and he seems nice and smooth sailing. For one perceived as a newcomer, Val is doing exceedingly, exceedingly well.
“He has competent people around him, and by the way, he is a sound intellectual. And what he is doing with his campaign is exactly what he did with Transcorp. Excellence is what you see all around him,” he enthused.
The platform used ten criteria to assess the aspirants – name recognition, church advantage, popularity in Anambra, ability to finance their campaign, key PDP stakeholder support, Anambra elite support, youth support, their chances of winning the party’s ticket, image and discipline in the public view, and chances of winning the general election.
All the other aspirants were analysed through the same lens as Mr Ozigbo and only federal federal lawmaker, Engr. Chris Azubogu, clinched a similarly high score. Trailing in second place was Hon. Tony Nwoye with a score of 70%. In 3rd position was Dr Ifedi Okwenna and Dr Winston Udeh who got 50% each. Fourth place was Mr Godwin Ezeemo with 45%. In 5th place, Dr Obiora Okonkwo and Uche Ekwunife, the Senator representing Anambra Central, who obtained 40% each.
Other aspirants ranked were Dr Godwin Maduka (less than 20%), Chief Emeka Etiaba (30%), Hon Chuma Nzeribe (30%), Chief John Maduafokwa (20%), Sen Ugochukwu Uba (15%), Walter Okeke (15%), Hon Genevieve Ekwochi (20%), and Barrister Chidi Onyemelukwe.
The interaction was attended by over one hundred viewers, including some of the aspirants, PDP stakeholders, and other political office holders in Anambra and beyond.