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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

PDP panel grills Anambra gov aspirants

by Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja



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The Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday in Abuja said it had screened 17 of its 24 aspirants from Anambra State ahead of the November 16 governorship poll in the state.

Two of the screened aspirants are women. They are Mrs. Josephine Anenih and Mrs. Ifunanyachukwu Kramer.

The seven remaining aspirants, it was gathered, were unable to pay the N10m each demanded by the party for its nomination form.

The party's National Reconciliation Committee, headed by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, after a meeting with the aspirants at the party's headquarters, announced the fees, which the women among them protested against even when they were to pay N5m instead of N10m their male counterparts paid.

The party's five-man screening panel, headed by Alhaji Aminu Wali, it was gathered, asked the aspirants questions in connection with their eligibility.

The panel also looked into the aspirants' tax papers, previous positions held in the party and their educational qualifications among others.

Result of the screening was due for Tuesday, but as of the time of filling this report at about 10pm, many of the aspirants said they had yet to receive any communication from the panel.

The aspirants, who picked the nomination forms, are Senator Andy Uba; a former member of the House of Representatives, Nicholas Ukachukwu; a businessman, Chief Obinna Uzor, and a former party chairman in the state, Chief Tony Nwoye.

Others are Chief Sylvester Okonkwo, Charles Odunukwe, the Special Assistant to the President and Secretary of the SURE-P, Akachukwu Nwankpo; Senator Emma Anosike; the Nigeria Ambassador to Turkey, Jerry Ugokwe, and Chief Ugochukwu Okeke.

Meanwhile, some of the aspirants on Tuesday expressed their willingness to support a consensus candidate arrangement ahead of the party's August 24 congress.

Akachukwu and Odunukwe, in separate interviews with our correspondent, after submitting their forms in Abuja, said they would support the arrangement if there were a need for it.

Akachukwu also noted that he was in the race to bring the needed foreign investors and industrialists to the state.

He added, "I am not here to speak on the things I have attracted to the state. I can tell you that if God finds it worthy for me to lead Anambra State, I have the desire for change and I promise to transform the state."