The 2021 Anambra State gubernatorial election is scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 6, 2021, to elect the Governor of Anambra State. Amid concerns that the governorship election in Anambra State scheduled may be disrupted by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB) one-week sit-at-home order in the South-East, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is going ahead with preparations for the election. IPOB had ordered a “total lockdown” of the Southeastern states for five days, inclusive of the day of the Anambra election, unless its leader, Nnamdi Kanu is released unconditionally from his present incarceration.
INEC has confirmed there are 2.5 million registered voters for the Anambra election. Eighteen political parties are participating in the Anambra election which is obviously going to test the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC)’s readiness to conduct hitch-free, free, fair, and credible general elections across Nigeria in 2023. Out of these candidates, four have been touted as the leading candidates, based on the political party they represent and their popularities.
The four leading candidates are:
- Charles Soludo of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)
- Valentine Ozigbo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
- Andy Uba of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
- Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party (YPP)
Party: All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)
Age: 61 Years
Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR was born on 28th July 1960. He is a Nigerian economics professor and a former governor and chairman of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). He was CBN Governor between 29th May 2004 & 29th May 2009.
Soludo is a core professional in the business of macroeconomics. He obtained his three degrees and then professorship at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, Enugu State. Soludo graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 1984, an MSc in Economics in 1987, and a PhD in 1989, winning prizes for being the best student at all three levels.
In 1998, Soludo was appointed to the position of professor of economics at the University of Nigeria; the next year he became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA. He is also a member of the British Department for International Development’s International Advisory Group.
In February 2021, Soludo officially declared his intention to run for the position of Governor of Anambra State under the banner of APGA.
Soludo joined the federal government in 2003, Prior to his May 2004 appointment to the bank chairmanship, he held the positions of Chief Economic Adviser to former President Obasanjo and Chief Executive of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria. On 16 September 2019, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, appointed Soludo as a member of a newly formed 8-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) which would report directly to the President.
In September 2009, Soludo announced his aspiration for the seat of the Governor of Anambra State, in the election of 9 February 2010 under the flagship of the PDP, though he didn’t win the primaries. However, On 17 July 2013, Soludo resigned from the People’s Democratic Party after writing a letter to the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. He later joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance in preparation for the November 2013 governorship race in Anambra state but was later disqualified alongside five other people.
In February 2021, Soludo officially declared his intention to run for the position of Governor of Anambra State under the banner of APGA. About the insecurity issues in his state, Soludo said the insecurity challenges in the state is politically motivated.
Soludo stated this during the Anambra Gubernatorial Debate organised by Arise TV on Monday, noting that some individuals hope the situation would give them a political advantage.
Party: People’s Democratic Party ( PDP)
Age: 51 Years
Valentine Chineto “Val” Ozigbo () is a Nigerian politician and business executive. He was born on July 20, 1970, to Mr Andrew Ozigbo (a retired school headmaster) and Christiana Ozigbo (a small businesswoman). He studied Accounting at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka graduating with the class of 1994 with the best result in both Accounting and Business Administration. He obtained his MBA in Banking and Finance from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2000 and an MSc in finance with distinction from the Lancaster University, the United Kingdom in 2004. Ozigbo was a British Chevening Scholar in 2003–04.
He is the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria plc (Transcorp), a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments and core interests in the hospitality, agribusiness and energy sectors.
Previously, Ozigbo worked as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria-based hospitality company, Transcorp Hotels Plc. Transcorp Hotels is the hospitality subsidiary of Nigerian conglomerate Transcorp. He also worked in the banking sector, gaining over 17 years of experience with NAL Merchant Bank, Diamond Bank, Continental Trust Bank, amongst other banks.
Internationally, Ozigbo has participated in many international conferences including the World Economic Forum at Davos (WEF) and the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) in Nigeria; the African Development Bank annual meetings in China; the World Bank/ International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings in Washington DC; Euromoney and Economist Conferences in London; Euromoney debates on Capital Flows to Africa in London; and SIBOS 2009.
Valentino is married to Mary-Callista Ojiugo Ozigbo with whom he has three sons (Mario Obioma Ugochukwu, Chimdi Angello and Mitchel Chima) and one daughter (Valerie Chioma).
Ozigbo speaking on Monday during the Arise TV debate held for the governorship election candidates in Akwa, the state capital, called for the release of Kanu and the de-proscription of IPOB as a terrorist group.
Party: All Progressives Congress (APC)
Age: 62 Years
Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba popularly known as Andy Uba is a Nigerian politician who was elected Senator for the Anambra South Senatorial District of Anambra State, Nigeria, in April 2011 under the flagship of the People’s Democratic Party. However, in 2017, he defected to the All Progressives Congress.
Uba was born on 14 December 1958 in Enugu, to parents who originated from Uga in the Aguata LGA of Anambra State. He attended the Boys High School in Awkunanaw.
He allegedly said he had his tertiary education at Concordia University, Canada. However, the University denied that Emmanuel Nnamdi Uba graduated from the institution. They admitted that their records indicate that a certain Emmanuel Uba was admitted to the institution but never completed the program.
In 2003, he was appointed Special Assistant on Special Duties and Domestic Affairs to President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Uba’s senatorial election in 2011 was challenged by Senator Obiora, the Accord candidate, who claimed that Uba had forged his West African School Certificate (WASC) and had not obtained any of the university degrees that he claimed. The story of allegedly faked degrees dates back to a story written by two investigative reporters and published by The News in December 2006. Reporters claim that both Concordia and California State University said that although Uba enrolled, he did not graduate from either university.
The total net worth of Senator Emmanuel Andy Ubah is currently estimated at $2.1 billion, making him one of the Richest Igbo Men in Nigeria.
Uba’s strength in this election is a function of his party which is the ruling party in the country. He has promised a free education in the state if elected.
Party: Young Progressives Party (YPP)
Age: 50 Years
Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, is a Nigerian businessman, entrepreneur and currently the Senator, representing Anambra South Senatorial District in the Nigerian senate.
Ifeanyi was born to Mr. & Mrs Alphonsus Ubah in Otolo, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria. Due to the poor household, he grew in, he couldn’t complete his formal education. This led him to learn a trade from a very young age. His zest for success in business helped him in making strides as an entrepreneur.
Ifeanyi became an exporter of motor tyres and spare parts majorly in West Africa including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and DR Congo before he expanded his business ventures in some countries in Europe including Belgium and the United Kingdom
In 2001, he founded Capital Oil and Gas Limited. He is the founder of The Authority Newspaper, a Nigerian daily newspaper and also the owner of Ifeanyi Ubah F.C., a football club in the Nigeria Premier League.
In 2014, Ifeanyi Ubah lost at the 2014 Anambra gubernatorial election under the platform of the Labour Party. However, on 24 February 2019(5 years later), Ifeanyi Ubah was declared winner of the Anambra South Senatorial elections under the platform of the Young Progressive Party.
Ifeanyi Ubah is married to Uchenna Ubah, a Business Administration graduate from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, with whom they have 5 children. He also runs a foundation which is named after him; Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation.
While reading out his manifesto, Ubah stated that he has the vision for a calm, stable, assured and predictable security climate in Anambra, stressing that the safety of lives and property of the people was non-negotiable. He added that the safety of the people was a necessary precondition for the development of the state and bring to fruition the possibility of a new Anambra State.
He believes as a successful entrepreneur who grew his wealth from scratch, he can compete favourably against other established candidates and emerge as the new governor of Anambra State.
Ubah says security will be a major focus if he is elected. “On the security situation in my state, I have a different method that I am going to apply. I am going to apply information technology and information gathering to solve many problems. My constituency asked me to go and see how I can proffer political solutions to issues that surround Nnamdi Kanu. I will do that if elected,” he said.
Dr Obiora Okonkwo would fly the flag of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP); Obiora Agbasimalo, Labour Party; Dr Godwin Maduka, Accord Party’s; Bennet Etiaba, ( AA); Chidozie Nwankwo,( AAC); Akachukwu Nwankpo (ADC), Afam Ume-ezeoke (ADP); Geoffrey Onyejegbu (APM); Philip Echetebu (APP), Okeke Chika Jerry (BOOT Party). Leonard Ohajinkpo will contest on the platform of NNPP, Afam Ezenwafor for NRM, Nnamdi Nwawuo for PRP and Obinna Uzoh for SDP.
A Call for the release of Nnamdi Kalu
Nine candidates in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election have called for the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
In their resolutions, they said, “We, the candidates in the forthcoming Anambra State Governorship Election, commit unequivocally to non-violence and the maintenance of peace throughout the duration of the election and beyond.
They urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to demilitarise the South-East zone and stem the heightened tension, skirmishes and endless bloodletting between the security agencies and our youths.”
They also called on IPOB to avoid actions that would hinder the smooth running of the election.
The candidates who made their position known are Ben Etiaba, the AA; Charles Soludo, APGA; Obinna Uzoh, SDP; Akachukwu Nwankpo, ADC; Onyejegbu Okwudili, APM; Ifeanyi Uba, YPP; Andy Uba, APC; Nnamdi Nnawuo, PRP and Obiora Okonkwo of the ZLP.
Let’s hope that the election goes according to plans, so the state can return to a state of peace.