Ahead of Anambra State gubernatorial election, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Independent Leaders Forum (ILF), has cautioned former governors and leaders in the state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against interference in selection of a running mate for PDP’s governorship candidate, Valentine Ozigbo.
It said that the party leaders and former governors, particularly those in the party, have allegedly embarked on the process of picking a running mate for Ozigbo, who was Transcorp’s former boss, describing such a move as undemocratic.
According to ILF, the imposition moves embarked upon by the ex-governors and the leaders could further mar the party’s chances of resting power from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) during the governorship election.
They gave the advice ahead of November 6th, 2021 gubernatorial election through a statement signed by its President, Obinna Okafor, and made available to newsmen on Friday in Awka, the state capital.
The forum, while narrating what had begun to transpire within the party structures, alleged that a former governor of the state, Peter Obi, was attempting to single-handedly impose a running mate on the governorship candidate.
“The forum observed the antics of Peter Obi to impose a running mate in the persons of Prof. Stella Okunna or Ndubuisi Menakaya, without recourse to other critical stakeholders in the party.
“Aware that the choice of a running mate is the business of the party and generality of the major Stakeholders, we completely reject the mentioned persons because they are not grassroots politicians.
“With all sense of humility and modesty, we do not want a repeat of what happened in 2017 where Peter Obi was in the forefront of the campaign, sidelining the campaign organisation, the resultant effect was PDP losing 21/21 councils to APGA. No single individual can deliver a Governorship Candidate successfully, without the input of other major stakeholders,” the group stated.
The organisation said that since 2003 till date, it was the first time that a PDP candidate would emerge by a collective effort of major stakeholders, and not by selection through a godfatherism.
According to the group, it is important to protect the candidate with all jealousy against those actions that were capable of making the party lose the election scheduled to hold in the next four months.
“We will not hesitate to mobilize other youths to work against the party if Obi or any individual impose a running mate on the candidate without the collective input of other critical stakeholders,” it said.