Anambra Central: Stakeholders give Ekwunife nod to return to senate
Senator Uche Ekwunife has got the nod of stakeholders from Anambra Central Senatorial District to return to the Senate as they vowed to massively canvas for votes for her in the forthcoming re-run Senatorial election in the zone.
The Stakeholders led by the former Governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi, former Presidential Special Adviser, Senator Ben Obi and former Speaker of the State Assembly and now member representing Awka North and South Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Anayo Nebe at a town hall meeting in Awka appreciated the account rendered by Ekwunife within the brief period she was in the Senate and agreed that she is most appropriate to represent the zone.
It could be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu had on Monday, December 7, 2015 nullified Ekwunifes election and ordered for fresh election for the Senatorial District after setting aside what it called perverse decision of the lower court.
Their decision came just as former State Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state; Chief Okoli Akirika had said that Ekwunife was not disqualified by the Court of Appeal to re-contest the poll.
He said What the court held was that the primary that produced her was illegitimate.
There was nowhere in the entire body of the judgement where the term, disqualified was ever used by the court.
What the court did which I think is proper, beneficial, salutary, and is progressive of the electoral norms and principles was that any candidate must be lawfully and legitimately sponsored by a political party in accordance with the mandatory provisions of section 65(2) of the Electoral Act.
However, at the town hall meeting held at Marble Arch Hotel, Awka, and attended by stakeholders from the seven local government areas that make up the zone, the people noted that Ekwunife having acquired enormous legislative experience that would be of great advantage to the zone, it would be their duty to do everything humanly possible to ensure that she was massively voted for during fresh election ordered by the court.
The Stakeholders in a resolution they passed at the meeting, stressed that the mandate given to Ekwunife during the last National Assembly election in zone cannot be compromised, notwithstanding the decision of the court.
The resolution which motion for its passage was moved by a former Commissioner in Anambra State, Chief Kenneth Enemuo and seconded by a former member of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Chuba Oranusi, further said, It is hereby resolved without equivocation that we shall massively vote her back to the Senate to continue her good works.
Speaking at the meeting former Governor Obi said that Ekwunifes presence at the Senate would benefit the people of zone a great deal, urging them to repeat the feat they did during the last election by ensuring that she was voted for massively.
He said, We did it before and we will do it again. The desire of the people of Anambra Central zone is to have somebody in the Senate, who can effectively attract dividends of democracy to our zone.
Meanwhile, Chief Akirika who commended the Court for taking time to look into the matter of qualification involving a third party and the candidacy of another party, noting that it would strengthen internal democracy across political parties in future elections and cautioned Ekwunife to properly validate her candidacy with her party before the poll.
He said, The Court of Appeal declared her PDP candidacy an illegitimate one and ordered for a fresh election, any other person could emerge in the PDP primaries, as its candidate in the poll.
Akirika advised his party, APGA, to get prepared for the rerun poll instead of living in the illusion that the PDP had been disqualified.