Since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), published the list of cleared candidates for the November 2021, Anambra state governorship election, many Nigerians have been reacting differently to the exclusion of the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, who allegedly won the Primaries of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Another notable exclusion from the INEC list is the alleged winner of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the same election, Valentine Ozigbo. Arguably, the exclusion of these two heavyweights, believed to be among the favourites to win the election, came to many people as a shock. Some others have equally compared their exclusion from INEC list. However, their cases are not the same.
In the case of Soludo, a former Governor of the CBN, his exclusion was based on party leadership crisis, which saw the Court declare Jude Okeke as the Chairman of APGA’s National Working Committee (NEC). It should be recalled that Professor Soludo’s nomination is under the factional leadership of Chief Victor Oye, who lost the legal battle in court to Jude Okeke.
On the other hand, Valentine Ozigbo was excluded from the list of cleared candidates due to a court order. It should be recalled that a few days ago Premium Times reported that an Abuja High Court has ordered INEC to suspend the publication of PDP candidate for the November 2021, Anambra state governorship election until the issue is resolved.
It is no longer news that Valentine Ozigbo and Senator Ugochukwu Uba emerged as the PDP candidates from parallel primaries. However, Valentine approached the court seeking to be recognized as the authentic candidate of the party for the forthcoming election, which made the court to order INEC not to publish any name as the candidate of the PDP until the case is decided.
With this, it can be observed that the case of Soludo and Ozigbo, which appear to be similar, actually differs. While the case of Soludo seems to have been settled by the court ruling that recognized Jude Okeke as the party’s chairman, Valentine Ozigbo still has a chance of being listed depending on the outcome of the suit he filed in court.