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Jonathan, Obiano Feud Deepens As Amaechi’s In-Law Gets Set To Grab APGA NASS Ticket In Anambra


By Chuks Ehirim

In spite of claims from the camp of the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, that all is well between the Governor and the Presidency, sources said the alliance between APGA and President Goodluck Jonathan for support in the 2015 general elections may be heading for a crash.

Recall that Governor Obiano’s party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA was one of the earliest political groups to endorse the second term ambition of President Jonathan. In return, the President’s party, Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] would allow APGA to field candidates for legislative positions especially in Anambra State.

The two parties have been enjoying very cozy relationship. The President did not only nominate Sir Victor Umeh and Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, National Chairman and National Secretary of APGA, respectively as delegates to the recently concluded National Conference, even when the leadership tussle of the party was still in court, he also conferred national honour on Umeh. Jonathan has also included Governor Obiano in his  foreign trips recently.

But the plot by the Governor and the APGA leadership to field a close ally and brother in-law to the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Chibike Amaechi, Mr Dozie Nwankwo, as the party’s candidate for the Anaocho, Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal Constituency election appears to be putting a knife in the alliance.

When it was first learnt that Nwankwo who in 2011 contested for the same position on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria [ACN] and lost, was angling for APGA ticket this time around, the Presidency was said not to have taken it kindly. Both Obiano and the leadership of APGA were said to have been cautioned against such move.

The grouse of the Presidency is said to have stemmed from the fact that the Rivers State Governor who is a well-known political foe of President Jonathan is sponsoring Nwankwo.

The hawks in the Presidency said the moves are clandestine attempt to bring to the National Assembly, elements that would be fighting Jonathan if he returns after the 2015 elections.

First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan is said to have told both Governor Obiano and APGA leadership not to allow Nwankwo fly its flag for the House of Representatives election. Though the party leaders are said to have assured the First Lady what she heard was a mere rumour which will not come to reality, but emerging facts now show that Nwankwo is almost on the verge of picking the APGA ticket for the race.

He has already been cleared to contest the party’s primary election for the ticket.

Contrary to Obiano’s claims that his government is not backing Nwankwo, reports show that the aspirant is enjoying the patronage of the state government. Sources in Anambra revealed to African Examiner’s correspondent that prominent members of Governor Obiano’s cabinet have been accompanying Nwankwo in his campaign tours of late. Among those fingered in this regard is the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Vicky Chikwelu. Apart from her, other aides of the Governor are said to have been accompanying Nwakwo in his electioneering campaigns.

Nwankwo who is contesting for the ticket with two other aspirants, Chief Mike Nkwocha and Chief Okagbue Onochie, is said to be favored to pick the ticket, notwithstanding the opposition from the Presidency.

The possible success of Nwankwo in this regard, is causing some ripples between Mrs Jonathan and the First Lady of Anambra State, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano. This strained relationship between the two first ladies is said to have manifested in the refusal, three times so far, by Mrs Jonathan to visit Anambra for the purpose of lunching the Women Empowerment Programmes initiated by Mrs Obian0.

A presidency source was quoted as saying that it is a big contradiction for the leadership of APGA to be talking about endorsing President Jonathan’s re-election bid and at the same time be fielding the cronies of the President’s political foes for National Assembly election.

But sources close to the leadership of the party, said that since the First lady is said to be supporting Hon. Uche Ekwunife for Senatorial election in the same constituency, which the APGA National Chairman is also running for, the party leadership may not be blamed for working against the directive of the Presidency in Nwankwo’s constituency.

Meanwhile, a source close to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state denied the governor’s involvement in his brother-in-law political ambition in Anambra state.

“I think it’ll be unfair for anyone to link Governor Amaechi with Mr Nwankwo’s political aspiration, he is more than able to sponsor his own election.” The source stated.

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