Ahead the November 16 Anambra governorship election, the spokesman for the Lagos State chapter of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr Joe Igbokwe, has tipped Senator Chris Ngige (ACN, Anambra) as the man to beat in the poll which will be a true test of the popularity of the yet-to-be registered All Progressives Congress (APC).
Igbokwe hinged his recommendation of the former governor on the need to sustain the tempo and raise the stake of good governance in the state.
The ACN spokesman, who recalled how his preference for present Governor Peter Obi over Ngige in 2010 pitted him against party members, explained that his position was informed by the trauma Obi went through to reclaim his mandate; freely given to him by the Anambra people, in court.
In a statement released by Mr. Igbokwe, he explains thus: “I wanted Governor Peter Obi to get a second term because of all the troubles he went through to reclaim his mandate and all the troubles he suffered going through criminal impeachment and through courts and tribunals to reclaim his mandate.”
Though Igbokwe said the supporters of Senator Ngige reported him to former Lagos State Governor and ACN national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu that he was engaging in anti-party activities, he said he has not been disappointed with Obi’s landmark achievements in the state.
However, according to Mr. Igbokwe, the time has now come for Ngige to take the mantle of leadership and add more value to the politics of the state.
He said: “The rest is now history but it was an excruciating and daunting experience for me. I have never regretted it.
“I will appeal that we put this matter behind us and move on. We have a target and that is to make 2014 a memorable year. We will join the teeming and enthusiastic Anambra voters to elect Dr. Ngige as the governor of Anambra State. So, let us all move forward with that spirit until victory is achieved.”
He expressed confidence that the All Progressive Congress (APC) will field a progressive candidate to succeed Obi, whose two-term tenure of eight years expires next year.
Igbokwe said: “All the energies at our disposal will be deployed to make this a reality. We will put our hands, our feet, our eyes, our brains, our strengths, our human and material resources to make the dream come true.
“This support would not be based on flimsy grounds but the best interest of Anambra at heart. We will work hard to elect for ourselves a man best suited to continue the progressive march.”
He noted that Ngige during his first stint as governor was the architect of the historic liberation of Anambra politics from the shackles of godfathers and minions, adding that the liberty paved the way for Obi’s success.
“For the avoidance of doubts, the template of Anambra renaissance we all are benefiting from today was set up by Ngige when he damned the hawkish demands of the godfathers to free Anambra and its resources for the people of Anambra,” Igbokwe noted.