A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, says he is still in the Anambra State governorship race despite the exclusion of his name from the list of candidates for the November 6 election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Mr Soludo emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in a primary election conducted by the mainstream members of the party on July 23.
INEC had published Chukwuma Udoji as the authentic candidate of APGA in the poll based on court order.
Mr Udoji had emerged as the candidate of the party in a primary election conducted by a factional national chairman of the party, Jude Okeke.
Reacting to the INEC publication, Mr Soludo in a statement by his media aide, Joe Anatune, said he would contest the November 6 election despite the odds.
The statement, obtained by The Punch, read: “The Chukwuma Soludo Campaign has been briefed on a publication by the Independent National Electoral Commission where Honourable Chukwuma Umeorji has been published as the candidate of the APGA in the November 6, 2021, gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
“The INEC publication is based on a judgment by a High Court in Jigawa State, and the electoral body sensibly wrote that its inclusion of Umeorji as a candidate in the election is “By Judgment”.
“Our millions of supporters in Anambra State and elsewhere in the world are advised not to be dispirited by the publication seriously.
“Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo will participate in the governorship election as the APGA candidate. His nomination was strictly in line with the Electoral Law and INEC guidelines.
“INEC observed the APGA Congress on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, where he was nominated after winning 93.4 per cent of the valid votes cast in a free, fair and transparent manner which was broadcasted live on national television networks as part of deepening the democratic process in Nigeria.
“Our team of dedicated and competent legal experts has studied the judgment and is confident of overturning it effortlessly.
“The party is at liberty to nominate the right candidate so long as due process is followed. Soludo’s nomination followed due process religiously.”
The statement added, “Our supporters and indeed all Anambra people, who have been waiting patiently for Soludo’s leadership of the state, are advised not to be deterred by the Jigawa State Court order.
“They should rather remain supremely confident of not only Soludo’s participation in the November 6 election but also his triumph in the polls with a big margin which will lead to a new era in our state for the benefit of all.”