The deadline given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for all registered political parties interested in participating in the November 2021 Anambra State governorship election elapses in less than 24 hours.
The development, newsmen has gathered, has heightened last minute scheming and jostling within the ranks of the Jude Okeke-led leadership of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and its candidate in the election, Chuma Umeoji.
Recall that according to the election timetable released by INEC, political parties are required to submit the personal particulars and names/list of nominated candidates between July 2 and July 9, 2021.
With the development, APGA leadership and Umeoji, who is a current member of the House of Representatives has come under intense pressure and lobbying over the choice of who becomes the governorship candidate’s running mate in the election.
Those who have been mounting the pressure are critical stakeholders in the state, including elder statesmen, party stalwarts, the clergy and some members of the traditional institution among others.
Those who have been shortlisted as possible deputy governorship candidate to run with Umeoji include two renowned female professors, two former United Nations diplomats, one House of Assembly member and two former members of the House of Representatives.
Prominent among those being put forward for the job however is a renowned Professor and Dean of one of the Federal Universities. She is an award-winning writer with over 14 years of research work.
Many concerned stakeholders and key leaders of APGA including Umeoji’s numerous followers and supporters are favourably disposed to picking a woman as his running mate.
They are on the same page on their position that a female running mate with unblemished and high sounding academic achievements will go a long way in helping the incoming government to have all the needed capacity to keep the APGA agenda working and renewed further in the state. The need for women inclusiveness and closing of the gap between the old and new generation is been considered as crucial to the incoming APGA govt .
The stakeholders are also of the view that with a woman and a professional as a running mate for Umeoji, this will prevent distraction.
After emerging victorious in the election, they are arguing that with the choice of the woman, Umeoji will focus on piloting the affairs of the state without being weighed down by unnecessary rivalry and clashes between governors and deputies.
If the wishes of APGA stakeholders sail through as planned, the party will be fielding a young vibrant and academic giant as deputy governor.
This will no doubt redeem the image of the party which recently nosedived with the nomination of a native doctor by the suspended Oye/Soludo camp.