On Friday, June 18, 2021, Valentine Ozigbo, one of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants ahead of the upcoming governorship primary, stole the headlines after news broke that he had received the endorsement of Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, the first Executive Governor of Anambra State.
This endorsement, which came along with a video, reportedly came as a shocker to the camp of another aspirant, Uche Ekwunife, the Anambra Senator representing the Central, who has spent the past month giving a false impression that Dr Ezeife, an elder statesman, had endorsed her gubernatorial candidacy.
In the video, which has gone viral nationally, Dr Eziefe, known by his Igbo title, Okwadike Ndigbo was captured, saying, “The first time I met Val, he did a presentation to me and I was swept away. Many people have impressed me, but Val impressed me the most”.
Among other things, Okwadike said, “So Val, when you become governor, I need your support”.
After his speech, Okwadike prayed for Ozigbo, saying, “Since all power belongs to God, may it please the Lord that you become the next Governor of Anambra State”.
Okwadike’s wife, the former first lady of Anambra State, Mrs Grace Ezeife joined her husband in blessing Valentine Ozigbo. The video shows the former first couple joined by their son, Engr Ebubedike Ezeife, and a number of other elder statesmen toasting to the success of Ozigbo at the upcoming primary and general elections.
According to a top party source, Sen Ekwunife has lost sleep since the video was released. It was gathered that she is making frantic efforts to reach Dr Ezeife to rescind Ozigbo’s endorsement, but he rebuffed her.
Following the development, Ekwunife has reportedly been seeking photo opportunities with Ezeife, which she could use to claim that he had endorsed her. But, unfortunately, this has proved abortive as Okwadike, and especially his wife, are not inclined to meet Ekwunife at this time.
Many observers are left wondering why her perceived Igboukwu-born political godfather has dumped the Igboukwu-born senator.
Information from an inside family source said although Okwadike is usually diplomatic and polite when he meets Senator Ekwunife, he honestly does not believe that she will make a good governor.
Meanwhile, Sen Ekwunife’s camp has been on overdrive, sharing old videos of Dr Ezeife making complimentary remarks about Sen Ekwunife. Some of the videos date back to when Okwadike, who is now in his 80s, was in his 60s.
Our source, who witnessed the endorsement of Valentine Ozigbo by the Ezeifes, reveals that Sen Ekwunife has lost the support of Dr Ezeife, His Excellency Peter Obi, and other top political stakeholders due to her failure to demonstrate grassroots support among PDP delegates in the just-concluded 3-person ad-hoc ward congresses.
“Most disappointing to His Excellency is her blatant attempt to rig the poll and inject violence into the process,” the source told our correspondent on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
“It was widely reported that Ekwunife’s agents made away with the result sheets in her local government area, Anaocha, in Anambra Central after it became clear that she had lost to Ozigbo. The same script played out in Dunukofia and parts of Awka South, Awka North, and Ekwusigo.”
This ugly scenario has seen Senator Ekwunife lose support wherever she had it. Our inside source confirms that she has been feeding Dr Ezeife with lies and inflating her chances at the polls and the Havard-trained statesman feels insulted by her actions and disappointed by her conduct.
“Okwadike wanted to escape the Ekwunife pressure. In Val’s endorsement video, Okwadike stated that he had already been working to ensure Val’s victory. It is on record; nobody can deny it,” our source said.
“The truth of the matter is that Okwadike wants Ekwunife to stop misusing his name. He never endorsed her, and he will not endorse her. That is the truth, and that’s what you saw happening in that video.
“The meeting at Okwadike’s house lasted for over two hours. What you people are seeing is just 5 mins of that event. Okwadike said so many things. If Ekwunife says that our father did not endorse Val, she should show the people a video where he said he did not endorse Val.
“It’s outrageous; I don’t understand the woman. Behind the scenes, she begs Okwadike to pray for her and then she goes to the media, create fake news of what our father did not say. This is unbecoming of a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the family source, who is privy to the private conversations on this subject matter, added.
The PDP is holding its primary in a few days, and our sources tell us that party leaders like Peter Obi, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Chief Olisa Metuh, Chief Chris Uba, Senator Joy Emordi, Evang Linus Ukachukwu, Chief Ben Obi are all working to ensure that the flag-bearer of the party comes from Anambra South Senatorial Zone in line with zoning agreement in the state.
Senator Ekwunife is married to Chief Larry Ekwunife from Anaocha in Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, the zone she represents in the National Assembly
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