Soludo’s many battles in Anambra ahead of 2025 reelection

Although Anambra State governor, Prof. Charles Soludo is not leaving any stone unturned ahead of next year governorship election, preparations by the opposition parties are already giving leaders of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) some sleepless nights, LAWRENCE NJOKU reports.

Anambra State governor, Prof. Charles Soludo is not in pretense about his desire to retain his office during the next year’s governorship election in the state. In the last couple of days, he has kept the airwaves abuzz with showcasing his achievements so far in office as part of the anniversary for his two years in office.

Although he has not told anyone that what he is doing now is part of his re-election campaign strategies, as well as to retain confidence in his administration, the effort in marketing his government is indicative of how seriously he wants to continue in office.

Last week, he told his people that he has neither borrowed even when the House of Assembly approved his earlier request to fund projects nor received salary since he assumed office in March 2022. He further stated that even his wife as the first lady of the state has no official vehicle.

So far, Soludo has been commended for the infrastructure strides in the state. He may have, however, realised that the praises alone and what he has on ground may not win him a second tenure; hence the current campaigns to launch his administration further.

But what is happening now was not the first. In February this year, his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), began grassroots mobilisation to shore up his image and popularity.

It was learnt that the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Somtochukwu Udeze; his  deputy, Chukwuma Okoye;  Anambra State APGA chairman, Ifeatu Obi-Okoye; chairman of Ogbaru Local Council, Onochie Anibueze; Transition Committee Chairman, Paschal Aniegbunam, and Ogbaru Relief Market Chairman, Ndubuisi Ochiogu were among the early campaigners hosted to  a sensitisation rally by the State Information Commissioner, Paul Nwosu to send the message of resounding accomplishments of the  governor and  deepen APGA’s  presence in  the state.

It was shortly followed by a strategic meeting held by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), Ossy Onuko with APGA ward chairmen and Women Leaders from the eight wards in Awka. The aim was to push the agenda of re-election of Soludo into office.

It was gathered that the move to return Soludo to power in 2025 saw the throwing up of Onuko-led Soludo Ambassadors, an off-shoot of ‘Solution Team’ believably backed by the governor to water down leadership crisis that hit support groups earlier.

While the governor strategises and deepens his governance in quest for a re-election next year, several challenges lay his way within the state, APGA and other political parties.

Soludo is the only governor produced by APGA in the country. His presence is being viewed as not to have contributed in the development of the party beyond Anambra State.

In fact, while he is being accused to have sustained the no-local-government election mantra that has festered in the state in preference to caretaker committee members. It is believed that this has further shrunk the party as elective officials could have added to the party’s strength and membership.

In the same political party are individuals laying claims to the leadership of the party, a development that has factionalised its members and remains one of its low points. Coming on board in 2022 on the plank of a contentious leadership provided by the immediate past administration of Victor Oye, many had expected Soludo to wade into the crisis with a view to resolving it. He never did. Rather he supported another convention of the party that produced Sly Ezeokenwa, as the national chairman and allowed Edozie Njoku, who had been in court with the Oye group to continue with the matter.

Recently, Njoku has claimed the rightful national chairman of the party, following his reported victory at the Supreme Court and is currently asking recognition from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); a request still shrouded in uncertainty.

In an interview he granted The Guardian recently, Njoku accused INEC of creating the crisis in APGA by its failure to recognise him as the authentic national chairman based on the Supreme Court order and wondered about the interest of the commission in the party.

“People should ask INEC, why are they creating a crisis in APGA by not obeying court judgments that I am the authentic APGA National Chairman.

“We have a judgment of the Supreme Court affirming that I am the National Chairman of the party. We got committal charges against them (INEC). What else? Are we the one now causing a crisis? APGA is a national party that 90 percent of its members want the right thing to be done”, he said.

On how he has related with Soludo, Njoku stated that he did not have any relationship with him, stressing that, “I spoke with him for an hour once and he has sworn to different people that over his dead body I will be national chairman of APGA”.

INEC on the other hand has chosen not to act on the leadership issue in the party, apparently waiting on the court to dispense with its appeal on the committal charge brought against its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

What is not clear is whether the two factions should carry on should the silence in INEC over the leadership issue continue. For now, INEC is working with the Ezeokenwa faction of the party and it is not known how long their romance would last.

While the speculations hold on the issue, a one-time National Auditor of the APC, Paul Chukwuma has declared intention to the governorship seat of the party, saying his quest was borne out of conviction that his party holds the ace for the development of Anambra State.

He told his supporters that subsuming the interest of majority of the residents and indigenes of the state to the whims and caprices of a supposed regional political party like APGA, which is seemingly domiciled only in Anambra State was a misnomer.

He noted that several years the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and APGA have spent at “Agu Awka” Government House have not improved the state, stressing that he would build a bridge to link the state with federal government the way Ebonyi and Imo states under the same party are receiving dividends from the APC-led federal government.



Chukwuma is not alone. Recently, Ifeanyi Ubah, the Senator representing Anambra south joined the APC. Since joining the party from YPP he has not hidden his intention to contest the governorship election of the state next year.

He has used every opportunity to state how he would rule Anambra better than Soludo if given the opportunity. His vibes has not been well received by the governor who thinks he should be checkmated.

It was apparently in the bid to check these “excesses” that the state government recently sanctioned a traditional ruler, Igwe Damian Ezeani of Neni community who conferred chieftaincy title on him, as well as reinforced an existing code of conduct on chieftaincy titles in the state.

Although Ubah lamented the development as targeted at his ambition, he has surreptitiously continued to nurture his grassroots base ahead of the political battle next year, which he has assured he would win.

His movement into the APC has seen him working with Uche Ekwunife, an ally of the governor, who has since taken a different route, after failing to win her election back to the senate in 2023.  Ekwunife’s attention is now focused in her APC aimed at improving the ratings of the party in the state.

While the governor prepares on how to contain the challenge from the plank of APC, he would not also close his eyes to the quiet but strong inroads that Labour Party (LP), propelled by former governor of the state, Peter Obi has made in the state.

The LP won two of the three senatorial seats in the state; six of the eleven federal House of Reps seats and eight of the thirty state Assembly seats in the state in the 2023 general elections.

Those who have followed the victory of the party since the conclusion of the 2023 elections would readily affirm that its elected members have worked together in their bid to wrestle the state from APGA.

Recently, some lawmakers produced on the platform of the party launched a move to support the aspiration of the party in the 2025 governorship election and beyond.

Meanwhile the PDP is also not resting in the bid to return to power in the state. Recently, it empowered a caretaker committee led by Chigozie Igwe to run the party and prepare it for the coming election.

A member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) from the state, Ugochukwu Okeke, had told The Guardian that the stakeholders have resolved to put its house in order to ensure that the party bounces back for victory in the state governorship election next year.

Okeke assured PDP faithful that the good old times would be back as soon as PDP reclaims Anambra State government House, stating that, “18 years of APGA misrule in Anambra has opened the eyes of the people and that is why they have embraced the current reforms in PDP with the desire to usher the party back to power in 2025.”

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