AN advocacy group in Abia, called Abia North Political Projects, has selected a Methodist cleric, Bishop Ndukwo Onuoha, as a consensus governorship candidate for Abia North Senatorial District for 2023.
The Director-General/Team Lead of the group’s Screening Committee, Dr Uduma Nnate, said this at the formal unveiling of Onuoha before newsmen in Umuahia on Monday.
Nnate said that Onuoha came top at the end of the screening of six of the 10 Governorship Candidates of other parties, who hail from the district.
Nnate said that the six candidates submitted their curriculum vitae to the committee and promised to accept the outcome of the screening.
The other candidates included Ndukwo Anagha (Allied Peoples Movement), Chief Kalu Ijomah (National Rescue Movement) and Chief Mascot Kalu (Action Peoples Party).
Others were Dr Ngozika Ogbuneke (Social Democratic Party) and Prof. Greg Ibe of APGA.
Nnate said that the group was formed and registered to be a political mouthpiece for the area.
He also said that its mandate was to ensure that Abia north produced the next governor, in line with the Charter of Equity propounded by the founding fathers of the state.
“The group has been at the forefront of promoting and encouraging aspirants from Abia North from different political parties until the conclusion of primaries.
“After the primaries, we discovered that 10 of the 18 political parties gave their governorship ticket to Abia North sons or daughter.
“It became obvious that as a people, we cannot go for the governorship election with 10 candidates at the same time and expect to win or miracle to happen,” Nnate said.
He further said that the criteria for assessing the candidates included “capacity, credibility, competence, sound health, political party and knowledge of good governance”.
He said that all the screened candidates were “qualified and met our selection criteria but we must present only one person”.
“We, therefore, humbly request our other candidates who are not chosen to rally round the consensus candidate to ensure victory for God’s own State.
“We are aware that the ticket you hold belongs to your political party and will definitely consult your party before stepping down,” Nnate said.
The group described Onuoha, who hails from Item in Bende Local Government Area, as “a peace-builder, quintessential community mobiliser and astute programme strategist”.
It further said that the governorship hopeful had collaborated with UN, World Bank, USAID, Global Fund and other international donor agencies to facilitate development in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Onuoha is a former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Privatization Matters.
He is also a former member of the Presidential Committee on Ports Reforms under Obasanjo’s administration.
The clergyman is the President, Vision Africa International, a media outfit with headquarters in Umuahia.
He is also the Executive Director, Nigerian Inter-faith Action Association, a Christian-Muslim collaboration that provides a platform for inter-religious synergy to end malaria in Nigeria.
He picked the ADC’s governorship ticket after defeating Mr Otisi Ukiwe, the son of the former Military Vice President, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd.), in a keenly contested primary election in Umuahia. (NAN)