President Bola Ahmed Tinubu submitted his ministerial candidates to the Senate on Thursday.
The list included 28 names from several states, including Anambra.
Despite months of anticipation that Andy Uba or Paul Chukwuma would be selected, the nominee for Anambra State has been named as Barr Uju Kennedy Ohanenye.
Ohanenye, a presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the presidential primary of 2022, is not regarded as a heavyweight in Anambra State, where the state chapter of the party perfected plans two weeks ago to ensure that only members known to the party, as well as those who have worked for the party and supported it financially, would be allowed to bag appointments under the President Tinubu government.
However, many supporters of the party in Anambra State were taken aback by Thursday’s ministerial list.
There were rumors that two renowned sons of the state from the APC would be appointed to Tinubu’s presidency. Senator Andy Uba and Mr Paul Chukwuma are the men.
Senator Uba is a notable politician in the state, a former presidential assistant, former governor, and the state head of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In the most recent governorship election in Anambra State, he was the party’s governorship candidate.
Paul Chukwuma, on the other hand, is a famous politician and former Director General of Andy Uba Campaign during his (Uba) 2021 governorship attempt.
Meanwhile, there have been allegations that both Uba and Chukwuma do not have a strong relationship, which has divided Anambra APC.
The feud between the two men was believed to have started after the 2021 governorship race, during which Chukwuma served as Uba’s director of campaigns.
“Since Tinubu’s inauguration, both Chukwuma and Uba have been flexing muscles over who should be appointed minister,” a party source said.
“Both of them have been out lobbying, hoping to gain favor with the appropriate offices.”
However, it was claimed that due to the cross-fire between the two most senior members of the party in the state, Tinubu decided to avoid both individuals, resulting in the appointment of a neutral personality, and little-known Ohanenye.
According to a source, members of the party from both the Andy Uba and Paul Chukwuma factions of Anambra APC are in deep shock over the listing of Ohanenye.
The source said: “This may further engineer more fight between both factions. The last stakeholders’ meeting was full of rancour because of the problem between both Uba and Chukwuma, but now that two of them have lost out, let’s see what they will do.”
When Newsmen approached the party’s state chairman, Mr Basil Ejidike, for comment, he did not answer.
However, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Dr Valentine Ike Oliobi, maintained that the assertion that the party was upset with the appointment of Barr Uju Kennedy Ohanenye as a minister was false.
“Mrs Ohanenye is a core party person, and our prayer was for a party person to be appointed as the minister for Anambra.
“We said it in our last stakeholders’ meeting and we are happy that she has been appointed. Those who are saying she is not a core party woman are telling lies.
“If she was not, she would not have contested for the position of the president. Remember she was the only woman who stepped down for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the last election.
“She is an Anambra daughter, even though she is married to a man outside the State. If you want to contest that, then there are antecedents. Josephine Anenih was a daughter of Anambra State, but was married to an Edo man, and she was appointed minister, with Anambra slot.
“Stella Oduah too was married outside the State, but her ministerial appointment was with the Anambra slot; so I see nothing wrong with Mrs Uju Kennedy Ohanenye’s appointment. Also, remember that it is the sole prerogative of the president to appoint his ministers.”
In addition, when asked about the feud between Uba and Chukwuma, Oliobi stated, “What I know is that Andy was working to become a minister, but I’m not aware that Chukwuma was working to become a minister.”
“In fact, he even said that he was not interested in any position. He served Andy Uba as DG of campaigns, and after Andy lost, he rendered account and returned laptops, printers, photocopiers and tendered the remnant of funds used for the election, which was about N9 million. I’m not aware that there is any rift between both men.”
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