By Dialoke Nneoma Chidera (9News Nigeria, Awka)
Anambra state known as the “light of the nation” has always produced one of the best performing governors in Nigeria, but over the years, the people of Anambra or prestigiously called “NDI-ANAMBRA” have become weary and discontented of the usual pace of development; NDI-ANAMBRA are now conspicuously thirsty, hungry and eager for an imminent change for better.
In that vein, the people are looking for the best out of the bests, and that has made the race for the state’s first political position to be very hot, hence exclusively for candidates of excellent track record to start with.
Meanwhile, the field is already saturated, as serious contenders are already taking positions in their quest to occupy Agu Awka in 2021. As the race for Government House, Awka, Anambra State in 2021 gathers momentum, it is necessary to take a cursory look at the front runners.
PROFESSOR CHUKWUMA SOLUDO
Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo was born on the 28th of July 1960. He hails from Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. On completing his secondary school education, he proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he studied Economics. He graduated with a first-class degree in 1984.
Afterwards, he went on to obtain his Master’s degree (MSc) in Economics in 1987, and a doctorate (PhD) in Economics in 1989, from the same University graduating as the best student on all levels of his study. Charles Soludo is married to Nonye Soludo, and they are blessed with six children.
In 1998, Charles Soludo became a professor of economics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and in 1999, he became a visiting professor at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA. Professor Charles Soludo was a lecturer in Oxford, Cambridge, and Warwick University. He lectured on multi-country macro-econometric modelling, techniques of computable general equilibrium modelling, survey methodology, and panel data econometrics, etc. Also, Charles Soludo has authored, co-edited, and co-authored about ten books.
Professor Charles Soludo joined the Nigerian government in 2003 as the Chief Economic Adviser to former President Obasanjo and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Planning Commission of Nigeria.
In May 2004, he became the Chairman of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Also, he got an appointment from the Nigerian President – Mohammadu Buhari, to be part of the newly formed 8-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) on the 16th of September 2019.
Professor Charles Soludo announced his intention to contest for the seat of the Governor of Anambra State in February 2010. In pursuit of his ambition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chose him as their consensus candidate on the 9th of October 2009.
He eventually lost the election to Peter Obi. Despite his loss, Charles Soludo is still a respected economist in Nigeria, due to his satisfactory performance as the CBN Governor. Charles Soludo resigned from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the 17th of July 2013, after he wrote a letter to PDP’s National Chairman – Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Afterwards, he joined the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in preparation for the November 2013, Anambra state governorship election. It is said that the former governor of CBN, Soludo has interest in the 2021 governorship election in Anambra state.
HON. AMB. VINCENT IKE OLIGBO
Hon.Amb. Vincent Ike oligbo was born in Aba, Abia state, where he attended primary and secondary school education. He is from umuoji idemili North LG, Anambra central senatorial zone. Barr. Ike Oligbo proceeded to the United Kingdom where he trained in legal education. After graduating as a lawyer in the UK, he established and chaired a couple of companies such as Foxtons Security Ltd, emergency UK security Ltd, fast food chain, Amabel intl and among others.
Ike Oligbo is also a security expert and has received many international awards both in the UK and UN. He donated a modern computerized party offices to the ward, during this pandemic he distributed palliatives and embarked on covid19 sensitisation and sharing of facemasks and hand sanitizers throughout Anambra state, the medical team of his Foundation were present in 21 local governments in Anambra State. As a new man in the politics of the state, Ike Oligbo carries no baggage in this quest and if opinions in the state is anything to go by, he remains among the most trusted politicians in Anambra State.
Hon.Amb. Vincent Ike oligbo has joined the race for Anambra state 2021 governorship election and has declared to contest the election on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
DR. IFEDI OKWENNA
He was born on November 22, 1965, in Osumenyi, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State and attended Boys High School, Osumenyi. He sat for GCE in Class 4 and passed all his papers in 1983 and almost made a distinction in WASC Examination in 1984. Ifedi Okwenna is a devout Catholic Christian. He ascended Jerusalem, the holy city and was made a Jerusalem Pilgrim (JP) in 2001. He is married with five lovely children.
Ifedi okwenna proceeded to the then College of Arts, Science and Technology (Now Federal Polytechnic) Oko, where he bagged a National Diploma (ND) Civil Engineering in 1985 and later a diploma in Business Management from the Plateau School of Business and Management Studies. Looking ahead, he enrolled into the Anambra State University of Technology (Now Enugu State University of Science and Technology) earning a Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc Hons) in Applied Biological Science in 1987/88. He later went to the University of Lagos, University of Abuja, University of London and Walden University United States for his advanced degrees. He is an Environment Advisor, a Public Policy expert, a Public Administrator and a high-tech security management expert.
In addition to many academic degrees, Ifedi Okwenna currently holds the following fellowships:
a. Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Economics of Nigeria (FCE) 2007
b. Fellow of the Certified Institute of Public Administration of Ghana (FCIPA) 2007
c. Certified Professional Fellow of Public Administration of Nigeria (CFPA) 2007
d. Fellow of the Civilian Institute of Democratic Administration (FCIDA) 2006
e. Fellow International Institute of Administration Management 2008
f. Fellow of Strategic Finance and Administration Institute (FSFAI) 2008
g. Fellow Institute of Investment Management and Research.
He is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club International 2008 and appeared in Nigeria Who is Who in Management Intelligence in 2008.
Ifedi Okwenna was Director-General of the African Integration Network for Development and Adviser/Consultant to Nigerian Senate on Environment 1999-2001. As the former United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Consultant, Ifedi Okwenna in 1995 designed the blueprint and action plan for the establishment of Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA) out of then Anambra State Environmental Sanitation Authority (ASESA) and developed the Environmental Public Awareness Master Plan for Kaduna State. He also studied and published the State of Environment Report for Kaduna State 1997-1998. Between 1996-1997, he served as a member of the Technical Sub-Committee for Vision 2010 Programme and designed the BluePrint for Solid Waste Management in Nigeria as Part of the Manifesto for Dr. Alex Ekwueme Presidential Campaign Organization (ALEPCO) in 1998. Ifedi Okwenna served as Director, Center for Environmental Disaster Prevention and Aid (CEDPA) Abuja, and later Director, African Institute for Leadership Training and Development (AILTAD) between 2012 and 2014. He was Managing Director, Nigerian Royal Mail Newspaper from 2014 to 2015, the Director General, Save Democracy Africa from 2014 and former Coordinating Secretary Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) and Southern/Middlebelt Leaders Forum. He is a member of Aka-Ikenga and former Vice Chairman, League of Anambra Professionals (LAP) in FCT. Ifedi Okwenna was the Convener of the Annual National Political Summit, Convener, Democracy Africa Youth Parliament (DAYP) and Director General World Igbo Summit Group. He is a director in a number of companies and his interest spans Real Estate Development; Export and Investment Promotions; Communication; Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity Management; and High-tech Security System Management. As a sports enthusiast, Ifedi Okwenna was the Owner/ President of FC Omam International – A former National Division 1 Football Club. He sponsors many youth clubs and competitions. He was the Chairman Sports Development Committee of the FCT Football Association in 2005. Chairman Anambra State Grassroots/Youth Sports Committee, and Chairman Anambra State Sports Facility Development Committee 2006-2008. The multiple awards winner with over 204 medals on his neck already, was in 2002 Initiated into the Prestigious Nze N’Ozo Osumenyi – the highest princely traditional Chieftaincy title and took the name Ezike Ugwumba. He has since then been conferred with five other Chieftaincy titles from parts of Anambra State. As a philanthropist, Ifedi Okwenna Organization has given scholarships to about 198 indigent students and specially gifted persons from across Nigeria. The Organization is funding a number of community development projects including renovation of schools, building roads and culverts.
Ifedi Okwenna is a man of many parts, his forte traverses’ education, consultancy, politics, administration, high-tech security management, leadership training, philanthropy and more. Due to the quality of impact his interventions have recorded in these diverse areas, he has attracted both national, regional and international awards. He was former Special Assistant (Political) in the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources; Commissioner Science and Technology, under the Peter Obi-led administration in Anambra State and Secretary, Honorary Advisory Committee, to President Jonathan between 2012 and 2014. Ifedi okwenna will be contesting for the Anambra Governorship election under the umbrella of the PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP).
SENATOR UCHE EKWUNIFE
Uche Lilian Ekwunife was born in Igbo Ukwu in Aguata local Government Area on 12th January, 1970. Sen. Uche Ekwunife is happily married to Chief Larry Ekwunife, and the Union is blessed with children. Uche Ekwunife was conferred with the tiles of Iyom Ugochinyeleze-na-nwata, (Nri), AdaUgo- Igbo (Igbo-Ukwu), Anyanwu-Aguluezigbo, Ife-Abagana ‘Nnedoramma of Aguata’ Ezinne na Nimo and Ugomba-Agulu. She is a Nigerian banker, politician and the Senator representing Anambra Central in the Nigerian Senate.
Hon.Uche Ekwunife had her primary and secondary school Education at Onitsha. She thereafter obtained a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Business Education/Accounting from the University of Calabar . She went ahead to obtain a masters degree in Business Administration from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka , Anambra State. She also has a Honorary Doctorate degree in Public Administration.
Before going into politics, Hon. Uche Ekwunife worked with Royal Merchant Bank. She was later employed by Equitorial Trust Bank and then Standard Trust Bank where she was an Area Manager.
Hon. Uche Ekwunife the resilient and ambitious Banker turned Politician is a two term member of the House of Representatives. In her second term in office she was the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, House of Representatives, where she represented Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia Federal Constituency, Anambra State.
In 2007, Uche Ekwunife was elected to represent Anaocha/Njikoka/Dunukofia constituency in the Federal House of Representatives. In 2010, Uche Ekwunife ran for the office of Governor of Anambra State under the Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA) but lost to the incumbent governor and the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Peter Obi.
In 2011, she was re elected into the Federal House of Representatives
She again sought for the seat in 2014 under All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and unfortunately lost. In 2015 however, under the Peoples Democratic Party she contested for and won a seat in the senatorial election to represent Anambra Central Senatorial Zone but was declared null and void in favour of Senator Victor Umeh. He was then declared the winner.
In 2019, Ekwunife ran to represent Anambra Central Senatorial Zone under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and won.
She was the first woman to kick-off COVID-19 awareness campaign in the state, providing preventive kits, and later other palliatives. Meanwhile, the gender issue and the zoning issue in PDP could be an issue in her way to Government House, Awka.
SENATOR IFEANYI UBAH
Ifeanyi Ubah was born the first son of seven children on the 3rd of September, 1971 in Anambra to the family of Alphonsus and Patty Ubah who were school teachers. He hails from Umuanuka village in Otolo town of Nnewi, the highly industrialised city of Anambra State. University. Ifeanyi is married to Uchenna Ubah, an Executive Director at Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited. Uchenna holds a bachelors of science B.Sc (Hons) degree in business administration and a masters degree in business administration (MBA) from Ahmadu Bello. They are blessed with five children.
He dropped out of school at a tender age to learn trade. Ifeanyi has since gone on many business courses and conferences which has helped in sharpening his entrepreneurial pursuits. He also studied Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA. Upon the completion of his apprenticeship, Ifeanyi started trading in auto spare parts and later diversified into tyre supplies. Barely 3years into this business, he began exporting tyres from Nigeria to Ghana and later expanded to Sierra Leone and Liberia. At this point, business was booming and life was good for young Ifeanyi so he decided to settle in Liberia. Unfortunately, the civil war in Liberia affected his business and made him move back to his fatherland. Back in Nigeria, Ifeanyi Ubah expanded his auto spare parts business and started supplying to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In DR of Congo, his business thrived making him one of the major importers of auto spare parts. He later expanded his business to other parts of the world including South Africa, Dubai, Belgium.
One key success factor for Ifeanyi is that he continued to pursue knowledge in his chosen field by attending international workshops and business exhibitions including Automechanika in Messe, Germany, world’s leading trade fair for the automotive service industry. Having built the needed connections, Ifeanyi ventured into the oil and gas business by establishing Capital Oil SPRL in DRC, through which he imported oil and gas from Ibeto Petrochemicals Nigeria. His major customers were transporters and industrial establishments.
He faced a similar Liberian experience in DRC and returned to Nigeria. Thanks to his mentor, Ibeto Cletus who provided the necessary support needed for him to start his business operations in Nigeria. Capital Oil is a growing operator in the downstream sector of petroleum industry. With rapid business growth, the company extended into haulage, transportation and petroleum products retail. By 2011, the company had the largest depot facility in Nigeria. Within a few years into the business, Ifeanyi led his company to a vantage position of becoming a dominant leader in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. Today, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited is metamorphosing into a conglomerate to South Africa, Belgium, Dubai and UK. Ifeanyi Ubah founded The Authority Newspaper on the 19th of 0ctober, 2015. The Authority is a Nigerian daily newspaper published by The Authority Media and Publications Limited. It is a multicultural community paper that covers national and international news. He also founded Ifeanyi Ubah F.C., a Nigerian football club in 2015. This he did following the acquisition of Gabros International Football Club. In 2016, his football club became the first Nigerian club to sign Brazilian footballers and trainers. The club also partnered with an European club, West Ham United FC of England and within one year of its acquisition Ifeanyi Ubah F.C. won the Nigeria FA Cup. Driven by the desire to give back to society, Ifeanyi established the Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation. Through his foundation, Ifeanyi gives scholarships to students, drills bore holes for communities, repairs and constructs roads in Anambra State. As part of his humanitarian services, he built and donated a student’s hostel at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa and an ICT Centre for the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna. HHe also serves on the board of The Authority Media and Publications, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Capital Group Congo and Oil Force Nigeria. Ifeanyi Ubah is a member of Rotary Club, Rotary District 9140, Environment and Safety Management Institutes.
Recognitions and Awards
Honorary Doctorate of Management Technology by Federal University of Technology, Owerri – 2013
Merit Award by FCT Football Association – 2015
Outstanding Personality at Consumers NG Awards – 2016
Grand Commander by Apex Igbo Socio-group – 2017
Prestigious Fellow Award by Institutes of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators – 2017
Reputation Award from the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Anambra State Chapter . – 2017
In 2014, Ifeanyi Ubah lost at the 2014 Anambra gubernatorial election under the platform of the Labour Party. On 24 February 2019, Ifeanyi Ubah was declared winner of the Anambra South Senatorial elections under the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP).
DR. GODWIN MADUKA
Godwin Maduka (born 1959), is a Nigerian-American doctor, businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Center. In 2008, he played a major role in the renaming of his hometown, from Nkerehi to Umuchukwu.
Maduka was born in Nkerehi (now Umuchukwu), Anambra State, Nigeria. He started his education in Nawfia Comprehensive Secondary School and All Saints Grammar school, Umunze, before getting an admission to study Medicine at the University of Port Harcourt, but couldn’t join his peers due to lack of monetary support. He got an opportunity through a friend to study at Rust College on a scholarship that covered half of his tuition. He later got monetary support from his younger brother and uncle and moved to the United States in 1982. In 1984, he graduated summa cum laude in chemistry from Rust College and got another scholarship to study pharmacy at Mercer University, graduating in 1988. After graduation, he worked as a pharmacy technician, before getting a full scholarship to study medicine at University of Tennessee, where he completed an internship and graduated in 1993. He furthered to Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for his post graduate training and residency in anesthesiology, critical care and pain management, graduating in 1997.
In 1997, after his education, Maduka moved to Las Vegas and got a job where he was paid $8,000 as an advance payment. He worked as an anesthesiologist at Desert Spring United Methodist Church, Nevada and other hospitals, before starting his own practice at Red Rock Medical Group, Nevada. In 1999, he founded Las Vegas Pain Institute and Medical Center, before expanding to other six locations in Southern Nevada. He is a clinical faculty supervisor and adjunct professor of pain management and anesthesiology at Touro University Nevada. He is also a clinical assistant professor of surgery at UNLV School of Medicine.
Maduka has invested over $20 million in various community development projects in Umuchukwu. He built houses for the poor, churches, market, schools, police station, police academy and college, post office, magistrate court and a high court for the Anambra State government. He also built a 17-floor multiplex medical research centre in Umuchukwu.
Awards and recognition
In 2015, Life and Times Magazine placed him on its cover, featuring him atop its “Winter 2015 Edition”. In 2017, he received Africa’s Most Inspirational Developmental Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Award at the 2017 Pan Africa Business Leadership Summit & Merit Awards. In 2019, he was honoured with a chieftaincy title as Okeosisi Orumba by Orumba South in Umunze, alongside his wife, Stella who was honoured as Ugo ka ibe ya mma. He also received the Man of the Year award at the 2019 Igbere TV Leadership Excellence Award. In December 2019, he was honoured at the 2019 Nigeria Entrepreneurs Award. In January 2020, Attention Magazine placed him on its cover, featuring him atop its “2020 Impression Edition”.
Maduka said that he is running on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) platform
DR. TONY NWOYE
Nwoye was born to the family of chief and Mrs. Lawrence Nwoye of Offianta Nsugbe on 13 September 1974. He went to Metropolitan Secondary School, Onitsha for his secondary education from where he proceeded to study medicine in the University of Nigeria college of medicine and later furthered his knowledge of medicine at the Ebonyi state University and was sworn in as a medical doctor.
He is the founder and non executive Director of Vintage Consolidated Ltd
Tony Nwoye started his political career as a medical student where he functioned in different capacities as a leader. He was noted to have fought for student unionism. later became the first medical student to become the speaker of the student union house of representatives in the university of Nigeria. He received an award from the then Vice Chancellor, Prof Ginigeme Mbanefo, for the role he played in fighting cultism in the school. He became the national president of in December 2003 He arose to state power as Assistant Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Anambra State PDP in 2005 and by 2006 at the age of 31, he became the Chairman of the State Executive Committee of the Anambra State PDP making him the youngest State Chairman of a major political party in the entire nation. Tony Okechukwu Nwoye is a Nigerian politician, a former member of the Nigerian House of Representatives representing the people of Anambra East/West constituency of Anambra state . A former Governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2013 election in Anambra state and was also a gubernatorial candidate of the APC in the 2017 gubernatorial election.
He is currently a member of the All Progressives Congress.