|Princess Stella Oduah|
By Patrick Nnaemeka
Former Minister of Aviation, philanthropist and business mogul, Princess Stella Oduah has won the People Democratic Party (PDP) primary for Anambra North Senatorial zone, polling the highest number of votes above other contenders that include Senator Margery Okadigbo, the outgoing Senator representing the zone presently in the National Assembly.
Oduah polled 259 votes out of the 297 accredited delegates cleared for the election held at New Era Secondary School, Nteje , Oyi Local Government Area.
Other contestants in the race ,Senator Margery Okadigbo polled 8 votes, former Minister of State for Water Transport, John Emeka got 15 votes and Chief Samuel Ikefuna polled 10 votes while 5 votes were declared invalid.
Analysts believe Oduah won the primary because the people of the zone believed that with her antecedents as a successful business woman, a former Minister who has played at the national level that she would use her political and business connections to attract development to the zone.
If elected in the main election next year, it will be the first time the zone will have a strong representative after the Late Chuba Okadigbo.
In fact, the Late Okadigbo’s son, Pharaoh Chuba Okadigbo in reacting to Oduah’s victory said, “In Akili Ozizor, Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra North, you will see the signs of a philanthropist. From skills acquisition centers, community halls, schools, emerges an industrial estate which currently employs over 300 people, including widows, youths and the less privileged persons in the community.
“From humble but royal beginning, Princess Oduah rose to become the nation’s Minister of Aviation. Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and 21 others spread across the nation bear the footprints of this Amazon in the aviation sector.
“It's no wonder that the people of Anambra North Senatorial District are finding it very easy to decide on who should represent their interests at the Senate in 2015. It's a two horse race between the incumbent and Princess Stella Oduah but the race has almost been determined and defined by the people who see Stella Oduah as a messiah.”
Before the primary election, discernible minds and ordinary people from the zone have rooted for her, knowing that if elected she would attract a lot of development projects to the zone, she would be able to spearhead and sponsor bills that will have positive effect on the people if passed into law.
The people of Anambra North are not oblivious of the enviable strides of Oduah as the Minister of Aviation, when she kicked off the total transformation of airport infrastructure in a very unprecedented way and changed the landscape of the nation’s airports after 30 years of neglect.
Oduah would go down in history as a courageous and visionary achiever who met the age-old expectation of the Igbo people; that they should have an international airport in their zone; thus her love for her people cannot be overemphasized.
It is with the same positive mind-set and the determination to improve the lives of her people that she would carry to the Senate if elected and all those projects denied the people in the past because of the failure of their past representatives to secure such projects would be realized.
Before the primaries, former gubernatorial aspirant in Anambra state, Dr Alex Obiogbolu had said the reason why many people from Anambra North Senatorial zone are clamoring for Princess Oduah as their choice candidate for the Senate was because she would give them effective representation.
Obiogbolu said the people have been disappointed by their past leaders elected into the Senate, some of whom could not even propose any bill for the four years they claimed to have served the people.
This time, according to him, the people want a strong and intelligent politician with professional background that could effectively represent them by attracting projects and other social amenities to the zone.
He said Oduah fits the personality they want who could strongly speak for them and who knows what the people of the zone want, adding that with the experience gathered as a successful business woman and her historical stint as Minister of Aviation, Oduah is the right person for the job.
“Many people, of course, it won’t be everybody, but majority of the people in the Anambra North Senatorial zone want Princess Oduah to win the primaries and represent the people of the zone. They know and they are convinced that among those who have indicated interest in the seat, no one can represent the people better than Oduah.
“We do not wish to yield to sentiments; what we want is the person that will attract development; somebody that can facilitate the provision of social amenities to our zone. With her precedence as a successful business woman and a former Minister who brought so much change in the aviation industry, I am sure Oduah can do better than others. That is why the people are clamoring for her,” Dr. Obiogbolu said.
Now that Oduah has won the primary for the seat, the people of Anambra North will realize their dreams if they turn up en masse to vote for her in the general election.
A former Member House of Representatives ,Hon. Jessie Balonwu and former Chairman, Onitsha South Local Government, Chief Basil Ejidike lauded the PDP delegates for their maturity and for voting their conscience without any form of coercion which manifested in the outcome of the election.
The Member Representing Oyi/ Ayamelum Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Hon. Chizor Obidigwe said the outcome of the election has shown that the people’s wish has prevailed. He advised other contestants to support the winner because according to him, it’s not a do or die affair.
Also, Hon. Idu Emeka , lawmaker representing Onitsha North 2 in the House of Assembly expressed happiness on the emergence of Princess Oduah as the PDP’s choice for Anambra North, he said it is now time for the people to work together for the greater manifestation of positive things for the zone.
Meanwhile, wild jubilation have started in different communities across the 7 local governments in the zone as news filtered that Oduah has clinched the party ticket.