- The APC primary election in Abia state is facing a major credibility crisis
- One of the front-line aspirants in the contest, Prince Paul Ikonne, has dismissed the results announced
- He said the election was marred by fraud, malpractices and irregularities
A governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia, Prince Paul Ikonne, has described the just concluded governorship primary election in the state as a fraud.
Ikonne stated this in a petition addressed to the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Wednesday, October 3.
The former governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2011, specifically decried the role of the electoral committee chairman, David Iyioha; and the state party chairman, Donatus Nwakpa; during the election, accusing them of compromising their positions in favour of a particular candidate.
Part of the petition read: “I hereby bring to your attention the electoral irregularities, atrocities and injustices in the recently concluded gubernatorial primaries in Abia state perpetuated by APC‘s electoral committee chairman in collaboration with the state party chairman and his associates which ushered in one Uche Ogah as the party's flag bearer in the forth -governorship election in the state.
“Regrettably this undermines our great party's tenet old principles and your well meaning efforts at conducting an impeccable and credible primary election across the country.
“However for your further enlightenment the state gubernatorial primary was greeted with great enthusiasm that the election will be credible, free and fair. However the contrary was the case as the election was marred by malpractices, fraud and irregularities based on the following facts.”
He noted that in preparation for the exercise, the national headquarters of the party sent down a comprehensive party register containing list of eligible party members for every ward in the state together with other election material to be used for the election.
Ikonne continued: “The national headquarters sent down this register to serve as a comprehensive list of eligible, qualified and bonafide party members who can vote and be voted in the just concluded primaries in the state.
“However, to my chagrin, dismay, total discontent and also against the principle and tenet of democracy, which our great party stand for, the committee chairman (David Iyioha) together with the state party chairman (Donatus Nwakpa) compromised their position by authorizing the use of an already manipulated, doctored and altered register totally different from the one sent down by the party headquarters.
“Also there was lobby by associates of the state chairman for financial grant so as to manipulate the outcome at the election to favour the highest donor.
“This outrageous decision by the chairman of the electoral committee in collaboration with the party chairman to use another register other than the authentic register sent by the national headquarters was carried out in spite of the fact that party members such as myself and so many others were against this illegality abnormality.”
He called on Oshiomhole to cancel the election and declare that a fresh exercise be held in the state as soon as possible. He also demanded that the register sent down by the national headquarters of the party should be the only register used to conduct a fresh primary in the state.
Meanwhile, the APC faction in the state led by Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe on Monday, October 1, declared Chief Ikechi Emenike as the governorship candidate of the party in the state.
Professor Okezie Abarukwu, the chief returning officer, who announced the results at a media conference in Umuahia said that Emenike pulled 274,133 votes to defeat six other aspirants.
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