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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Abia 2023: Group urges APC to give INEC authentic candidates’ list

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…..admonishes party to stick to its rules ahead of INEC final publication of names of candidates

A socio-political organization, Progressive Youths For Justice & Development (PYJD), has reechoed the calls on the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stick with its rules and include the names of party members that successfully emerged as candidates during the recently-conducted primary elections and were wrongfully substituted by the party leadership.

The group particularly frowned at the controversies surrounding the outcome of the just concluded primary elections by All Progressives Congress in Abia State and many other states in the Nigeria federation ahead of the main elections in 2023, maintaining that most of the concluded primaries by the progressive party in Abia State for various all elective political offices, such as the gubernatorial and senatorial seat primaries, negated the principle of democracy that has posed another serious threat to the political stability, economic and Infrastructural development of the state and the country at large.

The call by the APC youths comes on the recent statement by the Independent National Electoral Commission to publish the final lists of national assembly candidates on September 20, and the unlawful substitution of names of authentic winners of the conducted primaries with another, by the leadership of the APC.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of INEC, disclosed this during a meeting organized by the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja.

However, the Progressive Youths for Justice & Development, a political structure in the Abia chapter of the All Progressives Congress, while reiterating her stand contained in a statement on Sunday, restated that it joined civil society bodies, party and political leaders, major stakeholders, opinion leaders and socio-cultural and political groups to restate the warning on the leadership of the APC to rescind its decision on the wrongful substitution of the name of Hon Sam Onuigbo who emerged the winner and rightful candidate of the APC for the Abia central senatorial district seat of the state at the recently-conducted primary elections with Emeka Atuma who purchased, screened and participated for the governorship seat and was roundly defeated by Chief Ikechi Emenike to clinch the ticket at the concluded primary election held in Abia State.

The statement by the APC youth group was signed by the National President, Hon Maxwell Onwudinjo, Secretary-General, Emmanuel Adeniyi and Publicity Secretary, Yusuf Danlandi, and made available to journalists on Saturday in Abuja.

Continuing, the APC youth reaffirmed that the unlawful replacement of Onuigbo was a slap on democracy and constitutionality, and warned that these undemocratic practices by the national leadership of the party if not rescinded could further truncate the chances of the party to clinch the Abia central senatorial zone seat whereby providing the opposition parties with the room to take over the district in the forthcoming general elections in 2023, reiterating that Mr Emeka Atuma’s purported senatorial candidacy for Abia central senatorial district seat remains unknown to the constitution of the party and indeed, laws of the land.

It added that the obvious Injustice and unfairness meted out on the current Abia federal lawmaker subverted the collective will of the majority of the APC delegates who participated fully and democratically in union elected Hon Sam Oniugbo to pick the party’s senatorial zone ticket in order to represent people of Abia central district come 2023.

On the purported unification meeting convened by Mr Emeka Atuma at his Ntalakwu Oboro Community in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, the Progressive youths maintained that the said meeting does not enjoy the backing of the majority of APC members in Abia central Senatorial district, and however, restated their total rejection of the purported peace parley sponsored by Atuma and hirelings.

The APC youths hinted that it wouldn’t endorse or sacrifice truth on the altar of injustice and mere political harmonization which the party was not founded on, as they emphatically insisted that they would continue to support Sam Onuigbo to the fullest to ensure justice prevail in his lawsuit challenging the illegalities that are about to sink Abia APC if the leadership fails to include the name of the authentic candidate ahead of the INEC final publication of the lists of candidates that successfully emerged from the concluded primaries conducted by political parties.

They also stated it would amount to prejudice to speak on the lawsuit filed by Rep Sam Onuigbo challenging the illegalities perpetrated by the leadership of the party, and further commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its clear pronouncement on accepting names of only candidates that emerged from the recent primary election conducted by political parties ahead of the 2023 main election in the country.

On the rationale behind their insistence on Onuigbo’s senatorial candidacy for Abia central zone for the 2023 elections, the youth umbrella body opined that Onuigbo has distinguished himself in private and public services where he demonstrated uncommon leadership that later yielded to great strides and outstanding track records which are currently on the ground for the world to verify for present and future records, positing that Onuigbo stood tall among all candidates of the political parties jostling for Abia central district seat seats in the  2023 senatorial elections in Abia State.

According to the group, “facts are on ground that Onuigbo has made laws, attracts constructions of meaningful Infrastructures and made several interventions and attract the federal government’s social investment empowerment and development programmes, wherein hundreds of constituents have been trained and empowered with necessary logistics in different areas of artisanship and have become self-dependent and self-reliant to cater and feed themselves and families. These laudable feats by Sam Onuigbo in human development in artisanship have boosted local and foreign productivity of the state and the country at large.

“We are confident that when given the opportunity to represent the Abia central senatorial zone come 2023 will equally bring his wealth of experience to bear, in rewriting the narratives of governance in Abia central Senatorial zone which had longed for a responsive and effective representation shrouded on the execution of meaningful and critical infrastructures to enhance the welfare of the populaces in the five local government areas that formed the present IKwuano/Umuahia federal constituency of Abia State”.

It will be recalled also that Hon Sam Onuigbo who currently represents the Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency at the House of Representatives, was declared winner following a run-off election which took place in Umuahia, the state capital on 30th May 2022.

The elections were earlier on Saturday 29th May 2022 and were declared inconclusive before conducted the run-off election.

Out of 318 accredited voters, he polled a total of 157 to defeat his close rival, Chief Henry Ikoh, who polled 152, and also, nine votes were voided.

A co-contestant for the Abia Central Senatorial seat ticket of the APC, Senator Nkechi Nwogu, at the commencement of the primary election, withdrew from the race.

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