By Appolos Christian
To avoid defeat in the forthcoming Anambra gubernatorial election, some stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in the State, have called on the party leadership to desist from any plan to choose unpopular candidate as the party flag bearer.
Siting the last Saturday’s bye-election in Abia state where APC was defeated with wide merging as an example, the Stakeholders cautioned the party to learn from its mistake in Abia whence it is the freshest election.
Known as APC Patriots Anambra chapter, the group observed that the rancour which trailed an alleged imposition of candidate was responsible for the party’s loss of the Aba North and South Federal Constituency seat to the rival People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement jointly signed by the Co-ordinator of the group, Dozie Ikedife, and spokesman, Hon. Victor Afam Ogene, the group wondered how an aspirant (Mascot Uzor-Kalu), who was said to have won the APC primaries with 47, 825 votes – as announced by the Barrister Bisi Idaomi-led electoral committee – could not garner beyond 3, 674 votes in the general election.
Notedly, a chieftain of the party from the area, Prince Paul Ikonne, Executive Secretary, National Agricultural Land Development Authority(NALDA), had also decried the process that led to Mascot’s emergence.
Other members of the group’s sterling committee include former House of Representatives members, Chizor Obidigwe and Chukwuemeke Nwogbo, APC South east zonal youth leader, Olisa Onyeka, communications guru, Ike Chidolue, business tycoon, Chidi Ogbaji, veteran strategist, C.J Chinwuba, and Mike Mbanefo, a lawyer.
“The obvious lack of transparency, which led to the disqualification of the other aspirant in the primaries, Dr. Nwokeocha Ogbonnaya Eze, was a precursor to the poor showing of the APC in the bye-election.
“Being a younger brother of the Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, the feeling is rife that Mascot’s emergence as candidate was tantamount to an imposition.
“We, therefore, restate our earlier call, made on March 11, 2021, to the effect that we shall, using all lawful means at our disposal, resist any attempt to anoint any candidate.
“On the contrary, we reiterate our resolve to take over the governance of Anambra state by unveiling, at the appropriate time, a candidate that would be acceptable to majority of Anambrarians,” the APC Patriots said.
The group disclosed that thus far, it has concluded preliminary interactions with some leading aspirants, including Dr. Chidozie Nwankwo, Senator Andy Uba, Engr. Johnbosco Onunkwo, Ben Etiaba, and Chief George Muoghalu, Director General, National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA.
Others include Chief Azuka Okwuosa, Colonel Geoff Onyejegbu, presidential aide, Comrade Maxwell Okoye and Paul Orajiaka, a young entrepreneur.