Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Human and vehicular movements were grounded along Abakaliki/Afikpo federal road, on Wednesday, as the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) numbering about 500 besieged the state secretariat of their party located along the area to reject the outcome of the governorship primary of the party which result was announced, last Monday.
The protesters armed with placards with various inscriptions described the exercise which produced the senator representing Ebonyi South senatorial district in the National Assembly, Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji, as its flag-bearer as a ‘sham and rape on democracy’.
Some of the placards read: ‘Say no to fake list’, ‘Prof. Odoh is our choice in Ebonyi’, ‘We don’t want fake delegates from Ikwo and Ezza South’, ‘On Prof. we stand’, among others.
The aggrieved APC members, led by Mr. Samchi Mgbada, alleged that the delegates’ list from Ikwo and Ezza South council areas were doctored to favour a particular candidate.
This was even as a senatorial aspirant for Ebonyi Central zone, Chief Enyi C. Enyi, has literally threatened fire and brimstone should the APC electoral committee use the delegate list which is currently causing disaffection in the party.
Earlier, the first runner-up in the contest, Prof. Bernard Odoh, had rejected the outcome of the primary election held in the state.
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Odoh, who polled 519 votes to emerge second, alleged that the delegates list used by the electoral committee in the aforesaid document did not emanate from the delegate election of May this year.
Odoh made his position known in a press briefing held at his party office in Abakaliki, the state capital.
“I want to state here now that I reject the result of yesterday’s primaries. The reasons for my decision to reject the outcome is that the delegate list for Ikwo and Ezza South Local Government Areas; that document is inconsistent with the document the party presented in office here when the committee arrived.
“And therefore, we can’t allow forged documents to be used to choose the party’s flag-bearer.
“And therefore if we allow that to stand, it becomes subject to litigation. If we also allow that to stand, it will also be matter that will further complicate our party processes.
“So, I reject that result on the basis of these irregularities,” he said.
But reacting, Sen. Ogbuoji dismissed Odoh’s position on the outcome of the poll alleging that he endorsed the delegate list which emanated from the national secretariat of the party.
Ogbuoji spoke to newsmen at his campaign office located along Abakaliki/Enugu Expressway.
According to Ogbuoji, “At that point we had a challenge before us. We now asked that the National Legal Adviser of the party be reached for him to explain to us why we have Certified True Copies that were not the same.
“But he insisted that the list from Abuja was the valid copy as far as they were concerned. At that point it would be openly said that they denied knowledge of the one in the state. Isn’t it?
“At that point, Prof. Bernard Odoh who was seated at the front row raised his hand and said that this exercise cannot afford to be in futility; and so, the national body that has come must be allowed to do their job; that we are wasting our time here; that we should allow them to do their job. Prof. Bernard Odoh said that”, alleged Ogbuoji.
But addressing the protesters, the State Chairman of the party, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu, appealed to the aggrieved party faithful to remain calm as their matter would be looked into.