APC governorship primary result sparks protest in Ebonyi
By Douglas Okoro
Protest erupted in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital on Wednesday following the outcome of All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary held on Sunday.
Members of the APC in Ebonyi, numbering about 500 besieged the state’s party secretariat in Abakaliki, chanting various songs in condemnation of the primary election.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘Say no to fake lists’, ‘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 protesters alleged that the delegate lists from Ikwo and Ezza council areas were doctored.
The protesters were supporters of Prof. Bernard Odoh, who came second in the contest with a total of 519 votes, as against 785 votes garnered by Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji, who was elected the flag-bearer.
The aggrieved APC members led by Mr Samchi Mgbada, alleged that the delegates list from the aforesaid council areas were manipulated to favour a particular candidate.
Prof. Odoh had earlier at a press conference rejected the outcome of the primary election, alleging fowl play in the entire process.
He alleged that the delegate lists used by the electoral committee did not emanate from the congresses of May this year.
Meanwhile, Ogbuoji at a press briefing at his campaign office in Abakaliki, dismissed Odoh’s position on the outcome of the poll, alleging that he endorsed the delegates list which emanated from the national secretariat of the party.
“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, 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,” Ogbuoji said.
Meanwhile, a senatorial aspirant for Ebonyi Central zone, Chief Enyi Enyi, has threatened to resist the contentious delegates list should the electoral committee attempt to use it for senatorial primary election.
Addressing the protesters, the State APC Chairman, Pastor Eze Nwachukwu, appealed to the aggrieved party faithful to remain calm as their matter would be looked into.