Anambra Broadcasting Service - ABS

Some aspirants of the Federal House of Representatives seeking to contest on the platform on All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra have condemned the primaries in some constituencies.

The aspirants who spoke to newsmen in Awka on Wednesday described the exercise as a `charade and rape of democratic principle’.

Mr Ebele Onyekwelu, an aspirant for Idemili North and South Federal Constituency said there was no primary as claimed but charade which was aimed at delivering a preferred candidate.

Onyekwelu said aspirants did not know who the delegates were as the list of those who emerged from the ward congresses was not displayed for all to see as provided by party guidelines.

He claimed that those who voted at the primary were not party members and that he did not know them adding that this led him and many statutory delegates to stage a walkout.

He said the result sheet that the umpire displayed was a duplicate copy which was not signed noting that the ballot papers fell short of the number of delegates.

“What happened was a charade and a rape on democracy, justice and good conscience, the whole thing was skewed in favour of a particular candidate.

“We had ward congresses to elect the delegates, result of that congress was not published, so no candidate knew who the delegates were until at the primary ground.

“Majority of the so-called delegates we saw was not party members, I do not know most of those that voted, and some of the statutory delegates were barred from entering the primary arena.

“I had to walk out on the exercise because about seven ward chairmen, nine women leaders and 10 youth leaders were not allowed to go in, again, the number of accredited voters was not announced,” he said.

Onyekwelu called the party leadership to urgently address the injustice done to him and other genuine members of the party adding that their reaction would determine his next moves.

“I am an APGA member, we built the party, I am still in the party but events in the coming days will determine our next move, they should retrace their step and avoid counting losses in the coming election,” he said.

A chieftain of the party, Mr Henry Ezenwa, a delegate in the exercise said nobody can in good conscience say that a primary election held in the constituency.

Ezenwa, a former council Chairman of Idemili South, corroborated that most eligible delegates were denied access to the venue and called for outright condemnation and cancellation.

“We were not told the time for the election, we got to the venue at about 10 am and until about 4.30 pm, nothing happened.

“The place was flooded by thugs, most ad-hoc delegates were not sure of their status because no list was displayed anywhere, even some statutory delegates were not allowed to enter the venue.

“I want tell the leadership of APGA that if they consider what happened yesterday as an election, then they do have the fear of God.

“I have never seen anything like that that, even the other bigger parties we accuse have not taken impunity to this level.

“Let me also drum it to the ears of these so-called preferred candidates that it is still too early for him to rejoice but he is a product of a flawed process.

“We shall give the party the opportunity to remedy these anomalies; we shall explore all peaceful and legal means to seek redress,” he said.

Another aspirant, Mr Raymond Okoli seeking the party’s nomination in Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency told newsmen that the exercise was marred with late arrival of officials and shortage of ballot papers.

Okoli accused the party leadership of not proving free and fair playing field for all contestants but skewing the process to favour a preferred candidate.

“He said the aspirants had to disrupt the process following confusion over the number of cleared candidates for the primary.

“The leadership of APGA is messing up the party, this was not the APGA of our dream, all we wanted was a free and fair contest but even that they could not give us.

“I dare to say that APGA is dying, a cabal has hijacked the party and I am afraid if the party can survive after all this impunity they have allowed to take place.

“The constituency has been compromised, we the aspirants don’t have the delegate list which we all paid for, the party leadership has a preferred candidate and that is why it is not free and fair,” he said.

In his reaction, Joseph Nwabueze, Chairman of the Electoral Committee for the primary in the federal constituency, described the exercise as `free, fair and credible’.

Nwabueze said he followed the guidelines for the primary as set by the National Working Committee of APGA and that nobody was right to accuse his committee of bias.

“The venue is the right place, we called out the names of delegates three times, accredited them and they voted, those protesting the process are not fair,” he said.

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