Abia State’s All Progressives Congress State House of Assembly candidate for Umunneochi Constituency for the 2023 general elections, Engr Ejike Chukwu, has insisted that there is no division in the party. He reiterated that the state chapter is intact, solid and poised to win the fast-approaching general elections and form the next government in the state.
Chukwu was speaking on Thursday on the heels of the recent judgement of an Abuja high court in a lawsuit by an ex-Nigerian minister, Uche Oga against the outcome of the alleged parallel gubernatorial primaries by the governing council of APC in Abia State.
DAILY POST recalls that a federal high court presided by Hon Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako in Abuja, had on Friday, November 11, 2022, ordered Emenike’s sack and affirmed the immediate past Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uche Ogah as the authentic All Progressives Congress gubernatorial candidate in Abia State for the 2023 general elections.
It would also be recalled that the All Progressives Congress had on May 26, 2022, conducted parallel primary elections in Abia State which, saw the emergence of Ogah and Emenike as governorship candidates in Abia State for the 2023 elections.
Despite the exchange of outbursts by majority of critical party leaders, stakeholders and members across local government areas in the state, the national leadership of the APC submitted names and details of Mr Ikechi Emenike, as its Abia gubernatorial Candidate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Against this backdrop, Uche Ogah approached an Abuja High Court to challenge the eligibility and nomination of Emenike by the leadership of the APC.
Chukwu further insisted that the party in Abia State conducted no parallel gubernatorial primary election. He maintained that only one was monitored by INEC, independent bodies, civil society organizations and the media. Therefore, he avowed no cause for alarm over the recent high court ruling that sacked Ikechi Emenike as the APC gubernatorial candidate in Abia State.
He noted that the particular judgement, which affirmed the immediate past Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah as the authentic APC governorship candidate for next year’s elections in Abia state, has been appealed by the Abia factional leader.
The Abia APC chieftain recalled that two courts with competent jurisdiction had already decided on lawsuits relating to Emenike’s nomination as the gubernatorial candidate of the APC, saying the recent decision of Justice Binta-Murtala Nyako of the Abuja High Court cannot be enforced. He further posited that the superior court in the land is the final determinant and arbiter in the ongoing legal battle between the two factions of the party and on controversies surrounding candidate nomination by the leadership of the APC.
His words: “As far I’m concerned, APC in Abia State is not divided. It is intact under Dr Kingsley Ononogbu as state chairman of the party and our leader, Chief Ikechi Emenike. Again, nowhere was a parallel primary election conducted in Abia State. We agreed on an indirect/delegate mode of primary elections for Abia State in conducting our gubernatorial primary election. And national leadership of our party also sent only one electoral committee to conduct the primary election; they oversaw and monitored the process to the conclusion. The primary election elected High Chief Ikechi Emenike as the APC governorship candidate in Abia as demonstrated by majority of party delegates across the seventeen local government areas of Abia State.”
The ruling by Justice Nyako, he insisted “ cannot be enforced, because our party leader, High Chief Ikechi Emenike has appealed against the judgement.”
He said further: “For now, the status quo remains. He’s still APC gubernatorial candidate in Abia State. There is nothing like Emenike’s sack. It is their wishful thinking. I advise them to visit INEC office today, you will know the name and details of Chief Ikechi Emenike is still there as APC governorship standard bearer in Abia.”