By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—THE candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for next Saturday’s re-run election for Ekwusigo state constituency of Anambra State, Chief Johnny Brown Morah, has insisted that he would participate in the election, despite his party’s position that it would not field any candidate.
The seat became vacant following the nullification of the election of the deputy speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Afam Obi, who represented the constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu, which also ordered a re-run election among the candidates that contested the seat in 2007.
But as the date of the election approached, APGA, unarguably the party favoured to win the election, announced that it would neither field nor support any candidate, citing alleged anti-party activity on the part of its candidate after the 2007 election and zoning of the seat to one of the towns as its reasons.
However, the issue took another dimension at the weekend when stakeholders of APGA in the four towns that make up the constituency, namely Ihembosi, Ozubulu, Ichi and Oraifite, said in a statement that there was never a zoning arrangement in the constituency as it concerned the House of Assembly.
Following the statement, APGA candidate, Morah, said during a press conference in Awka that he would contest the by-election, whether his party supports him or not.
“I was surprised to hear that APGA, as a party, has withdrawn from the September 25, 2010, by-election for Ekwusigo constituency.
“The reason the party gave was that, among others, it was zoned to Ihembosi which is the home town of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Afam Obi.
“We had to enquire from APGA stakeholders in the constituency who issued a statement that there was never a zoning arrangement for the House of Assembly in the constituency and for this reason, I am going to participate in the by-election. The statement was signed by eight stakeholders from the four towns in the constituency.
“I have submitted all my documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which has told me that I can contest the election,” he said.