…Ugwuanyi urges fair contest
By Dennis Agbo, Enugu
THE political climate was recharged in Enugu state, Yesterday, with the disclosure by the All Progressives Congress, APC, that it was going ahead to participate in the November 2017 local government elections in the state. Chairman of APC in Enugu state, Dr. Ben Nwoye made the disclosure on arrival from Abuja, where the stakeholders of the party in the state went to resolve internal squabbles in the state chapter at the party’s national headquarters.
Speaking with newsmen at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Nwoye, said most knotty issues within the state chapter were resolved, adding that there was nothing like faction in the state chapter again.
Nwoye said that with restoration of unity in the party in Enugu, the APC was ready to win local government elections in the state.
APC had earlier raised objection with the guidelines by the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, ENSIEC, for the conduct of the election but the commission had responded that it was amending the guidelines to clarify the confusing areas, particularly on the method of voting for the election.
On the other hand, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was able to resolve tensions in the selections of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidates for conduct of the election.
As at, yesterday, Udi and Nsukka local government councils remained inconclusive in the choice of ‘unanimous’ PDP Chairmanship flag bearers out of the 17 local government councils of the state.
Most serving caretaker chairmen in the councils were returned to run for the party while, serving caretaker chairmen for Nsukka, Udi, Oji River, Enugu South, Enugu East, Uzo-Uwani, Nkanu West, will not run for the election.
Governor Ugwuanyi had hectic week resolving the interests, agitations and horse trading that trailed the selection process.
The most momentous local governments were Isi-Uzo, Igboeze North, Nsukka and Udi local government councils. Isi-Uzo and Igboeze North caretaker chairmen were returned but Udi and Nsukka were asked to go and bring unity candidates
The Governor had told PDP members in the state at Michael Okpara square that he would not like to see unresolved interests that could lead to multiple contestants and urged the party members to reach at consensus candidates.
Governor Ugwuanyi, also reportedly prevailed on the party to reduce its nominations fees and charged for free and fair elections in the state.
But with the APC readiness to participate in the local government election, the state is now charged to witness robust contest.
Immediate past Speaker of Enugu state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Eugene Odoh is the Chairman APC committee of local government elections with the immediate past chairman of ENSIEC, Dr. Bonny Eneh as member.
The state APC chairman, Nwoye vowed to capture many wards and local government Councils if credible elections would be conducted, hinting that APC has notified ENSIEC that it has have fixed September 11 for the conduct of ward and local government primaries.
He said though those contesting for the chairmanship and councillorship positions in the party would pay N50, 000 and N10, 000, respectively, while women and the physically challenged persons would pay half of the fees for the positions.
While reinstating the preparedness of the party to participate in the forthcoming local government elections and governorship elections in 2019, Nwoye, appealed to those that have interest to contest for the various positions to indicate interest, adding that APC doors were also open for new entrants.
He warned party members fanning the embers of war to desist from doing so, insisting that the Enugu APC was not a subsidiary of the Ministry of Foreign affairs and would therefore only take order from the National Leadership of the party and the zonal leadership of the party, declaring that he remained the boss of the APC in Enugu State.