•As PDP members infiltrate appeal panel
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Bitter feud has enveloped the All Progressives Congress, APC, following the insistence of some powerful members of the National Working Committee on the annulment of the governorship primaries won by Dr. Tony Nwoye.
A member of the Gov. Kashim Shettima led panel which conducted the primary last month, confirmed to Vanguard yesterday that the party had been infiltrated by some powerful politicians with a bribe of N150 million to drop Nwoye.
Nwoye, a medical doctor and member of the House of Representatives won the primary with 2,145 votes beating Senator Andy Uba who got 931 votes to second place.
Although the source did not name the beneficiaries of the cash, he nonetheless accused a former top-rankling Peoples Democratic Party member, who is now in APC, and a senior national officer of the party as being the arrowheads of the bribe to annul the election.
The source accused the former PDP member, who was part of the team that conducted the election in Awka, of turning round to discredit the exercise for pecuniary reasons.
The source described the attempt to drop the winner of the Anambra APC primary for the person who lost as the height of injustice, which would also wreck its fortunes in the state during the main election, if allowed to stand.
The source said that the group rooting for the annulment of Nwoye’s victory had tried in vain to compromise Gov. Shettima, to do their bidding and impose Uba on the party as its candidate but the governor declined and opted for the conduct of a free and fair election to enable the emergence of the best candidate for the party.
“The Chairman of the election panel politely told those who approached him that he could not be bought with any price and would therefore conduct a free election by providing a level-playing field for all the candidates to test their popularity,” the source, who was in the panel that conducted the election last month, told Vanguard last night.
A source very close to the governor also confirmed the development. The governor is presently out of the country.
Governor Shettima had at the end of the primary described the pocess as one of the fairest ever conducted by the party.
The member of the Shettima led panel said: “In fact, when we arrived Awka for the primaries all of us had expected that Andy Uba was going to sweep the polls because of his position as a former governor and a sitting senator but when the results came out, he lost by a wide margin to Nwoye and we could not change the decision of the electorate for whatever reason,” the party bigwig added.
The source dismissed insinuations that the appeal panel was being pressed by the Presidency and security agencies to replace Nwoye with Uba, arguing that neither President Buhari nor the Director General of the DSS, had any hand in what he described as the unholy bid to change the winner of the election for the loser.
“I can tell you that what is happening is that some powerful politicians in the PDP and the Senate, who are more comfortable with Uba want him to contest against Governor Obiano with the hope that once he wins, he would return to the PDP, from where he crossed over to the APC early this year,” the source explained.
It was learnt that the cash offered by interested politicians to remove Nwoye has already created factions within the NWC and led to heightened tension and confusion in the leadership of the party.
The appeal panel raised to look into the petition filed by Uba against Nwoye, is said to be inclined towards giving the victory to Uba based on the push by some powerful forces, who believe he would do their bidding once he comes into power.
Senator Uba had petitioned the party that Nwoye, a former NANS president had imported students to disrupt the priamries which was televised live.