By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU- The All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, ENSIEC, of breaching its guidelines for the scheduled November 4 local government elections in the State.
It also alleged that the commission is planning to disqualify its candidates for the election.
State Chairman of the APC, Dr. Ben Nwoye, who made the allegation yesterday, said that the body language of the ENSIEC showed that it was bent on doing the bidding of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Nwoye said while the ENSIEC guidelines showed that list of candidates for the election was to be published on November 17, 2017, the commission was yet to comply.
According to him, “We have waited till night but the ENSIEC is not forthcoming. I called the chairman, Ajogwu, he told me that the list was ready, but when I reached out to the ENSIEC secretary, he said it was not yet ready. So, it is unimaginable that the ENSIEC is breaching its own guideline for this election. It is unthinkable.
“The feelers we are getting is that they are coming up with only 26 chairmanship candidates; this clearly shows that there is foul play.
“I say this because we submitted list of candidates for the 17 local government areas in the State and the PDP did same; so when you sum up the number, you know what it should be.
“We are warning the ENSIEC not to try anything funny because we are not going to take it; all our candidates in the election are going to run; nobody will stop them.”
Also speaking on the defection of Senator Fidelis Okoro to the PDP, Nwoye said his action should be emulated by other politicians.
“It shows that he is an honest man; when he didn’t like what the PDP was standing for, he switched party, joined APC. He did his best to mobilize for us and now that he believes his political interest is best served in the PDP, he has left APC, honourably declared for the PDD.
That is the right thing to do; I think he sets an example; for others, to no matter how highly placed you are, as long as you are in this business called politics, you must define where you stand, you cannot be here and be there, especially the elder statesmen. I wish him well.”
On whether Okoro’s defection would affect the party negatively in the November council polls, the APC chairman said, “his departure has no impact; it has no impact at all. A long time ago, it was open that he was the one that helped in the emergence or selection of the PDP candidate in Nsukka.
“The information reaching us a long time ago, is that even as APC member, he led the selection process that led to the emergence of the PDP candidate in Nsukka; despite that, we have candidates in all the Nsukka wards. So, it didn’t affect us; while we missed is his vibrancy and elder counsel, we will forge on, we will fight neck to neck to elect our candidates.
“You notice we did our campaign in Igbo-Eze North, he wasn’t there; perhaps his spirit was no longer with us. But I must mention, he is a good man and he has every right to express or pursue his political ambition in whichever political platform he finds it and others should borrow a leaf from him; it doesn’t set a good example to be in one party and support candidate in another party; he has shown that he is a good statesman and I applaud him for that.”