… say ‘Unity List’ threat to Buhari’s re-election
By Omeiza Ajayi
FOUR of the five state chairmen of the All Progressives Congress APC in the south east have kicked against alleged plans by some power brokers and governors in the party to draw up a “Unity List”, to influence the choice of candidates in today’s national convention of the party.
Speaking with journalists Friday at the APC national secretariat, the state chairmen said any attempt to ignore the earlier endorsement of the outgoing national officers for re-election would be resisted, saying instead, every aspirant should be allowed to go into the race. The state chairmen were Chief Ben Nwoye of Enugu, Eze Nwachukwu Eze of Ebonyi, Donatus Nwankpa of Abia and Emeka Obasi of Anambra. Governors of the party had met on Wednesday night at the Imo state Governor’s Lodge in Abuja where they agreed to go back to their zones and prune down the list of contestants with a view to arriving at a more compact list. Nwoye said it was not possible to have a unity list ahead of the convention without considering the interests of the south-east in the ruling party.
“You cannot have a unity list when one geo-political zone is not considered. that is a misnormer. You cannot consider that to be a unity list. If you meet in a hall where you have just governors and South-east has just one governor, and that one governor is the only opinion you took out of five states and you produce a list, that is not a unity list. In fact, that is a disunity list and the only way you can correct the disunity list is through a democratic list. If they produce this so called unity list which I tag disunity list, it will cause Mr President the election in south east, it will cause disaffection.
“We are doing this not because of us. You cannot disregard Chief Ken Nnamani, Jim Nwobodo, you can’t disregard Orji Uzor Kalu, Ogbonnaya Onu, Chris Ngige, Martin Elechi, Sullivan Chime, Andy Ubah, Ugbo Orji, Benjamina Uwajumogu and the state chairmen of the party in the zones. These are great leaders.
“If you produce a list that is an affront to the needs, demands and opinions of these leaders, that means we will go back to 2015 when we were unable to contribute to vote. We are sure to win the South East for President Muhammadu Buhari, so anyone putting up a unity list that fails to be all inclusive of our leaders is doing no good, in fact, it is doing harm to the opportunities we have already created.
“These state chairmen have raised the status of our party in the south-east. We were being called Boko haram but we stood our ground. At the point we were standing our ground, most of the people they are listening to now were not there.
“We have people who are ably qualified to lead the party from the South-East. We are made up of different fabrics of people and ideas but when one leaves, say, the North East, North West or North Central, and delves into the positions of South East, it is offensive.
“If you are not pleased with our candidate, let the people vote. So we are prepared as south east with our delegates to either take on option A with the south east, or the ballot paper and demonstrate that these people are actually people that we want to lead us”, he added. The region had at a caucus meeting endorsed members of the National Working Committee NWC from the south east to go for re-election.