A retired Air Vice Marshal and APC Delta South Senatorial aspirant in the controversial APC primary election in Delta State, AVM Terry Okorodudu has described the process that led to his and others exclusion from the purported APC primary as totally shameful, criminal and an abuse of democratic culture. He made the submission in an interview granted to Channels TV in Abuja, yesterday.
He described the process preceding the supposed primary election as a tortuous experience given that at the end of the day the election didn’t happen, but former governor Emmanuel Uduaghan was published as the candidate of the APC. He said that the decision to clear only Emmanuel Uduaghan for the election making him, Uduaghan, a sole candidate and leading to an affirmation and not election, was outrightly fraudulent because, according to him, no fair opportunity was given to other aspirants, describing such as a “miscarriage of democratic process”.
Speaking further, AVM Okorodudu said “the decision to clear only Uduaghan is ridiculous, there was no explanation for that and basically it was a vexing experience” He said that there was no accreditation or election just as there was no indication that there was a decision by the party to put only one candidate forward from among all the other aspirants that had obtained the form and fulfilled all the requirements of the electoral process.
He worried that as a retired Air Vice Marshal, the decision to exclude him must be premeditated because it is grievous and with consequences saying that “my concern is that for someone of my caliber, a retired Air Vice Marshal, that has served my country 35 years, if I can simply be excluded from the election process in the manner it was done, it tells you that there is a danger to our democracy and there is a danger to our country; our country needs to be aware that there is danger locking somewhere. If this can happen to me, you can imagine what has happened or can happen to others. So, it is my duty to talk to Nigerians that this kind of activities must not be allow to occur without repercussions”.
On the claim that several efforts have been made to assuage his feelings and to work out some agreeable resolution to the crises, the retired AVM said that he is willing, for the sake of the APC as a political party, to accept efforts at resolving the issues but that the people of Delta South senatorial district and indeed Deltans and Nigerians must have to be explained to why the processes of the primary election was criminally abused and ruined by few individuals. He wondered how come only the former governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan was the only one cleared saying that it is laughable and Nigerians must resist the kind shenanigan that played out in the said primary election.
The AVM insisted that the process was flawed and a miscarriage of due process, lacking transparency and lacking in credibility. He wondered why the party chairman did not approach him or his team before the election but had to do so after the charade was done in an attempt to assuage him, after the fact, saying that it is important to go back and correct the process. He admitted that the chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole has also approached him appealing that he should not be angry about the outcome.
He said such appeals are after the fact, and that nobody thought it right to have informed other aspirants that Mr. Uduaghan was going to be selected as sole candidate, because the party felt that the aspirants didn’t matter not minding the consequences of such despotic action. He insisted that his desire is to serve the country and that the feelings of the people, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobos and Isoko who wanted him to serve cannot be ignored.
As a way forward, the retired AVM called on President Buhari, as the party leader, to step forward to ensure that the abuse is corrected and to ensure that only credible process is followed and only credible people with integrity are elected under the APC. He insisted that the President must be able to intervene seeing that the internal crises in APC is a serious concern for national security accepting that he is ready to work with everyone to ensure that the country has good governance. Admitting the willingness to support the president, AVM Okorodudu insisted that there is a need to do things properly so that Nigerians will have no reasons to doubt the intentions of the APC as a party or the integrity of President Buhari, because the party, according to him, must show that it can be different from the other parties by doing things rightly.