By Dennis Agbo
HOUSE of Assembly candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ebonyi State, has accused the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu of working against the party in the just concluded elections in the state.
While accepting that the minister made financial contributions to all APC House of Assembly candidates in the South East, they alleged that Onu worked against the party’s governorship candidate in Ebonyi State, Senator Sunni Ogbuoji.
The candidates accused the minister of working in favour of his kinsman and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP..
At a press conference in Enugu, 17 out of the 24 House of Assembly candidates of the APC in the state described the March 9 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state as a sham and an exercise characterised by electoral irregularities.
A leader of the APC candidates, Jude Okpor said: “There were massive irregularities characterized by multiple voting as Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thugs and supporters used stockpiled Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs, which were released to them by INEC officials prior to the period of election.
“In most cases, the use of Card Reader was abandoned while manual accreditation was used which resulted in multiple thumb printing of unused ballot papers in favour of the PDP resulting to the invalidation of valid votes of APC candidates.
“Several cases of intimidation, harassment, assault, abduction of party members, the arrest of House of Assembly candidates were witnessed in all the 24 constituencies of Ebonyi State while the election was going on. Security agents and PDP thugs in connivance with INEC officials were used to hijack sensitive materials to unknown places where results were written in favour of PDP.”
“Although we contested against a desperate and brutal incumbent governor who had earlier promised to grind and crush any opposition element standing on his way to his re-election bid, we will not fail to highlight issues of internal sabotages by APC party leaders within and outside the state.”
The candidates further disclosed that most federal appointees from the state played little or no role towards the electoral fortunes of the APC in Ebonyi state.
“We are constrained to ask, where was our own National leader, Ogbonnaya Onu, throughout the struggle to liberate Ebonyi state in the just concluded election?
“It has also filtered to our knowledge that some fifth columnist within and outside our great party in the state are doing everything humanly possible to smear, denigrate and launder the image of our gubernatorial candidate Distinguished Senator Sonni Ogbuoji, with the intention of causing disaffection, disunity, and crisis amongst party faithful and Ebonyi citizens, and paving way for Dave Umahi to join APC,” Okpor stated.
Onu’s aides, Obasi Ogbonnaya and Sunny Onyeukwu both failed to react to the allegation despite all messages and phone calls placed on them.