The Sen. Sonni Ogbuoji Campaign Council for the 2019 governorship election has explained the reasons the All Progressives Congress (APC) lost in the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi.
Sen. Anthony Agbo, the Director General of the Ogbuoji Campaign Council disclosed this at a news conference in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
He said that a number of factors were responsible for the abysmal performance of the party in the just concluded elections.
He said: “I, as the Director-General of the Ogbuoji Campaign Council with utmost humility and respect to all have decided to speak on the matter bearing no malice to none, but to provide our own version of answers to various questions asked by the people.
“Many, especially APC members and supporters have been asking questions and wondering what led to the party’s gross under performance at the elections in Ebonyi.”
Agbo said that the council immediately it was set up by Ogbuoji on Dec 2, 2018 swung into action and drew a campaign blueprint which it presented to the APC governorship candidate but it was never used.
“The council sat down to produce a comprehensive and detailed campaign blueprint which captured activities that were to be carried out at local government, ward, communities and village levels as well as individuals contacts and consultations.
“This was presented to Ogbuoji who told us that he was so pre-occupied with arranging issues relating to the election at Abuja level and that we should keep it in view,” he said.
He added that Ogbuoji shuned all efforts made by the council, stakeholders and party leaders to bring genuine peace and reconciliation among House of Representatives and state assembly candidates whose tickets were changed in Abuja.
“After the APC primaries in the state, the names of several persons who won house of representatives and state assembly tickets were changed in Abuja.
“This generated a very volatile situation in the party that later gave rise to multiple litigations.
“The Council made several representations to Ogbuoji and party leadership in the state for the reversal of the damaging action but the appeal was not heeded.”
Agbo noted that the irreconcilable differences between Ogbuoji and Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology was also a blow to the party in the state and regretted that all efforts to bring the two leaders to a reconciliatory talk failed.
Agbo said that the minister was not happy with the manner the governorship primary was conducted in Ebonyi, particularly as it had to do with the lists of delegates from Ikwo and Ezza South Local Government Areas.
“Ogbuoji refused to attend a peace reconciliation meeting convened twice by Chief Martin Elechi and attended by key party leaders including the Minister at the prompting of the council,” he said.
The DG explained that the party did not campaign vigorously for election due to poor funding of the electioneering activities.
“We wish to state categorically that since the inauguration of the council till the last election held in March 9, that the council did not receive any money from the governorship candidate or from any other person or source.
“No single financial request presented by the council to Ogbuoji for purposes of the campaign no matter how big or how small was ever honoured.
“The party went into the election with only N2,580,000 released by Ogbuoji in the eve of the election,” Agbo added.
He, however debunked alleged insinuation that the APC governorship candidate was planted as a mole in the party by the PDP.
He also commended the electorate in the state for the 94,000 votes at the presidential election and 81,000 votes at the governorship polls in Ebonyi.
In a reaction, Ogbuoji said that he invested the best of time, resources and energy in the election process for both the governorship and presidential elections.
Ogbuoji, who spoke through Mr Ikenna Emewu, his media and publicity director, said the funding made was based on his ability.
“Contesting an election with an incumbent vying for the same position was a huge huddle.
“We did our best in prosecuting the election and it is a huge task to contest an election with an incumbent contesting in the same election.
“I funded the election to the best my abilities could sustain,” he said.