By Peter Okutu, Abakaliki
A group of stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress(APC), Ebonyi State, yesterday warned that the imposition of Governor David Umahi’s preferred Governorship candidate and Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Francis Nwifuru, on Ebonyi citizens, would spell doom for the Party in the 2023 general election.
The group further alleged that there was already a plot to impose him on the Party and the State in general, not minding the wishes of the people.
The stakeholders who called themselves Legacy APC members emphasized that only direct primaries will give the Party victory over the opposition People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in next year’s general election.
One of the stakeholders, Chief Haroun Ajah stated this at a press conference in Abakaliki.
He called on the National leadership of the party to intervene in the alleged plan to impose candidates on the party and scheme them out.
He alleged that Governor David Umahi has sidelined the legacy members of the party and adopted those who joined him into APC last two years as candidates for the 2023 general election.
”We, the legacy and loyal members of APC in Ebonyi State also want the national leadership of APC to intervene to ensure that the party, which we laboured to build is not destroyed.
“We have been trying to make the governor see reasons and imbibe democratic ethos in the running of APC in Ebonyi State, but Governor Umahi has continued to shun entreaties to follow the path of civility and fairness.
“The situation in Ebonyi State APC is that while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is bubbling with activities in readiness for the election, APC is in near-comatose as genuine members have been rendered docile out of fear and dread for the governor’s highhandedness.
“While there are over 12 governorship aspirants in PDP and between 2 and 3 contestants in every constituency, APC has only four governorship aspirants against the nine we had in 2019. This further shows how the party in Ebonyi has shrunk under the leadership of Governor Umahi. Yet the governor ordered the governorship aspirants to reach out to the party executives, insisting that the aspirants can only get to the executives at their individual constituencies.
“In the light of these obvious efforts by the governor to impose his preferred candidate on Ebonyi State APC, we use this opportunity to plead with our national leaders to ensure that direct primaries are organized for aspirants in the state.
“We believe that only a direct primary where the aspirants would test their popularity could restore the confidence of APC members in the party’s candidates and not the choice of one man who wants to pitch Ebonyi APC against the people”, he said.