By Steve Oko
The Chairman of the Electoral Committee for the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, governorship primaries in Abia State, Echezona Etiaba, has refuted speculations and social media reports that a candidate had emerged from the exercise.
Etiaba who spoke with Vanguard yesterday evening at Kolping Society Umuahia, venue of the primaries, said that anybody laying claims to victory on an exercise that just commenced was being mischievous.
He said that accreditation and voting were going on simultaneously; adding that there was no way a winner would emerge when voting was going on.Etiaba said he was the Chairman of the Committee sent by the National leadership of the party to conduct the primaries in Abia, adding that as far as his committee was concerned the process is still on-going.
He identified other members of his committee as Sly Ezeokenwa; Tex Okechukwu; Hanatu Ahmed; and Caleb Anere.Etiaba, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard such speculations and fake media reports.Similarly, APGA Chairman in the state, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, told Vanguard at the venue that there was no winner yet as voting had just commenced.
He said the process was peaceful and transparent.The party Chairman said that all the governorship aspirants had earlier addressed delegates before voting commenced.
He, however, noted that one of the candidates, Chief Chikwe Udensi, had left the venue, adding that he has severally called him to inform him that voting had started but he said he was coming back.Meanwhile, other aspirants: Gen. Ijioma. N. Ijioma (retd.); Etigwe Uwa (SAN); and Professor Greg Ibe were sighted by our Correspondent sitted together and chatting friendly at the venue of the primaries.
Representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies were also observed monitoring the exercise going on peacefully.There are speculations that one of the aspirants had taken his supporters to one of the hotels in town where they pronounced him winner with a voice vote.As at the time of filing this report ( 4:58 on) the exercise was going on smoothly.
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