By Clifford Ndujihe
THE Abia State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC led by Chief Kingsley Ononogbu, has insisted that High Chief Ikechi Emenike is its Governorship Candidate for the 2023 poll.
It disowned immediate-past Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development Dr Uche Ogah, who is also laying claim to the ticket.
While Emenike emerged through indirect primaries as sanctioned by the National Working Committee, NWC, Ogah got the ticket via direct primaries.
Supporters of Ogah such as former Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Stanley Ohajuruka, said Ogah was the APC candidate that there was no time Abia APC conducted any congress to elect ad-hoc delegates to vote at the governorship primaries, that produced Emenike.
Emenike, APC kick, cite letter from NWC
However, the Emenike team, which prides itself as the Authentic APC recognised by the NWC in Abia said the party hierarchy approved and monitored the indirect primaries that produced Emenike as candidate.
According to them, “High Chief Ikechi Emenike is the Governorship Candidate that will lead Abia APC to victory in the forthcoming 2023 general election. “Equally settled is the issue of Direct and Indirect Primaries.
The National leadership of APC had in a letter dated 26th May, 2022 and addressed to the Chairman of INEC “as a follow-up to our letter reference No. APC/NHDQ/INEC/19/022/61” stated in unambiguous words that Abia was not among the states where direct mode of primary was required. The letter jointly signed by the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu and the National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore stated that the letter to INEC was meant for the electoral umpire to recognise that the Indirect Primary conducted by Abia APC was ‘in line with our NWC resolution that Abia State was to adopt Indirect mode of primary election.’”
Consequently, they said Ogah and Ohajuruka were operating outside the rules of the APC and could not lay claim to the APC governorship ticket.