By Chioma Ndife
Stakeholders of Orumba North and South Federal Constituency have rejected Okwudili Ezenwakwo as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for the Federal House of Representatives election, saying that none of the delegates were allowed to vote in the said primary, reports Chioma Ndife.
Their protest is coming on the heels of the assurance given to the stakeholders by the Anambra State chairman of APGA, Sir Norbert Obi, when they stormed APGA office to protest alleged irregularities that allegedly marred the primary election for Orumba North and South House of Representatives. But the leadership of APGA is however yet to address the controversy.
The protesting stakeholders who had stormed the APGA office in Awka with four aspirants for the Orumba North and South Federal Constituency to demand a fresh poll, chanted songs of disapproval and displayed placards which carried some of their grievances.
The placards had such inscriptions as, ''Give us a new date for Orumba North & South House of Representatives Primary Election'', ''There was no Election in Orumba North & South Federal Constituency on the 2nd of October'', ''We need a new date for Fed House of Reps Primary Election''.
Fides gathered that the protesters alleged irregularities and intimidation during the primary election at Orumba North Secretariat Ajalli, during which the member representing Orumba North in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Hon Romanus Ugochukwu Obi, was reportedly assaulted by thugs loyal to one of the contestants fingered as a sacred cow.
Fides gathered that a statement jointly signed by four aggrieved aspirants, namely Retired Capt. Casmir Chinonso Nwafor; Winston Udeh; Chief Ernest Okafor and Hon. Romanus Obi, had been sent to Governor Willie Obiano and APGA National Chairman, Ozo Victor Oye.
The statement, which alleged the use of thugs by a favoured aspirant in the alleged botched primary, demanded the sanctioning of the culprits to serve as deterrence to others.
Speaking to Journalists during the protest, the assaulted House member, Hon. Romanus Ugochukwu Obi, narrated how the aspirants discovered that the sheet which should contain the delegates' names was not signed and had no name on it. He said it was after the returning officer from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had finished the accreditation.
He noted that it was agreed by all the aspirants after the meeting held by the DSS officer that the primary should be shifted to another day as almost all the delegates had left.
He alleged that some of the thugs of the suspected aspirant smuggled in under the cover of darkness, brought the ballot papers for the election in white reflective buckets and took them up to the Conference Hall and insisted that the election must go on and results written, despite the stiff protest of other aggrieved aspirants for such not to happen since it was getting late as most delegates had left as at 8pm.
Ugochukwu therefore called for the conduct of a new election and assured that aspirants would support any winner to emerge from such a fresh conduct of the election.
Another aspirant on APGA platform, Princess Chinwe Nnabuife, said that no election took place and wondered how the winner emerged as the flag bearer of the party. He claimed that the ad-hoc delegate list was doctored, as it bore no emblem of APGA, had no destination and was not signed. She argued that it was not proper that the 160 delegates that were expected to vote in the election came from just one aspirant's list when aspirants were six in number. She insisted that one person could not be imposed on the people of Orumba.
Addressing the stakeholders of the area who stormed APGA in protest against the election, the State Chairman of APGA, Sir Norbert Obi, promised that their grievances would be taken to appropriate quarters, saying that the state's arm of the party was not responsible for the conducted primaries.
Some of the stakeholders who spoke to Fides, Wilfred Oranusi and Chimezie Nnabuife, both from Umunze Community, said no election was conducted and demanded that the right thing be done in order to reflect the ideals of APGA.