Posted by News Express | 2 July 2021 | 1,115 times
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is making frantic efforts to avoid missing out on the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State over its disputed primary.
Checks showed that some powerful stakeholders within the party are piling pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to explore ways of rebuffing the report by its Election Management and Party Monitoring Department (EPM), which punctured the claims by the APC that it organised a primary in the state.
It was also gathered that influential chieftains are insisting that the winner of the primary, Senator Andy Uba, be allowed to stand for the main election.
A source stated: “The party chieftains are saying that Uba is the only aspirant capable of contesting the governorship poll effectively. A South-East governor is pleading with the party leadership, while another said it was in the best interest of APC in the zone to go with the popular choice.
“Between credibility and capacity to fund the election, I can tell you that deep pocket is behind the ongoing lobby to upturn the INEC report.”
Contacted, the National Commissioner in charge of Publicity and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, denied any pressure on the electoral umpire to override its committee’s report.
He said: “How can there be pressure when legal practitioners and some political parties have applied for Certified True Copy (CTC) of the reports and we have issued copies to them?”
The INEC official continued: “So, the issue of pressure does not even arise in the first place. The commission is a constitutional body that is faithful to and adhere to its processes and procedures.
“Eighteen parties gave notice to the commission relating to their primaries for the Anambra State governorship election. We have received the report of some of our monitoring teams. Some of the parties are conducting their primaries today (yesterday) being July 1, 2021.
“All political parties enjoy the same incident of registration and are equal before the law and the commission. Legal practitioners representing some aspirants, candidates, parties and tendencies have applied for the report of some of our monitoring teams. We have issued CTCs of the ones received to such applicants.
“It is ridiculous to insinuate even remotely that the commission can alter its report. The conduct of primaries is within the domestic realm of political parties and the commission, as a regulatory body, will continue to draw the attention of political parties to the provisions of the constitution and the law relating to the conduct of primaries.”
Further, it was learnt that APC national leaders were still locked in a crucial meeting with aspirants over the development, particularly as the party did not envisage the embarrassing reports surrounding the primary.
Unless something positive comes out of the parley, APC might end up not fielding a candidate for the contest.
This scenario is thus fueling speculations that the party wants to fall back on Governor Willie Obiano to savage the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), once again. (The Guardian, text only)
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