Magnus Eze, Enugu and Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Former Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime, has said the 2019 general elections will be ‘war’ in the state, because his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is ready to square it up with the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Chime, who spoke after his inauguration as Chairman of the APC Reconciliation Committee in Enugu, yesterday, said there were bound to be grievances after primaries in any party, particularly in the third world, unless such a party was dead.
He expressed delight with the rancour-free manner the primaries were organised in the state and noted that some aggrieved persons pursued their cases in the most civilised way, as stipulated by the party.
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The former governor dispelled insinuations that the governorship ticket of the party was contentious, stressing that there was no parallel candidates’ list from the state in the party’s national headquarters.
“If you’re going into an election and the opposition is happy with the candidates you selected, know it that you’ve lost that election; but if they’re jittery; it means you’ve done a good job.
“We are going into the 2019 elections from the position of strength. We will go round and appeal to aggrieved people, and by the grace of God, they will listen and accept. We must have a way of appeasing everybody. We can’t go into this election which I call ‘war’ divided. We will surely go into it strong. I believe before the end of this year, we would have a united party; we’ll campaign together and shame the opposition,” Chime said.
Inaugurating the six-man committee, State Chairman of the party, Dr Ben Nwoye, said their task was to calm frayed nerves arising from the just concluded party primaries in the state.
He tasked the committee to ensure they reached the aggrieved persons and their aides, including aspirants who may have defected to other political parties.
He named Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu, former Gombe State military administrator, Group Capt. Joe Orji (red) and Chief Pascal Agubuzor as some of those who had left the party, while Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, is still pursuing his petition at the party headquarters.
Nwoye also warned that anybody caught engaging in anti-party activities would face the full weight of the law.
Meanwhile, Enugu State Secretary of APC, Chief Robert Eze, has assured the public that there is no crisis in the party. Chief Eze made the declaration in a chat with Daily Sun at the party’s house in Obollo-Afor, Udenu Local Government Area, yesterday, during a meeting of stakeholders of the party.
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He said the party has been able to conduct a credible and transparent primaries in the state, which produced candidates in all the political positions in the 2019 general elections.
“The APC primaries in Enugu State was a peaceful one. Senator Ayogu Eze emerged as the gubernatorial candidate. It made those sponsored by PDP and other interest groups to come together, align and re-align to get one person as the flag-bearer. All the aggrieved persons have come together to work for one person.”
Asked why there are three governorship candidates from APC with each claiming to be the authentic candidate, Chief Eze said, “in any political party, there is what we call nuisance value. There are people who want to sink the money given to them by the opposition party.
“We have the people who actually came in, not necessarily to win the election, but to make noise and showcase themselves, knowing their nuisance value.
“One of the gubernatorial candidates scored two votes and he is shouting, telling everybody that he won the primary election. Somebody scored one, the other person seven and the other person eight.
“The person who scored above 100 votes did not make noise, but somebody who scored one vote is saying he has won the election. I want to make it clear to you that most of them are not registered members of APC, ab initio. They jumped in to destabilise APC in Enugu State.”