From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Eight aggrieved All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants for the Anambra state governorship election have vowed to remain in the ruling party, pursue to a logical conclusion and reclaim their mandates stolen during the June party primaries in Awka.
However, peeved by the lukewarm attitude of the national leadership of the ruling party in resolving the complaints from the aggrieved aspirants, two of them have dumped the party to pick the ticket of other political parties in desperation to actualise their ambition
Although the third among the 11 aggrieved aspirants believed to have also dumped the APC, Ben Etiaba to join the Social Democratic Party (SDP), still remains in the realm of speculation, other two aggrieved ones confirmed to have departed include Col Geoff Onyejegbu (retd), who joined the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and Chidozie Nwankwo who joined African Action Congress (AAC),
The move which came few hours to the July 30, 2021 deadline for the end of the substitution window of candidate’s names to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) saw to the literal disintegration of the APC in the state by the 14 governorship aspirants.
One of the eight aggrieved aspirants, Dr George Moghalu, the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has even gone a step further to institute a legal action over the controversial party primary.
Even as a founding member of the APC, Moghalu had dragged his party before an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, over the alleged failure of the APC to conduct a valid primary election for the nomination of its candidate for the November 6 governorship election in the State.
The aspirant in the suit filed on July 8, 2021 by his lawyer, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), is praying the court to compel the INEC to delist the name of Andy Uba and APC from among the list of political parties and governorship candidates for the November 6 election or any subsequent postponement.
Moghalu, who was among 14 aspirants who purchased forms to contest for the governorship election, equally urged the court to declare that the party failed to conduct a “valid primary election’’ in line with the provisions of the constitution, the Electoral Act as well as the APC’s constitution and guidelines for election, demanding the sum of N122.5 million damages from the ruling party.
One of the eight aspirants who spoke in confidence revealed that though highly classified meetings with the APC national leadership and progressives governors have been held to resolve the situation without making any headway, they will remain in the party to continue with the battle to regain their mandate.
“We are not leaving the party for now. But it is rather annoying and very unfortunate that the national leadership of our party could not do anything reasonable to resolve our complaint. We tried to agree on a consensus candidate but the party is not forthcoming in implementing that resolution. We have also held series of meeting with many APC governors but no solution has been implemented. That must have necessitated the decision of Moghalu to institute legal action against the sham called party primary conducted in Awka in June.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that while eight of us have resolved to continue the struggle, two of us, Geoff and Nwankwo have been confirmed to have joined other parties while the third, Ben Etiaba’s proposed movement to SDP is still in the realm of speculation.
“Let me warn that if the party continue with lukewarm attitude towards resolving our complaints, APC should just forget winning Anambra governorship becausea house divided against itself cannot approach such election without a united house,” one of the aggrieved aspirants quipped.