Chief Onyekachi Nwebonyi, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi, says that neither Gov. David Umahi nor the party has endorsed any aspirant for the upcoming local government elections in the state.
Nwebonyi said this at a news briefing on Tuesday in Abakaliki, adding that the aspirants would be given equal opportunities during the primary election.
He said that the party encouraged members to vie for any positions of their choice, promising that the party primaries would be free and fair.
“Whoever the people love will be elected because we want to enthrone true democracy at the grassroots to make the party strong.
“As the ruling party in the state, we are ready for the elections and encourage our members to come out en-massse and exercise their franchise,” Nwebonyi said.
He denied the allegation that the party hiked the prices of the nomination forms to N2.2million and N250,000 for chairmanship and councillorship positions, respectively, to scare potential aspirants away.
“It is not true that we hiked the price for forms because they are almost the same amount with what we had in the previous elections.
“It is the duty of the national body to fix prices for forms and not the state chapter of the party.
“The party however needs the funds to prosecute the elections, starting from the primaries to print forms, pay ad-hoc workers and publicity, among other expenses.
“This is for the party’s good and due to the fact that it is financially autonomous, we do not get money from government, though we are the ruling party in the state.
“We rely solely on what we generate from sale of forms and levies,” the party chairman said.
Nwebonyi expressed the hope that the state Independent Electoral Commission would give all the political parties equal opportunities, considering its precedence in past elections.
Nwebonyi further spoke on the recent de-registration of some political parties in the country for alleged poor performance and described the measure as commendable.
“The essence of forming political parties is to win elections and any party that cannot win a single seat in the country is not fit to be called a party,” he said. (NAN)