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Enugu LGA Polls: APC Dismisses Reports on Non Participation

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

  …Warns ENSIEC Against Manipulation

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Ahead of the forthcoming local government election in enugu state, South-East Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state, has said it would participate in the exercise scheduled for February 29, 2020 despite  alleged moves by the electoral body charged with the conduct of the polls to frustrate the party.

Disclosing this weekend during a press conference  addressed by the state chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye, held at the ABC’s state Secretariat in Enugu, the opposition party warned the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, ENSIEC, to brace up for a credible poll, or forget venturing into the exercise.

According to the chairman, who is also the national Secretary of APC state chairmen’s forum, the media briefing became necessary so as to inform members of the public on the true position of things regarding the council election as it concerns the party in the state.

It would be recalled that about few weeks ago, one Mr. Okey Ogbodo, who is laying claim to the leadership of the party in the state, had issued a press statement in Enugu, saying that APC would not field candidates for the election, just as a former  Deputy Chairman of the party, Comrade Adolphus Ude, had also come out with his own list which he said candidates therein, would vie for only 12, out of the 17 councils areas in the state.

But Dr. Nwoye, during the  briefing  dismissed the information from both Ogbodo and Ude, saying the duo lack the powers to dish out such vital announcement, stressing that non of them is a member of the State Executive Committee (SEC) nor state working committee (SWC), urging members of the public to discountenance such false and and misleading information.

The state chairman, stated that if anyone, including the leadership of  ENSIEC, was in doubt of the authentic  leadership of the APC in the State, such person  should contact the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the state, or the national Secretariat of the party in Abuja.

Dr. Nwoye, who expressed disappointment with the activities of both Ude and Ogbodo, describing them as “entertainment political Actors”, who had been trying to confuse the people by dishing out false information.

The chairman, had also appealed to the media to always properly verify the type of information they publish for public consumption, stressing that “Political process and political management is a serious business; if we decide to just be pushing out mischievous information, we will get back to where we are coming from – the military era.

He said: “a situation where someone wakes up from nowhere and calls himself APC chairman or pioneer Deputy chairman this and that and claims that APC is not participating in the election is quite unfortunate. I charge the media to be truly professional in such situation, because, remember that they owe it as a duty to report the truth, at times. 

The Enugu APC boss added: “for the avoidance of doubt, the APC is participating in the election; it has already fielded candidates; those individuals are not speaking for the APC; they are only interested in destabilizing democracy.

“We have councilorship candidates in the 260 wards and chairmanship candidates in the 17 LGAs. We have submitted these names to the ENSIEC.”

The chairman had used the briefing to tongue lashed the ENSIEC chairman, chief Mike Ajogwu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), accusing him of creating room for political crisis and confusion ahead of the election. He wants to cause confusion; I am pleading with him to allow us a level playing field.

Nwoye noted that “As I speak to you, we have not had stakeholders meeting with ENSIEC; this does not show preparedness. As I speak to you, ENSIEC has not published names of candidates. As of yesterday, they have not published the process of hiring adhoc staff.

Commenting on the recent de-registration of some political parties by  the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, the Enugu APC helmsman,  described the action as a welcome development pointing out that some of the parties were merely seeking for meal ticket and profiteering which is not good for the nation’s democratic setting.

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