I won Imo PDP Guber Primaries, Ararume Insists; *Challenges Ihedioha To Produce His Certificate of ReturnsIgnatius Okpara, Latest News, Nigeria 2015 Election Saturday, December 27th, 2014
From Ignatius Okpara, Owerri – As the controversies over the Imo State’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate rage, two of the key contenders, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, have engaged themselves in war of words and vowed not to shift grounds.
After the primary election, both Ararume and Ihedioha, have been laying claims to being the winners, a development that has thrown the (state) opposition party into serious confusion.
It would be recalled that Ihedioha, was declared the winner of contest in a controversial manner by the election panel, who declared Ararume, as coming the first runners up.
But the ex- Senator, had alleged that the primary was rigged in favour of Ihedioha, as the number of valid votes exceeded the number of votes cast.
While maintaining that he won the primary election, Ararume, who spoke to newsmen Friday in Owerri, via his Personal Assistant, Dr. James Okoroma, challenged Ihedioha, to produce the certificate of return issued to him by the election panel if truly he won the primary election.
He said: “It was very clear that Hon. Emeka Ihedioha did not win the governorship primary election because, if he did, the committee that conducted the election would have issued him a certificate of return as actual winner.
“But he was never issued with one, because he never won the contest. And if he claims to have won, let him produce his certificate of return”
Okoroma insisted since the winner of the governorship primary is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, there was no way the party could submit the name of Ihedioha to the INEC as the winner of the primary.
“Senator Ararume is the clear winner of the December 8 governorship primary and the PDP has not submitted any name to INEC as claimed by the supporters of Ihedioha.”
“Even Ihedioha has obtained an injunction at Oguta High Court restraining the party from forwarding any other name except his to the INEC because he knew very well that he never won the governorship primary”
He further disclosed that when the discrepancies in the number of the votes cast and the result announced by the Hon. Terngu Tsegba-led primary Election Committee discovered the flaw early hours of Tuesday, thus Ararume had since alerted the state Chairman of the PDP, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie who had gone in company with the Senator to see members of the election committee at the Rock View Hotel, Owerri.
“The Chairman of the election committee, Terngu Tsegba, then requested that all the contestants should meet them at the party’ s office by 9 am that day.
“But when we got there, we were shocked to learn that members of the election committee had already left for Abuja, which simply means that they knew what they were doing and had deliberately set off another crisis in the state’s branch of the party.
“So, if Hon Ihedioha said he won, he should produce the certificate of return given to him by the election committee, because nobody signed anything after the conduct of that primary”.
“Okoroma however, insisted that it is not about Ararume but that the right thing must be done if the country claims to be practising democracy.
“We cannot continue to deceive ourselves that we are practising democracy when indeed we have refused to imbibe the tenets of democracy.
“So, to avoid unnecessary crisis, the party knows the right thing to do, which is to simply submit the name of Senator Ararume who actually won the primary to INEC”, he posited.
In his reaction, Director-General of Emeka Ihedioha Campaign Organisation, Chris Okewulonu, described Senator Ararume, as a serial loser who lacked the spirit of sportsmanship to accept defeat even when it was glaring to him that he has lost out.
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