By Chijindu Emeruwa.
The Abia leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has reaffirmed governorship candidacy of Dr Uche Sampson Ogah, for the upcoming 2023 general election in Abia, and many other states of the Nigeria federation.
Ogah was the immediate past Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development before his resignation from m federal cabinet to contest the office of the Governor of Abia State in the 2023 general election.
He was declared the winner of the recently concluded direct gubernatorial primary elections conducted on 26th May 2022, by the party leadership across the 184 electoral wards of the seventeen local government areas of Abia state.
Recall also that the ex-minister, had scored 141,952 votes to beat his closest rival, Paul Ikonne who scored 27,054.
Other gubernatorial aspirants includes, Chief Ikechi Emenike who polled 9,446, Emeka Atuma with 7,429, Obinna Oriaku with 5,553, Alex Otti scored 2,41, and Daniel Eke who got 1,953 at the keenly contested direct primaries.
This was announced by the Returning Officer of the concluded Abia APC gubernatorial primaries held in Umuahia, the state capital, Barrister Perfect Okorie.
However, the latest reaffirmation of Ogah’s governorship candidacy came on the heels of a recent parley by some factional APC leaders and members at the country home of ex-member of the House of Representatives, Hon Emeka Atuma, in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia state.
It would also be recalled that party members, had during the parley, pledged allegiances and unalloyed support to the governorship bid of the current Pro-chancellor and the Chairman Board Council of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), and leader of a faction of Abia APC, Chief Ikechi Emenike, and resolved to close ranks and work collectively and harmoniously towards delivering landslide victory for the All Progressive Congress in the 2023 general election in all stratas of political leadership in the state.
Prominent among party leaders that attended peace accord/unification parley at Ikwuano residence of Emeka Atuma, were the factional Abia APC gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Ikechi Emenike, immediate past State APC Chairman, Hon Donatus Nwankpa, the current representative of Bende federal constituency in green chamber of the Nigeria National Assembly, Hon Benjamin Kalu, Hon Nkeiruka Onyejiocha representing Isuikwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency at the House of Representatives.
Others were all card-carrying members of the APC in Abia State House of Assembly, political aspirants, pro-groups, and the teeming supporters across the state and its environs.
Reacting, while addressing journalists at the state party secretriate at Adelabu/Azikwe road junction in Umuahia, at the weekend, the APC State Secretary, Barrister Perfect Okorie, maintained that Ogah remains the main governorship standard bearer of party in Abia state, after he was duly elected through direct mode of primary election approved for conduct of the execise in the state, as communicated to APC National Working Committee (NWC) by Hide quoted text
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He also maintained that the resolve of the APC to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Abia state come 2023 has not shaken nor changed, declaring that the progressive party is prepared, and works towards winning the Abia governorship seat through the ballot box in 2023.
Asked to speak further on the reported reconciliation of party leaders that took place at the Ntalakwu residence of a former member of the National Assembly, and co-contestant of the 2023 governorship seat of Abia state on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, Emeka Atumah, Mr Okorie, described the reported parley as a charade and ruse, as the event had no representation of the authentic leadership of the party in the state.
Corroborating the positions postulated by Abia chapter of the APC, former Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Stanley Ohazuruka, also insisted that the party in the state followed strictly the directive of the NWC to conduct the gubernatorial primaries that produced Dr. Uche Sampson Ogah, and therefore, they will stand by it.