By Chijindu Emeruwa, Abia.
A socio-cultural umbrella of an Abia extraction, Nzuko Ikwuano-na-Umuahia Citizens (NIUC), has thrown their weights on the decision of the Candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, for Abia central senatorial district, Hon Sam Onuigbo, to challenge the substitution of his name with another name, describing the action of the APC leadership as a rape to the nation’s democracy.
The group also regretted that the undemocratic practice by the party leadership could truncate the chances of the APC to win the forthcoming 2023 general election in Abia central Senatorial district, and further asked the leadership of the APC to reverse the unmerited award on Emeka Atuma, and include name of the authentic winner, Hon Sam Onuigbo within five days, or face the wraths of the people of Abia central Senatorial district in the 2023 elections in Abia state should the party failed to stick to its democratic principle and rules.
The position of the Abia group was contained in a communique signed by the President General, Ndubuisi Maxwell Nwabuko and Secretary, Chimezie Gbaruko, issued to journalists, at the end of its enlarged meeting held at Abia Hotels in Umuahia, the state capital on Saturday.
According to the group, “Onuigbo had before the recently concluded APC senatorial primaries, purchased the party’s senatorial express of interests and nomination forms, and was screened and cleared by the leadership of the party, which he fully participated and emerge victorious defeating Chief Henry Ikoh, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu and other notable co contestants during the primaries. We wondered how someone who contested the governorship ticket under the platform of the APC, and was defeated during the party gubernatorial primaries, someone who never declared to run for the Abia central senatorial seat in the coming election, someone who never picked Senatorial nomination forms could be announced as APC candidate for Abia central Senatorial district seat on filmsy excuse that the party harmonized all interests in the Abia APC.
“We are saying its unacceptable, unfair, criminal and a heavy slap on our fledging democracy, wherein, someone who did not pick nomination form could be awarded another man’s victory. We ask the APC leadership that in order to halt bulk votes from the people of Abia central Senatorial districts against itself, the party should within four to five days include Sam Onuigbo’s in the list of elected Senatorial candidate of the All Progressive Congress, recently submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission”.
Continuing, the umbrella body applauded the judiciary on its recent order for an accelerated hearing in the suit challenging the illegality perpetrated by the APC, and also vowed that the people from the Abia central senatorial zone would troop out en masse during the hearing of the matter to give credence to the suit and ensure justice prevail.
The Nzuko Ikwuano-na-Umuahia Citizens, further asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to call the leadership of the All Progressive Congress to order, over this rape on our constitutionality, reiterating also that the unmerited award of victory to Emeka Atuma does not reflect to the general wish and opinions of members of the APC in Abia central Senatorial district, as they further insisted that Atuma was never an aspirant for the Senatorial seat of Abia central district in the concluded primary election conducted by the party leadership in Abia state.
The socio-cultural body, however, expressed deep appreciation to the APC Senatorial Candidate for Abia central district, Hon Sam Ifeanyichukwu Onuigbo, for unprecedented and uncommon strides ranging from attractions, building and facilitation of meaningful developmental projects and social investment empowerment and Development programmes in Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency, which the group added, had remarkably improve livelihoods and also given the federal Constituency an economic and Infrastructural facelifts, encouraging him not to relent in its commitment and efforts in providing dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of the people of the Ikuwano, Umuahia north and Umuahia south local government areas of Abia, and further reassured him of its continuous support in his services to God and humanity.
Recall that Sam Onuigbo, the All Progressive Congress standard-bearer for Abia central Senatorial zone, had asked an Abuja High Court to restrain his party from substituting his name for the 2023 general election.
Onuigbo, who currently represents Ikwuano/Umuahia federal constituency of Abia State, sued the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Emeka Atuma as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively over alleged substitution of his name with another name.o
However, the Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, transferred the suit to Justice Evelyn Anyadike of Federal High Court, Umuahia Division, under suit number FHC/ABJ/UM/CS/113/2022.