Umeh Decries Delay Tactics by Opponents in Anambra Central Rerun

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Denies rumours of slumping at a function

By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, yesterday  expressed dissatisfaction over the intrigues and delay in the conduct of the Anambra Central senatorial rerun election  that had lingered since 2015.

Umeh who was APGA’s  senatorial candidate in  the election in the 2015 general election in an interview with journalists at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka, Anambra State said he was no longer happy with the delay in the conduct of the rerun election.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Mrs. Uche Ekwunife of the Peoples Democratic Partt (PDP) as winner of the 2015 Anambra central senatorial election, leading to Umeh challenging the outcome. Court of Appeal, Enugu Division had nullified Ekwunife’s election on December 7, 2015.

The court ordered for a fresh election in the district within 90 days and barred Ekwunife of the PDP from participating in rerun, and subsequently, APC, whose candidate, Dr Chris Ngige had declined the contest after being appointed minister.

Not minding the disqualification of the PDP, former Anambra governor, Mr Peter Obi had sought to participate in the rerun election, leading to his taking the matter to court.

On the other hand, APC had also insisted on presenting a candidate as a replacement for Ngige, and had also approached the court to achieve it’s aim.

Ngige in a meeting of APC leaders in the southeast last week, had while reacting to a question from THISDAY stated that the Anambra central rerun election would never hold unless all litigations relating to it were cleared.

But speaking at the cathedral , Umeh said he did not bear any grudges for those working to frustrate the conduct of the election, mentioning the former governor of the state, Mr Peter Obi, who he accused of being one of them.

“Obi is not my political rival. I was instrumental to his becoming a governor  and I stood by him and gave him the desired support through out his eight years as governor. I wont judge him for trying to pull me down. Only God can judge two of us,” he said.

On the rumour that he slumped in a function recently and was rushed abroad for treatment, Umeh said, “You can see am hale and hearty. The rumour is  the handiwork of mischief makers. It’s part of the ‘pull him down’ efforts of certain people. I didn’t slump any where and I have not slumped before”.

Speaking on the November 18 governorship election in the state, Umeh said the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano had no rival.

“He has  performed credibly well. Those who are criticizing him are those who are eyeing his seat, but most of such people will not get the ticket of any political party in the end.