By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary appeal panel yesterday saidÂ it was yet to take a final decision on the primary election to select its candidate for the Anambra State November 18 governorship election.
The partyâ€™s position came just as the Appeal panel drilled its governorship candidate-elect for the Anambra State election, Hon. Tony Nwoye, over petition brought against him by one of the defeated aspirants.
Speaking in an interview with THISDAY on the partyâ€™s position, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the party has not made any definite pronouncement on the Anambra State governorship primary.
â€œAs I speak with you, we have not made any definite pronouncement on the Anambra State governorship primary because it is also important for us to recognise that there are procedures for everything.
â€œThe procedure for primary within our party as you know provides for certain windows for people who are dissatisfied to lay their grievances or complaints before the appeal panel. But we have not received the report of the appeal panel and so we await.
The panel report and we donâ€™t know what they will recommend,â€ he said.
Abdullahi said the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party would meet when it receives the report of the appeal panel to take a final decision on the status of its governorship candidate for the Anambra election.
â€œHowever, whatever is the report of the panel, we will consider it and then take a decision, we are confident that we will be able to resolve whatever the issues are and then go into the election. We are also confident that we are going to win the governorship election on November 18,â€ he said.
Nwoye won the primary election of August 26, 2017, with 2,146 to defeat his closest rival, Senator Andy Ubah who polled 931 votes.
But the Appeal Panel summoned Nwoye, for questioning yesterday in Abuja in connection with the petition that came from Senator Andy Uba.
THISDAY gathered that some forces within the party are already pressurising the NWC to cancel the result of the primary which was won by Nwoye with more than 1,000 votes.
While speaking with journalists after his appearance before the appeal panel, Nwoye said the panel asked him about some people they described as student union leadersÂ who came to distrup the primary and beat up the delegates.
â€œI said it was not true that no single members of NANS, former or students was part of the primary election; that all the delegates that voted were statutorily the delegates expected to vote. And this is a primary election that was adjudged the best in the history of Nigeria and the partisan politics in the country.
â€œSo, I made it very clear that there was no room for manipulation, nobody was bastardised or intimidated to vote and no evidence of inducing voters with money.â€
When asked whether he has any fear that the appeal committee might nullify his victory, Nwoye said: â€œIâ€™m not God but I know these are part men and women. I told them that at this point in time the Anambra people have spoken as far as party ticket of APC is concern. That mandate I think by the special grace of God should be left alone. It is not about Tony Nwoye but about these people who suffered all the night, I felt for them, I pity them.
On whether he has reached out to other aspirants who contested the ticket with him, Nwoye revealed that all other aspirants except Senator Andy Uba are on the same page with him.
â€œUba is the only aspirant who refused to talk to me. I called him, I sent text to him, I even got to his house but he refused to open gate for me but for the other aspirants Â i have met with all of them,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, the APC Youth Movement South-east zone, Anambra State chapter has endorsed the candidacy of Nwoye as the governorship candidate of the party in the November 2017 governorship election.
Rising from its enlarged stakeholdersâ€™ meeting in Awka , the APC Youth Movement said it resolved to work for Nwoye to ensure he emerges the next Governor of Anambra State and appealed to all groups in APC to support him actualise the feat.
The communique signed by the state Chairman and the Vice Chairman, Hon Tony .U. Okechukwu and Hon. Okonkwo Ikechukwu respectively, insisted that those clamouring for rejection of Nwoye are non-politicians who are either not on ground or are not from Anambra State.
The group disowned the Buhari Support Group and Coalition of Civil Society Groups who are agitating for the replacement of Nwoye, querying their motive and rational of asking for the removal of a candidate who emerged on popular vote?
They dismissed the allegations levelled against the popularly elected Nwoye, saying only people with anti-party tendencies and as well as those who never wished the party well in the state that would be calling for the removal of Nwoye as APC candidate after duly being elected as APC candidate.