Amby Uneze in Owerri
Concerned members of Imo State All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders have enjoined the people of the state especially party faithful to disregard the â€œmock primariesâ€ conducted by the state government, stating that such action was unacceptable and unconstitutional, even as the stakeholders urged the Imo state government to desist from inferring with the state party activities.
In a press briefing held on Saturday, the leaders of the APC group led by its state Coordinator, Agunwa Emeka Nzeribe lampooned on the Chief Rochas Okorochaâ€™s led government for deriding the party through his unpopular actions which had brought the party to ridicule before the public, adding â€œthe so-called mock primaries (which declared his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu as the governorship candidate of the party in state) as announced by Imo state government is alien to the Constitution and Manifesto of APCâ€.
He added that the state government was not empowered by any section of the APC Constitution or Manifesto to schedule modalities for conduct of intra party elections in the party, stating â€œfor the avoidance of doubt, the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC is the only organ/body saddled with such a responsibility, upon ratification by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our partyâ€.
â€œThat as a democratic party any duly registered member wishing to contest any elective position is free to make his or her intention known to party members, in line with the Nigeria Electoral Act; that the Governor has no right to determine who becomes the party candidate at all levels in the state and has no power to stop any aspirant from contesting.
â€œWe frown on the unwarranted humiliation, molestation, intimidation, and purported suspension and expulsion of members of our in Imo State. The Constitution and Manifesto of APC remain supreme, and members, no matter how highly placed must abide by it.
â€œWe implore the good people of Imo State not to see the state chapter of APC in the eyes of the misguided actions and activities of the present government in the state, but to rather use other APC controlled states in this country where rule of law, internal democracy and above all, where tripod cardinal objectives of APC, namely, security, economy and anti-corruption crusade are practiced to its fullest as their benchmarkâ€, he stated.
According to the group, with other members such as Hon. Raymond Anyanwu (Owerri Zonal Coordinator), Hon. Cy Onyekwere (Okigwe Zonal Coordinator), Barr. Robert Okwuego (Orlu Zonal Coordinator), Comrade Innocent Agunnanne (Director of Strategy/Mobilisation) and Lady Chinwendu Mbalishi (Director of Women Mobilisation), â€œwe state that no responsible member of a political party will indulge in such reckless undemocratic tendencies as being witnessed in the state with our congresses and National Convention just few weeks away.
â€œWith barely one year from the general elections, no responsive, responsible government, or member of a political party will indulge in such heinous acts, unlined by the reckless and undemocratic attempt at suspending and expelling its members. What is expected of any serious minded government or political party at this point in time is to intensify its membership drive, and create the conditions for mutual coexistence amongst its members.
â€œWe wish to inform that we have written to the national headquarters of our great party in Abuja in this regard, but for purposes of clarity, and to put the records straight because members of our party in the state are living in total fear, with some even contemplating of defecting to other partiesâ€, they stated.