By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Governorship aspirant in the last primary election under the All Progressives Congress (APC) elections, Professor Pat Utomi, has rejected the list of candidates published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend.
The published INEC list has Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru, as the (APC) governorship candidate for Delta State in the 2019 election.
Utomi said the alleged breach of the rule of law by the party and INEC was an indication the party has given up on Delta State.
Utomi said, “It was in view of these brazen breaches of rule of law that the US Ambassador recently raised concerns and noted that undermining the rule of law is worst offence than corruption.
“What happened in Asaba and was regarded as governorship primary by the Jones Erue faction, which produced Ogboru as candidate was a complete farce.
“What happened in Asaba that day was treasonable felony that should be prosecuted, or else it becomes a precedent of contempt of the rule of law, also considering the security and international image implications of what happened, I decided to challenge it in Court.
“The entire exercise and the aftermath have clearly proved that the Ogboru/Omo-Agege faction, which the Jones Erue state working committee stands for, is unpopular, not credible, without integrity and not a true representation of Delta APC.
“The faction that represents the broader group of APC members is the one led by the Cyril Ogodo-led State Working Committee (SWC) which was constitutionally elected through a credible congress and formally inaugurated by the former APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun.
“In deference to the authority of the national leadership, people, even me, had followed the party’s directive on the adoption of the consent judgment, before an Asaba Court rejected the authenticity of the consent list emanating from the consent judgment.
Utomi said the views around the world is that criminal elements have hijacked the ongoing electoral processes as evident in the primaries of the APC and PDP in Nigeria and the Nigeria state may be considered rogue state before the international community if the products are allowed to succeed.”
He called for a Global Stop List to blacklist those abusing the rule of law, adding “they should be put on the watch list and their assets frozen”, noting that their conduct has dropped the business integrity ranking of the country.
On next move should the legal option fail and Ogboru remains the INEC candidate for Delta APC, Utomi said, “I have had offers of platforms. The ADC and SDP were parties I had worked with. But the idea was to merge into one bigger umbrella of progressives.
“They have been offering me platforms and had told me they have ticket waiting for me and their ideologies do not in any way violate my principle. So nothing is ruled out. I don’t necessarily need a title to do what I use to do but I want to see to the end of the whole APC process. My supporters should keep hope alive, we must rescue Delta.”