The factional State Working Committee (SWC) of the All Progressives Congress in Abia says it stands by the outcome of the governorship primary elections conducted in the state on May 26.
The committee, led by its Acting Chairman, Chief Goldie Wabara, said this at a news briefing in Umuahia on Friday.
He said that the committee duly complied with the National Working Committee’s (NWC) directive “that Abia, Benue and Osun should adopt direct mode of primaries for all their elective positions because of their peculiar challenges”.
Wabara, who spoke jointly with the Secretary, Mr Perfect Okorie, said that the elections produced the former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Chief Uche Ogah, as torch bearer.
Okorie said: “All the governorship aspirants that purchased forms participated in the direct primary election.
“We are law-abiding. We do not act arbitrarily.
“We requested to organise direct primary election for us to assess the strenght of all the aspirants.
“The national leadership granted our request and we conducted the primary according to the law and a winner emerged.”
Okorie said that those who were protesting against the outcome either declined to be part of the elections or “chikened out midway for fear of losing”.
He said that in politics, protest was the beauty of democracy adding that the majority always triumphed over the minority.
He further said that the SWC was not aware of any ongoing negotiation on the outcome of the primary elections in Abia.
Okorie said: “Having duly followed the directive of the NWC, those who emerged from us are the party’s eligible candidates.
“Therefore, we stand by the result of the direct primaries, duly monitored by representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“Abia APC has not approved or given her consent to anybody to negotiate on this issue with the NWC and those doing so are on their own.”
Meanwhile, scores of party supporters from the 17 local government areas of the state trooped to the party Secretariat on Azikiwe Road, Umuahia, chanting solidarity songs.
They displayed placards with various inscriptions, expressing their support for the outcome of the direct primary elections.
Some of the placards read: “The NWC of APC, gave Abia APC a voice through direct primary election,” “The present NWC is victory-driven,” “You are fair in your action for direct primary election in Abia,” among others.
Addressing the supporters, Wabara and Okorie reaffirmed the SWC’s position on the matter and urged the NWC to recognise Ogah as APC candidate in Abia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the party conducted two parallel primary elections for the governorship as well as state and national assemblies.
The Wabara-led faction produced Ogah and others through direct primary elections.
However, the Kingsley Ononogbu-led executive, which is recognised by the party’s national secretariat, held indirect primaries which produced Chief Ikechi Emenike as its governorship flag bearer.
On the other hand, one of the governorship aspirants, Chief Daniel Eke, had cried foul saying that no governorship primaries took place in the state.
Eke, a chartered accountant, who relocated from the U.S. to run for governorship, said that he did not receive any information about the primaries from the national secretariat or those that came to conduct the exercise in Abia.
He called for a proper primary election that would involve all the APC card-carrying members to allow for the emergence of the most popular and acceptable candidate who could win the race for the party.