Dr. Charles Ugomuoh, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police and 2019 Imo East Senatorial aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has accused Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume, the party guber flag bearer of masterminding his removal from the candidate list of the party for the senate contest.
Ugomuoh who stated this in a press briefing in Owerri on Wednesday described the process that led to the announcement cum emergence of Araraume as the guber candidate of the party as a sham and threat to democratic process in the party and country at large.
According to him, any candidate that emerged from the said Imo APGA primaries lacks credibility to occupy such position because he or she does not represent the general wish of the people.
He maintained that the controversy which is currently trending on the party’s primaries in the state could have been avoided if the National Leadership of the party had adopted a transparent and credible process.
“The announcement of Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume as the Governorship Candidate of APGA and the list of National Assembly Candidates published by APGA has thrown the party into avoidable confusion.
“This is because the exercise was a sham and the purported list of the delegates was unknown to the entire membership of the party in the State as they were fictitious and never displayed.
“Since the purported primaries that produced the governorship candidate and the National Assembly Candidates was a sham, no credible candidate for these positions can emerge therefrom because you cannot build something on nothing.
“The process jeopardized APGA’s internal democracy, undermined the entire electoral process and is a threat to Nigeria’s democracy because those whose names have been listed do not represent the people’s choice nor are they the true candidates of our great party, APGA.
“It is worst still that after Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume was pronounced the Governorship Candidate, he went to the National Secretariat of our party and vexaciously scuttled the candidacy of the other National Assembly contestants, changing their names with his preferred candidates.
“I was a victim of that circumstance and that is why I am granting this press interview. In as much as the electoral process was a sham for APGA and the APGA leadership knows it. It was a kangaroo primaries.
“Eventually the party in its wisdom wrote certificate of return for me. The Chairman of the Electoral Panel for the Senatorial primaries, Chief Titus Anibogu showed me the certificate, dully signed in my name.
And behold, the next day, I went to APGA Secretariat to collect the original copy of the Certificate, Araraume appeared with Izunaso and scuttled my candidacy. So I was no longer giving the ticket because he was saying that he is going to pick his deputy from Mbaise where I hail from.
“So I wonder where a governorship candidate has that effrontery to scuttle the candidacy of a senatorial aspirant. So take it from me, that was what happened. Araraume scuttled the aspirations of other people having emerged as governorship candidate. In all, Araraume scuttled my candidacy and he knows it and I challenge him to it.” He said.
He finally reiterated his optimism that the National Leadership will do the needful in redressing the issues over the primaries, warning that if something is not done urgently on the matter, the party may suffer it greatly going into 2019 general election.
“Even as I sue for peace and dialogue within our party in the face of this provocation, I urge the leadership and members of our great to insist on addressing this injustice, rape on our democratic process by taking immediate steps to right this wrong and return APGA in Imo State as party to be trusted.” Ugomuoh concluded.
In his response, Sen. Araraume, through Barr. Emma Nwosu, Director of Legal/Administration to Se. Ifeanyi Araraume Campaign Organization described the Ugomuoh’s claims as total falsehood; fabricated to make cheap points.
“Well the fact remains that Sen. Ifeanyi Araraume emerged as the governorship candidate of APGA in the state.
“In the first instance, National Assembly election does not tie with his own election. And he is from Okigwe Zone and not from Owerri Zone. The senator that comes from Owerri Zone will represent Owerri Zone.
“For him what he likes and what he prefers is anybody that is popular among his people. During this contest, all those that came to him to seek for either advice or support, what he normally tell them was ‘to go home, reach out to your people, once you emerge, I will support you’.
“But as for pry into how the candidates emerged after primaries, he was not involved. So what Ugomuoh is claiming is fabricated, full of falsehood.
“Sen. Araraume never meddled into the candidature of any senatorial person from Owerri Zone or any other place.” He said.
– NIGERIA HORN-