Aspirants for the impending Imo North Senatorial bye-election have rejected Senator Hope Uzodimma’s consensus arrangement as ten of them have gone ahead to obtain the expression of interest and nomination forms for the election.
Those who have obtained the forms are: Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, Sir Chukwuma Frank Ibezim, Hon. Mark Uchendu, Senator Athan Achonu, Chidinma Uwajumogu, Chief Chikwem Onuoha, Hon.Matthew Omegara, Iheanacho Celestine, Nwachukwu Bright and Okoro Eze.
Impeccable sources close to the aspirants said that they went ahead to buy their forms because they doubted the Governor’s intentions, accusing him of plots to use them to settle political scores and thereafter dump them after achieving his aim.
A former member of the dissolved APC National Working Committee who spoke to our Correspondent under anonymity, described Uzodinma’s consensus arrangement for the Okigwe Senatorial election as “a wild goose chase that will never work because it is illegal and undemocratic”.
According to the former APC National Officer, Article20, sub-section 3(a) of the APC Constitution prescribes that primaries for the election of candidates for the offices of President, Governor, Senator, House of Representatives, State House of Assembly and Local Government Council Chairman shall be by direct or Indirect participation.
Except for the election of Councillorship candidates which could be by consensus, the selection for candidates for other offices shall be by either direct or indirect primaries.
In addition to the provisions of the APC Constitution on Party Primaries Section 87, sub-Section 4© of the Electoral Act 2020 makes it mandatory that for anybody to stand as a candidate in an election, he must emerge through Party primaries.
Further inquiries within the Party, also disclosed that there was an APC NEC decision which had stipulated that in states where there are pending litigations in court over Party structures, all Primaries shall be direct. This is to insulate the Party Leadership from internal wrangling over which structure is legal or not.
Meanwhile, the Imo state APC say its unaware of any consensus candidate and has not made public any. Speaking while on a phone interview with journalists a top official of the party said he was unaware of such development.
In the same vein, neither the chairman of the state APC consensus committee Chief Cosmas Iwu or any of the members of the committee have named a consensus candidate,rather the state chairman Chief Barr. Marcel Nlemigbo has directed interested aspirants to obtain their nomination forms,fill it and submit not later than Monday 24th August.
He was also seen in the news and on social media handing over forms to some of the aspirants contesting for the Okigwe Senate seat.
The APC had in their last stakeholders meeting held at Imo government house and which had in attendance Governor Hope Uzodinma set up a 9 man committee to interact with the aspirants for the Okigwe Senate race and make recommendations on both the consensus candidate and the mode of the primaries.
The committee in some three sittings interacted with most of the aspirants but are yet to make public their decisions leading to rumours and counter rumours of who was chosen as the consensus candidate. Experts have also posited that the silence of the party and its eagerness to let aspirants purchase the forms shows a tacit admission that the consensus idea has failed. As at press time over 8 aspirants have purchased the forms including.