As controversy over who is the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, for Okigwe senate bye election linger, the fate of two candidates who lay claim to the party’s ticket, will be decided by the party, September 11.
The party is expected to forward the name of its candidate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
There have been fireworks in the party since after the primary .
Frank Ibezim who emerged the party’s candidate is backed by the State Caretaker Committee led by Marcellinus Nlemigbo. The Nlemigbo Caretaker Committee is also recognized by the National Caretaker Committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had before the Primary said it can only deal with the Nlemigbo committee as the authentic leadership of Imo APC.
Based on this trend, then there are indications that Ibezim’s name may be forwarded to INEC as the party’s candidate for Okigwe senate bye election.
The Primary to elect a candidate for the party for Okigwe senate bye election had generated confusion when the panel sent by the national leadership of the party to conduct the Primary split into two.
The Senator Ajibola Basiriu led primary returned Frank Ibezim as winner of the Primary with 13, 637 votes.
The results released by the committee are as follows
- Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume-2708
- Sen. Athan Acholonu-1185
- Hon. Matthew Omegara-2826
- Hon. Mark Uchendu- 1428
- Chief Eze Okoro- 54
*Bright Nwachukwu- 64
- Chief Chikwe Onuoha- 1466.
Another splinter group from the commitee led by Umar Gana Nguma returned Senator Araraume as winner
Araraume polled 22, 944 votes followed by Chidinma Uwajumuogu who polled 3,757 votes who came second. According to Gana, other candidates scored the following: Mark Uchenduu 1877, Frank Ibezim, 1, 216 and Athan Achonu 934 votes.
Matthew Omegara 698, Acho Ihim 212, Bright Nwachukwu 126, Eze Okoro 53and Uchenna Uchewuba 51 votes.
This set the stage for fireworks as a Screening Committee which screened aspirants for the contest said it disqualified some aspirants including Ibezim before the Primary. His claim was refuted by the party.
Chairman, APC Caretaker Committee in Imo State, Marcel Nlemigbo said the Committee’s Chairman’s “action smacks of ignorance, because the lifespan of his committee terminated immediately after the screening exercise, and as such has no more legitimacy to speak on party directives”.