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INEC Accepts Governor Umahi As APC Senate Candidate For Ebonyi South Zone, Claims State APC Chairman

  • Governor Umahi’s younger brother who won the Senate primary and held it in trust for him withdrew from the race

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Ebonyi State, Mr. Stanley Okoro Emegha, on Monday said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accepted and recognized Governor David Umahi as the party’s candidate for Ebonyi South Senatorial zone for the 2023 general election.

Blaming “mix up” for the reason why INEC allegedly stepped down the name of Governor Umahi from the shortlisted APC Senatorial candidates as released last Friday, Emegha said the restoration of the name followed the intervention of the State and national leadership of APC.

As a fall back political safety measure, Governor Umahi’s younger brother, Austin Umahi, had initially won the primary election, defeating Mrs Ann Agom-Eze to clinch the party’s ticket.

But he allegedly withdrew his candidature after the Governor lost the Presidential primary election, paving the way for the conduct of a fresh primary on the eve of the deadline as stipulated by INEC.

Emegha told journalists in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State that the stepping down of the Governor’s name from the published list was not done by the national leadership of APC but was a minor error from INEC.

According to him, “I went there. It was a minor error from the INEC side and it has been corrected. The governor’s name not appearing wasn’t from the party, and the necessary things were done. The stepping down of the two candidates that contested for that senatorial election was there with the party and INEC.

“INEC was invited for the re-conduction because there was enough time for the party to re-conduct another primary election that will usher in another person.

“And the time was actually met, the re-conduction of the election was done, the video clips are there, all the necessary security agencies and the ministries that were supposed to be there were there on the day of the re-conduction of the senatorial candidate primaries of APC in Ebonyi south.

“And then, a panel was set up at the national secretariat Abuja and they arrived. We took them to Afikpo which is the venue for the election, they did all the necessary things, and the delegates that were supposed to participate in the primaries were all there.

“Mind you, the particular column was blank, so there wasn’t an issue. If you like, they can still forward a list of the states that had issues and the possible substitution they made, because the national office of the party can not afford to leave any particular space vacant.

“Anybody carrying any news is carrying it on their own. But I went to Abuja, I called them and asked them why am I seeing and hearing such stories on social media, they traced it and saw where it was coming from and it was immediately corrected.”

Speaking on the re-conducted Senatorial primary of Ebonyi South, Emegha sad Mr Austin Umahi, the winner of the earlier election withdrew to concentrate on his business.

“It is not a substitution, it was a re-conduction of primaries as a result of his steeping down or withdrawal, he said it will tie his business down,” he stated.

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