Says Jude Okeke is not recognised
The leadership crisis and battle for the gubernatorial candidacy of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) took a new twist Tuesday when Chief Edozie Njoku emerged as the third National Chairman and factional governorship candidate of the party in Anambra State. Njoku, who had participated in his own faction of the party’s National Convention in Owerri Imo State when Victor Oyeh was elected as National Chairman, described the other factional National Chairman Jude Okeke as “illegal” contending that there was no conducted National Convention that elected him as National Chairman.
The Njoku faction of APGA conducted its primary election Tuesday which led to his emergence as the governorship candidate of the party in Anambra State with the approval and supervision of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Njoku, who is from Imo State explained that the Constitution of Nigeria stipulates that if one had contested election in his place of residence before he has the right to contest election again in the area if he still domiciles in the area as at the time of the election. “I contested for the Onitsha North and South Federal Constituency seat under the platform of APGA in 2003 and in 2007 and contested for the local government chairman in Onitsha and in line with the Constitution, I am qualified to contest for the governorship election in Anambra State.
“The man you said is claiming to be the National Chairman of the party Mr Jude Okeke is not a National Chairman there was no National Convention that produced him as chairman even the National Executive Council and the National Working Committee NWC did not ratify his position and he is not even a member of the two bod-ies,” he said. Njoku contended that the primary election which produced Prof Charles Soludo as candidate of the party is illegal, noting that INEC had said that Victor Oyeh did not issue the mandatory 21 days notice for the conduct of the excise adding that his own faction had informed INEC about its primary election 21 days before now.
But reacting, the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Political Matters, Bar. Ifeatu Obiokoye described it as laughable adding that there is a subsisting court order that is yet to be vacated which also affected Njoku. A state High Court sitting in Awka and presided over by Hon Justice Chukwudi Okaa had ordered that Edozie Njoku or his proxies should not be allowed to conduct the primary election for governorship or submit any name as candidate of APGA. Meanwhile the Jude Okeke faction of the party has insisted that there is no going back on the July 1 gubernatorial primary election.