The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, sacked the Ahmed Gulak-led committee, charged with the conduct of the party’s governorship primary in Imo State.
He said a fresh panel would be set up to conduct the exercise. The action followed the confusion that trailed the earlier exercise. The party has also announced the indefinite suspension of the exercise.
At the end of the poll, two persons emerged candidates of the party, with the panel chairman, Gulak, saying he narrowly escaped being kidnapped from his hotel room, allegedly by agents of Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Explaining the reason for his action, Oshiomhole told State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that what was being paraded as the result of the Imo governorship primary was fake, adding that a new committee would be set up immediately so that the process would be completed before the end of the week.
He ruled out the possibility of honouring parallel results on the primaries from states, stressing that no matter how highly placed a member may be, such member must subject himself/herself to the constitution of the party.
“The case of Imo State is not too good news today, but not surprising, they have to learn to begin to comply with rules.
“They have two fake results, none of them is genuine and we will disband, we will appoint a fresh Electoral Panel that will conduct a transparent direct primary that reflects the will of members of APC in Imo State regardless of the interest and the powers that were behind any of the groups.
“The truth does not require supporters club to stand, it has its legs, it has its heads and we will do just that,” Oshiomhole said.
Earlier, Uche Nwosu, an in-law to Governor Okorocha, and Senator Hope Uzodinma, had emerged candidate from parallel governorship primaries in the state, just as the factional chairman of the state chapter of the party, Dr. Hilary Eke described Okorocha as a bad loser who would always want to thwart the choice of members of the party.
The state’s deputy governor and a governorship aspirant, Eze Madumere, who participated in the contest that produced Uzodinma, accepted the outcome of the exercise.
He said though he has been advocating for an Owerri zone governorship candidate, he has nonetheless decided to accept the outcome of the contest where he placed second after Uzodinma in good faith. He called on members of the party to close rank to ensure that APC wins both at the state and federal in 2019.
But, while Gulak affirmed that Uzodinma won the contest, secretary of the panel, Henry Idahagbon, declared Uche Nwosu winner of the APC governorship primary.
Meanwhile, explaining how he escaped being kidnapped, Gulak told newsmen in Abuja that he sneaked out of his hotel room and out of the town by 4.00 a.m. when he noticed that nine, out of his 12-man committee had been allegedly kidnapped by the governor who led a team of policemen to the hotel where they were lodged.
He announced that the governorship primary was however, conducted peacefully with Senator Uzodinma emerging winner with 423,895 votes.