Ebonyi aspirants accuse APC leaders of fraud, intimidation

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“We are told that we have to pay N200,000 as internally generated revenue; N200,000 for local government clearance and another N500,000 for state clearance.”

Aggrieved House of Assembly APC aspirants in Ebonyi have petitioned Abdullahi Adamu, the national chairman of the party for not being screened.

Chukwuoji Igodo, leader of the group said at a press briefing on Sunday in Abakaliki that no fewer than 25 aspirants were denied screening by the screening committee.

He added that every effort made by the aspirants to draw attention of Ebonyi APC chairman, Stanley Okoro-Emegha to their plights was unsuccessful.

He further alleged that there was a ploy by Ebonyi APC leaders to deny some members opportunity to participate in the 2023 general elections. Mr Igodo explained that their ordeal started when the party announced sales of nomination and expression of interest forms for the House of Assembly.

He alleged that the party denied selling nomination and expression of interest forms to them forcing them to purchase their forms in Abuja.

“The problem started when the party announced sales of forms for the House of Assembly and we approached the party to purchase our forms here in the state and they didn’t sell any form to us,” said Mr Igodo. “So, we approached Abuja and bought our forms from there which is allowed by the party rules, we filled our forms there and submitted.”

The politician added, “We presented ourselves for the screening which (was) held on Saturday but nobody from the screening committee attended to us nor addressed us; till now we have not been screened and nobody is telling us anything.”

He maintained that the party was not fair to the affected aspirants.

“We have been told that they will only respond to the 24 aspirants the party sold the forms to which is very unfair to us. We are saying that the chairman is allowing himself to a particular set of people in the party instead of being the chairman for everybody,” claimed Mr Igodo. “We also want the world to know that the party in Ebonyi is sabotaging the efforts of the national leadership and it’s a great betrayal to some of us that have protected and promoted the government.”

He appealed to the national secretariat to “listen to us and send a special screening panel to screen for the primaries and also send a special panel for the local government congresses that will soon hold.”

The aspirants condemned fees demanded by Ebonyi APC for screening of aspirants.

“For some of us, we are told that we have to pay N200,000 as internally generated revenue; N200,000 for local government clearance and another N500,000 for state clearance; this is aside from the N2 million the party charges for its form,” claimed Mr Igodo. “And we are saying that these fees are not part of the checklists the party gave to us at the purchase of our forms. We are saying that the national leadership should look into what is happening in Ebonyi.”

Mr Okoro-Emegha denied the allegations.

He said the screening committee had yet to be inaugurated by the national secretariat.

“The screening committee is yet to be inaugurated hence the screening exercise could not commence in Ebonyi as scheduled,” Mr Okoro-Emegha said.

“Instead of creating problems and causing disunity in the party, they should rather become agents of unity and work to make our party achieve victory in 2023. No aspirant who is qualified to be screened will be left out,” he said.

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