Ebonyi2023: Imposition will breed anarchy — APC chieftain


By Douglas Okoro
Abakaliki, April 28, 2022 Mrs Beatrice Nkwuda, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticised Gov. Dave Umahi’s endorsement of Mr Francis Nwifuru, a former Speaker of Ebonyi House of Assembly, as his successor.

Nkwuda, former Special Adviser to erstwhile Ebonyi Gov. Martin Elechi, stated this at a news conference on Thursday in Abakaliki.

She described the endorsement as an imposition, saying such action could lead to political anarchy in Ebonyi.

The chieftain and immediate past Zonal Women Leader, Ebonyi Central Senatorial District, was reacting to the recent endorsement of Nwifuru, one of the gubernatorial aspirants in the state.

Nkwuda expressed dismay that Ebonyi had been embroiled in communal and inter-communal rivalries that had led to killings and destruction of property.

She said that the purported endorsement could spark of politically-motivated killings and violence.

She said that the unilateral endorsement was a shock to members of the party who were still awaiting submission of report of the zoning committee set up to harmonise various interests for elective positions.

“With the endorsement, the governor has shut the political space against other aspirants.

“Women in particular had believed what he said that he would not interfere in the process of selecting who would succeed him, would be neutral and allow everybody to participate in the election.

“But with the announcement pronounced he has heated up the polity and the endorsement has generated negative reactions and condemnation in every part of the state.

“Every junction, every eatery that you go to, people talk about it with anger because people are worried.

“We are tired of war here and there in the state; we have communal wars in various parts of the state and now he wants to trigger a political war with the endorsement.

“I know Ebonyi people do not want war and we don’t want it and we will keep saying we don’t want war,” Nkwuda said.

She explained that the endorsement of an aspirant in APC as “anointed” candidate was not only undemocratic but ran afoul of the party’s constitution.

“APC is a party that believes in everybody show your interest, show how popular you are, but now the governor wants to close the space.

“We are shouting it even from the rooftops that we do not believe in his pronouncement.

“Whoever wants to contest for that position of governor as far as the person is qualified and he or she is Ebonyi indigene is free to contest.

“The governor should show maturity in the game of politics and governance, one man cannot close the ambition of Ebonyi people,” she said.

She called on Umahi to publicly withdraw the statement, maintain neutrality and allow a level playing field for all the aspirants to test their popularity.

“APC believes in direct and indirect primaries for selection of candidates. The party also believes in consensus option.”

Nkwuda urged all the other governorship aspirants in the party not to be intimidated nor be deterred by the endorsement saga in pursuing their aspirations.