A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Palu Ikonne has urged electorate in Aba North and South Federal Constituency to ensure that they came out en masse on Saturday to resist what he described as an attempt of the Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu to impose his younger brother; Mascot Uzor Kalu who is APC candidate in the Saturday March 27 Aba North and South Federal Constituency bye-election.
Ikonne, who was recently appointed by President Muahammadu Buhari as the Executive Secretary of National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) who was a guest in an Aba based radio station during an interview session monitored by our correspondent didn’t state the candidate he has chosen against the candidate of his party in the bye-election, but went ahead to fault the APC primary that produced Senator Kalu’s younger brother.
Ikonne who said that he would not sit and watch Kalu ruin APC the way he ruined his former party; PPA accused the Senate Chief Whip of imposing his younger brother who ran and won the same Aba North and South Federal Constituency between 2003 and 2011 said “I am a member of APC for God’s sake. People were not allowed to purchase forms.
“I will like Aba people to see what is going to happen on Saturday. The time has come for Aba to begin to say this is what we want and put their own person. Not “mamacracy” (mama has said), brothercracy (brother has said) this time around, it should be “Abacracy” (Aba People have said). Let us cast our mind back.
“The former governor of Abia State who is now a senator was the governor of this state for solid 8 years and at the same time, his brother was a member of the federal house. For God’s sake, there are more people in Aba. We have Anambra and Imo people that are qualified to go and represent Aba North and South Federal Constituency.
“The days of the Okija shrine are gone. Enough is enough. We should get to know when we have gotten to our peak. Orji Kalu should come to know that Aba is growing. I feel ashamed talking about this, that Orji Kalu is bringing or parading his brother in Aba. It is very annoying, to be honest.”
Calling for a protest vote against APC, Ikonne said “the days of Okija shrine are gone. Enough is enough. We should get to know when we have gotten to our peak. Orji Kalu should come to know that Aba is growing. I feel ashamed talking about this, that Orji Kalu is bringing or parading his brother in Aba. It is very annoying, to be honest.
“Don’t forget that Orji Kalu joined us because he is not a founding member of the party, his party collapsed. Before he joined us, APC was moving smoothly and things were being done the way it should be done as a growing party in the state and in the Southeast.
“So, if he was able to manage his party then (PPA), how well do you think that he will be able to allow APC to grow very well? That thing that killed PPA that he is trying to bring in to kill APC, but we will say no to that because he doesn’t know why we decided to have broom as our symbol.
“Kalu wants to bring the spirit of PPA into APC and we are resisting it. It is unfortunate that a man at that age and status in life doesn’t know and doesn’t have respect for a city like Aba. Show me a legacy that Orji Uzor Kalu left in the city that one can hold that he did in 8 years (as the governor of the state).
Reacting to Ikonne’s allegations, the leadership of the state of the APC urged the people of the State to ignore Ikonne’s comments made against the party.
This is even as an APC group has joined the leadership of the party in the state to lambast Ikonne for the comments he made against the party and Chief Whip of the Senate.
In a statement signed by state publicity Secretary of APC, Benedict Godson, Thursday evening, the party said it was shocked that Ikonne who claims to be leader of APC, would accuse the national leadership of the party of not allowing all aspirants to purchase forms.
“We’re shocked that Paul Ikonne who claims he’s a leader of the APC is accusing the party National leadership of not allowing all aspirants to purchase forms.
“This is shocking and outrageous. We want to put the records straight that the national body of our party never denied any aspirant the opportunity to buy forms.
“Again, the primary was properly conducted by the committee sent by the national body. The APC Chairmen in Aba North, Comr. Uche Moses and Chijioke Wogu, Aba South LGAs witnessed it.
“The LGA leaders witnessed it, State Executive members, the Zonal Chairman of APC in Abia South was there and our state Chairman was there and everything was properly done.
“One of the aspirants who later became our candidate, Hon. Mascot Uzor-Kalu won massively in a free and fair primary election. We are not aware of any court case. So, we’re surprised to hear that.
“However, that will not stop anything because our candidate is marching forward to win this election and there’s no going back on that.
“Paul Ikonne is not the spokesperson of APC and shouldn’t speak for the party. We’re surprised that someone who was not on ground throughout the primary will come back two days to the election to speak for the party. Let people disregard him because he doesn’t know what he’s saying”.
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