Abia Rerun: APC Nat’l Leadership carpets Ikonne,affirms Mascot Uzor Kalu as Party’s Candidate

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– The APC has affirmed that Mascot Uzor-Kalu is its candidate of the Aba North and Aba South federal constituency bye-election

– The affirmation by the ruling party was in reaction to a statement credited to a chieftain of the APC in Abia state

– Mascot is the younger brother of Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu, the Senate chief whip

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has confirmed that it will fully participate in Saturday’s bye-election in the Aba North and Aba South federal constituency seat with its candidate, Mr. Mascot Uzor Kalu.

INEC has scheduled Saturday, March 27 to conduct the State House of Assembly election in Aba North and Aba South of Abia state.

Prince Paul Ikonne, who is the executive secretary of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), was reportedly quoted to have raised concern about the process that led to the emergence of Mascot Uzor as the party’s candidate.

APC, however, confirmed that a primary election earlier conducted by the party produced Uzor-Kalu as its candidate.

A statement sent to Legit.ng on Friday, March 26 by the party’s deputy national publicity secretary Yekini Nabena, urged the public to disregard speculations in certain quarters contrary to the party’s position on the candidature of Uzor-Kalu.

The statement also called on all the party’s chieftains in Abia state to fully support and work for the success of Saturday’s election.

Mascot is the younger brother of Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu, the Senate chief whip.

Part of the statement read:

“APC is an orderly party. We have followed diligently the electoral procedures leading to the candidature of Mr. Mascot Uzor in Saturday’s bye-election and we are out to win and not just to participate.

“We also appeal to all the stakeholders, electoral umpire, and the general public to disregard anything contrary to the position of the party leadership regarding the candidature of Mr. Mascot Uzor.”

Meanwhile, Orji Uzor-Kalu, a former governor of Abia state, has urged the people of the southeast to join the APC, adding that it is an opportunity for Igbo people to join the winning team.

The lawmaker suggested that joining the party is beneficial because the APC is committed to a united and indivisible Nigeria.

Recall that Kalu recently declared that he is not ashamed of his six months stint in prison, saying it was ordained by God.

The senator was responding to comments credited to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate minority leader.

In a related development , the candidature of APC’s Mascot Kalu received a further boost as more political parties endorsed the party’s candidate in today’s crucial election.

The political parties in the state aligned and collapsed their structure to support the candidate of the All Progressive’s Congress, APC, Mascot Uzor Kalu.

In a joint statement signed by the state chairmen of the political parties; Victor Umunnah of the Allied People’s Movement,APM and Joseph Ulu of the National Rescue Movement,NRM said during a Solidarity visit yesterday evening to the campaign headquarters of Mascot Uzor Kalu organisation in Margaret Avenue Aba, said that” the move became pertinent to ensure victory for APC and Mascot in the election.

The candidates of the parties Abraham Junior Okogbua and Uwandu Emmanuel Chima were also present and announced their decisions to step down from contesting in the election and throw their weight behind Mascot.

The parties said that the decision was made to oust the ruling People’s Democratic Party from the state, by ensuring that it’s candidate fails in the bye election. They disclosed that the Ikpeazu led PDP has performed abysmally in delivering good governance to the people of the state.

They said the collaboration is a comprehensive struggle to save Abia State from the political quagmire and undesirable socioeconomic predicament.

According to him “Political parties participating in the House of Representatives rerun 2021 election in Aba ,Abia state have resolved to back the APC candidate, Mascot Uzor Kalu, for the poll.

“The ideals of our party are in tandem with that of the APM and the NRM as such we believe that only Mascot of the APC can offer true leadership and representation at this present austere period.

“There is no gainsaying that the present political leadership in Abia state can be best described as nothing but horrendous and torturous characterised by the non payment of salaries to workers and gratuities to pensioners coupled with the collapse of infrastructure in the state.

“This collaboration is an organised effort to save Abia state from the political quagmire and undesirable socioeconomic predicament of our people.

“The two political party leaders, therefore, resolved to work as a team in tandem with the APC well-captured manifesto for the welfare, well being and life more abundant for the good people of Aba Federal constituency.

Expressing his gratitude to the group, the Chairman of APC in the state, Hon Donatus Nwanpka, lauded the group for their decision to join the winning train and said “ we are overwhelmed and humbled by your decision to join us in this struggle, like said recently during our campaigns this beyond party affiliation of Mascot our candidate, this is movement to save Abia from shackles.

Meanwhile, yesterday the Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, has confirmed four hundred and ninety-eight thousand, three hundred and ninety registered voters for the bye-election in Aba North-South Federal Constituency in Abia State.

The bye-election is meant to get a replacement for late Aba North-South federal lawmaker, OSSY CHINEDU PRESTIGE, who died on February 9 this year.

INEC National Electoral Commission, FESTUS OKOYE, confirmed that all materials for the conduct of the bye-election this Saturday have been delivered.

OKOYE, who doubles as Chairman of INEC’s Information and Voter Education Committee, also said six hundred and nine polling units across two local government areas would be opened for the election.