Former APC Publicity Secretary, South East Okechukwu who spoke exclusively to TheSun said:
“On the issue of the Appeal Panel headed by Prof Osunbor, I was highly embarrassed the way it handled its assignment. I was embarrassed that it was only one panel that was set up for the multi-faceted crises across the country. Secondly, to the best of my knowledge the Appeal Panel never met. I submitted my own petition to the party secretariat.
I also went to Prof Osunbor whom I have great respect for, I gave him the petition. We kept on talking on a daily basis. Even when I was traveling home for the marriage of my daughter I sought his permission, I told him that if he needs me I can fly back to Abuja from Enugu. For over a week I was never invited to face the panel.
I asked other people who petitioned, nobody said he was met by the panel. It is a big embarrassment. Under the constitution of APC, it provided for the job of the panel. When our kangaroo result was announced at Nike Lake Resort on Friday October 5, my supporters wanted to engage in fisticuffs, I was the one that called them to order.
I told them that the constitution of the APC has a proviso for an appeal panel. And immediately the Appeal Panel was set up we sent in our petitions. But to my surprise, the Appeal Panel never met. It is one of those culture of impunity that we have been running away from.
I did not know that Comrade Oshiomhole, somebody I have great respect for, would constitute a panel and it will not meet. Unless if there is an agenda to sideline some of us. But I have asked a lot of petitioners and nobody said that they sat anywhere.
“it is not because I didn’t win. The NWC of the party that derives its authority from the NEC of APC held a meeting and wrote letters to the chapters. They asked, do you want direct or indirect primaries or consensus as stated in the constitution of the APC?
The leadership of Enugu State chapter agreed on indirect primaries. It started with the governorship on October 1. After some issues, which is normal in primaries, the panel headed by Prof Momoh started calling the local government areas in alphabetical order. In finishing with delegates in four LGAs a call came from the Comrade Chairman.
He even asked of me and sought to know how the whole thing was going, I told him it was going on well. He told me that the panel said everything was going well, but that he heard that it is not going well. I asked if he would like to talk with the Commissioner of Police who was there with us, he said no. I asked if he would like to speak with the Director of DSS, he said no.
After an hour, the officers conducting the primaries announced that they were closing down, I asked why. They said it is the order from above. We asked them to please count the votes already cast so that we don’t start the next morning with it.
They counted the votes. Our governorship candidate had about 475, the runners-up 153. We closed down with that. The next morning we got a directive that it must be direct primaries. We started working along that line.
The senatorial and Federal House that was supposed to take place that day was shifted to Wednesday, governorship to Thursday. We complied. When everything was finished eventually and we collated our results, the results were not announced for days.
“Comrade Oshiomhole that I know, my little assessment of what happened to him is that he was like coming into the office with a blackboard. Anything that the previous Chief John Oyegun did, he placed it on a blackboard and thought he had a white handkerchief on the other hand which was a big mistake because it was the same congresses that Oyegun conducted in 2014 that gave us the edge and it was the same platform that produced him as the current chairman.
I think he came with a very wrong mindset. Either he felt he wants to clear the Augean stable when there is none or any other reason. He now entered the party into big crisis as we go for 2019 general elections. But the only saviour is that Mr President is on safe bath.
“Personally, I will go to court if my matter is not resolved. I have followed the democratic process and rules set out by the party. I followed the process by buying forms, getting into the election, appealed our grievances. That is internal mechanisms of the party.
So, what is the other democratic handgun that I have, it is the court. I am going to go to court if at the end of today my name is not submitted and some of those that we built the party with over the years that were trying to be shortchanged, then we head for the courts; but we would not allow our supporters to resort to violence.”
Source: Sun Newspaper.