The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra State has confirmed Senator Uche Ekwunife as its candidate for the re-run election to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra Central Senatorial zone later in the year.
Speaking after the party’s executive meeting in Awka, the state chairman, Emeka Ibe, said that Senator Ekwunife is a full member of APC in Anambra, dispelling rumours making the rounds that she is not in the APC.
It would be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu on December 7, nullified Ekwunife’s election and ordered rerun within 90 days. Ekwunife, who had contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defected to the APC last week.
Confirming that Ekwunife visited the party headquarters early yesterday, Ibe said the party’s latest member had registered in her ward and that her at the headquarters presence was to normalise and celebrate the event.
He said, “When she registered at her ward, there was no ceremony. But today, she was at the party secretariat for proper declaration and celebration of what she has earlier done. According to the APC constitution, Sen Ekwunife is now a full registered member of the party, Anambra State chapter.”
On the re-run election, Ibe said that Sen Ekwunife is the only aspirant, who has come to the party secretariat to declare that she is interested in the forth-coming election for Anambra Central Senatorial district.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Willie Obiano Support group, Chief Jude Emecheta yesterday, said that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) expects a level playing ground during the election.
Emecheta, who spoke in Awka, said the party was not perturbed by the defection of Hon. Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, whose election was nullified and a re-run ordered by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu.
He, however, alleged that the party is aware that a lot of money “was being shared in All Progressives Congress (APC) circle,” but that APGA believes President Muhammadu Buhari will not interfere in the election because the international community is watching him.
According to him, so far, Buhari has maintained a level of neutrality in the various elections conducted after his own election and this has given hope that Nigeria’s democracy will survive.
He said the party is not leaving anything to chance and expressed optimism that the conduct of the re-run will be different from what obtained during the nullified election where, he alleged that the government at the centre deployed troops to ensure its candidate won.
On Ekwunife’s eligibility for the election, Emecheta said the electoral law provided for replacement of candidates in cases of death or lack of a candidate in the first place.