Mr. Vinmartin Ilo, the APC, governorship candidate for Aninri/Awgu/Oji-River Federal Constituency, has accused Mr. Emma Eneukwu the Deputy National Chairman, South, of the party, of trying to subvert the will of the people.
In a statement made available to DAILY POST, Ilo said after he won the primary election, Eneukwu had stopped at nothing to replace his name with that of a Peoples Democratic Party, chieftain.
Ilo, however, vowed that he would stop at nothing “to protect the mandate you gave me on the 27th of May 2022, as the HOR candidate of our great party for Aninri/ Awgu/ Oji-River Federal Constituency in the 2023 General election.”
According to him, “There was a primary election on the 27th of May, 2022, which I won with 134 votes to my opponent’s 52 votes.
“My election was endorsed by the House of Representatives Primary Election Panel for Enugu State and supported by an affidavit deposed to by the Chairman of the panel Hon. Leonard Ikechukwu Ekwensi at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“The Enugu State HOR Election Appeal Committee headed by His Excellency Ben Etiaba upheld my election on 27th May, 2022 as APC candidate for Aninri/ Awgu/ Oji River Federal Constituency.
“That INEC, DSS and Nigeria Police witnessed the election and their official reports acknowledged my election as the APC candidate.
“However Emma Eneukwu and Ugochukwu Agballa, using their position in the party, want to STEAL the mandate the people of Greater Awgu gave me and sell it to members of the PDP, their pay masters.
“Since their efforts to cancel the election and order a rerun against our constitution failed, they have resorted to blackmail and use of RAW POWER.
“Emma Eneukwu told me to my face on Thursday 2nd of May, 2022, when I went to see him in his office at APC National Secretariat, that they were negotiating with Ben Alukwu and Toby Okechukwu (card carrying members of the PDP and had participated in the PDP primaries) to take my House of Representatives ticket because I was not part of their structure.
“According to them ‘I fought them over Ugo Agballa’s Chairmanship’ and this was pay back time.
“He also told me that they were using Mrs Clair Ilo to hold the position pending the substitution window since Mrs Ilo had been made to sign a withdrawal form.
“When I reminded Mr Enukwu that I won the primary election, he told me that if I liked I could win the election 100 times and 100 times they would ensure I wouldn’t be the candidate.
“Almost every leader of our party at our National Secretariat in Abuja has appealed to Emma Enukwu and Ugochukwu Agballa to allow my election to stand, having been duly elected but they have refused.
“Rather Emma Eneukwu and Ugo Agballa have continued to spread falsehood everywhere about me but because people all over Nigeria know me and my pedigree, they have not succeeded.
“They lied that in 2019 I did not campaign, but videos of the great campaign we ran in 2019 is all over the Internet so they failed woefully in their falsehood.
“For the records, we visited the 41 wards of Greater Awgu more than twice during that campaign and ended our campaign in grand style in Adu Achi, in the biggest APC rally of 2019 that was only surpassed by the Buhari rally at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.
“Our billboards and branded buses were everywhere in Greater Awgu and no one marketed APC as much as we did. After the election most of the buses were silently donated to APC members.
The fact that we came into Emma Eneukwu and Ugochukwu Agballa’s purported “structure” to win them is such a bitter pill for them to swallow. Rather than embrace someone who they know has the capacity to defeat the PDP, they are making every effort to put weak candidates to carry out their PDP agenda.
“I have laboriously gone through the constitution of our party and I have discovered that neither Eneukwu nor Agballa have the powers they arrogate to themselves.
“Once again I call on our gubernatorial candidate, His Excellency Uche Nnaji and all well meaning leaders of APC, to intervene and end this abuse of power and injustice.
“Neither Emma Enukwu nor Ugo Agballa is running for any office and their actions should not further divide the party like their embarrassing conduct at last week’s convention in Abuja.
“Their latest drama is refusal to give me the INEC form meant for the elected candidates of the party and their boast that they will sack me from the party. They are wasting their time. They can only bring distraction but they can never take our mandate. Let’s remain patient and law abiding.”
While warning the members of the public that his candidature was not for sale, Ilo reassured his supporters “that the mandate they gave me is still intact and I am still the authentic candidate of the APC for Aninri/ Awgu/ Oji-River Federal Constituency and by the grace of God, he next member that will represent the good people of Greater Awgu in the House of Representatives in Abuja.”