2023 : Nwifuru’s Endorsement, ‘Attempt to impose aspirant on Ebonyi people’ – APC Chieftain
*… Laments alleged marginalization of old APC members
By Chinwe Imo-Eze Onwosi
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Ebonyi State, Engr Paul Okorie, has chastised the state Governor, Engr. David Umahi for endorsing the Speaker of Ebonyi House of Assembly, Hon Francis Nwifuru as his successor.
Okorie, a former governorship aspirant of the party while addressing Journalists, Wednesday, in Abakaliki, condemned Umahi’s unilateral endorsement of a governorship aspirant without recourse to stakeholders of the party in the State.
The former Commissioner for Works said he will not support any attempt to impose any aspirant on Ebonyi people.
According to okorie, “I’m one man who is in love with democracy and democratic principles. I’m one man who strongly believes that power belongs to the people. And that democracy still remains government of the people by the people and for the people; and when people are shortchanged for any reason, it becomes a problem. And some of us who strongly believe in democracy will not approve of such moves. That’s to say that the endorsement as we heard and I was in the burial where the endorsement was made is not a welcome development as far as I’m concerned.
“It’s not good for our democracy which we are trying to see if it can grow to the level of democratic practices in developed countries such as Britain and America, etc. Things must be done correctly.
“Someone who wants to preside over the affairs of the people should subject himself to scrutiny, not hide under anybody or people to push it through, and shortchange people through a short cut. That person should be able to leave himself open to be criticised and assessed on the bases of antecedents, and character.
“And people will always expect the best possible in a democracy and if that is the case, I don’t see the reason why anybody who wants to preside over the affairs of a state or constituency should be looking for endorsement. What happened to the people? When a person or group of persons endorse an aspirant, his allegiance will not be for the people but the endorsers. So, I condemn the endorsement and I’m not in support of it”, he said.
Okorie further alleged that Governor Umahi and his lieutenants who joined the APC in November 2020, had hijacked the party and schemed out old members of the party in the State.
He said; “How do you expect me to be comfortable that you are in a house and somebody came in to come and join you, you welcome him and he decided to hijack the house and took over everything?
“A governorship candidate of the party should emerge through open contest that is transparent and that is democracy. It is through only this condition that the very best can emerge.
“As we are getting into the election, we should be careful not to close political space against people. it should be thrown open so that everybody can contest and it will produce popular candidate