The Ebonyi State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has denied reports that it has ‘annointed’ former Governor David Umahi’s brother, Austin to replace him as the Ebonyi South Senator in the National Assembly.
According to the state chairman of the party, Stanley Okoro-Emegha who made the denial while speaking with newsmen on Monday in Abakaliki, there is no truth in certain reports claiming Austin or any other person has been nominated to replace Umahi in the Senate.
Naija News reports the Ebonyi South Senatorial District seat became vacant after Senator Umahi was appointed Minister of Works by President Bola Tinubu.
Okoro-Emegha while speaking on the vacant seat said the APC would conduct a fresh primary to elect a candidate for the position.
“APC will field a candidate that will retain the seat because it belongs to us.
“We will not allow any seat occupied by the party to go to the opposition because we are on ground in the state,” he said.
He added that whoever would emerge as the candidate for the set must emerge through a credible primary election and must be chosen by the people.
The party chairman added that while Senator Umahi is free to support any candidate, nobody would be forced on the people.
“The seat is an elective one, so its occupant should emerge through a transparent process and not through nomination.
“The governor, as the leader of the party, has the right to support any aspirant, but that does not mean that the ticket belongs to anybody,” Okoro-Emegha said.
We Are Waiting For INEC
The party chairman stated that they are waiting for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to officially declare the seat vacant and issue guidelines on the conduct of its election.
He insisted as well that the party would emerge victorious in the state governorship tribunal.
“Individuals who also say we would lose the state’s gubernatorial seat at the tribunal are dreaming because it was achieved through an overwhelming mandate.
“The governor has, through his policies, started justifying the confidence reposed in him by the people, as they knew his capabilities before electing him,” he said.