The Imo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has suspended the state governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, from the party with immediate effect.
His suspension followed what the leadership of the party in the state described as “gross anti-party activities”.
According to the party, the suspension order is consequent upon a report of the Matthew Omegara-led disciplinary committee set up to investigate allegations of gross anti-party activities against the governor.
The party leadership in the state premised the suspension of the governor on Article 21 (B) i–vi of the APC constitution as amended.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Owerri, the state capital, the state caretaker committee chairman of the party, Prince Marcellinus Nlemigbo, listed the anti-party activities engaged in by Okorocha to include sponsorship of a rival political party, Action Alliance, and its governorship candidate in the state, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu; open denunciation of APC and its governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma and open canvassing of votes for AA and its governorship, National and State Assemblies’ candidates.
He said, “A letter by the Imo State chapter of the APC signed by the chairman conveying the suspension to the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole regretted that Okorocha who is supposedly the party’s candidate for Imo West senatorial district has vowed to undermine the APC and its electoral interest.
“To save the party from the machinations of Governor Rochas Okorocha, our state Caretaker Committee highly recommends the expulsion of the governor from the APC so that he can fully move to his party, the Action Alliance”.
Nlemigbo maintained that the party leadership in the state is committed to ensuring the victory of APC in all the elections in Imo State, even as he appealed for support and understanding from the national body towards achieving this.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that the nine-member disciplinary committee, during its sitting, had listened to the complaints tendered by one Prince Ikechukwu Unegbu against the governor before submitting its final report to the state Caretaker Committee, recommending Okorocha’s suspension.
Rivers, Zamfara APC Missing On INEC’s Final List
Meanwhile, the Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers and Zamfara States were conspicuously missing in the final list of candidates contesting for the presidential and National Assembly elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday.
The commission said the final register of voters now stands at 84, 004,084, while 91 political parties are contesting in different constituencies nationwide.
According to INEC, the 2019 general elections will involve the highest number of registered voters and a record number of political parties.
“A total of 73 candidates are contesting in the presidential election, 1,904 in the Senatorial and 4,680 in the Federal (House of Representatives) elections, making a total of 6,657 candidates contesting for 470 seats,” INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said during a meeting with committee of Vice Chancellors in Abuja.
Yakubu also disclosed that the final list of candidates for governorship, state assembly and FCT area council elections will be released in two weeks’ time.
Specifically, Yakubu noted that the remaining list of the candidates contesting in the 2019 general elections would be released on Thursday, January 31, 2019 in accordance with the commission’s timetable and schedule of activities.
He said, “At the polling unit level, the critical segment of election duty staff is drawn from products of our Universities and polytechnics involved in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. For the various collation and declaration centres, the Commission draws the required Collation and Returning Officers from the academic staff of our Universities, including the Vice Chancellors who serve as Returning Officers for Governorship elections and Collation Officers for the Presidential elections.
“It has been a happy collaboration which has further enhanced the transparency and credibility of the elections in Nigeria as well as public confidence in the process. The Commission wishes to sustain and deepen this collaboration.
“It is less than a month to the 2019 General Elections. On Saturday 16th February 2019, elections will hold in 470 constituencies nationwide made up of the Presidential, 190 Senatorial and 360 Federal Constituencies. Two weeks later on Saturday 2nd March 2019, elections will hold in 1,088 constituencies made up of 29 Governorship elections, 991 State Constituencies and 68 Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory. In summary, there are 1,553 Constituencies for which elections will be held this year”.
The INEC chairman who said collation of results will take place in 8,809 registration areas or wards, 774 local government areas and 36 states and the FCT, added that they require Returning Officers for the elections.
He continued: “For the 2019 General Elections, the Commission would require some 10,603 staff to support the various collation and declaration processes. It is for this reason that this meeting is of crucial importance. We need the support of our universities to source the requisite number of interested academic staff on the understanding that this is essentially a national service.
“As in previous elections, we have requested each University for a specified number of academic staff as contained in my letter to the Vice Chancellors. Staff who are card carrying members or have participated in partisan politics should not be nominated. Similarly, those who may not be involved in partisan political activities but are known to have obvious political leanings should not be nominated. The Commission will carefully scrutinise the list which must be submitted confidentially in the manner prescribed by Commission in my letter to the Vice Chancellors.
“The Commission always appreciates the support of the Vice Chancellors and the collaboration with the universities often under strenuous circumstances. We shall continue to work together in our collective effort to consolidate our democracy”.
Rivers APC Kicks
But the Rivers State chapter of the APC said yesterday that it will press on despite INEC’s removal of the names of its candidates for the National Assembly elections.
Reacting to the development in a telephone interview with LEADERSHIP Friday in Port Harcourt, the Director-General of Tonye Cole Campaign Organization (TCCO), Dr Chidi Lloyd, regretted that the electoral umpire obeyed the judgement of the Federal High Court but went ahead to remove the names of the candidates without considering the decision of the Supreme Court as they affect notice of appeal and motion for stay of execution.
“Our own grouse with INEC is that there are lots of Supreme Court decisions that said that having filed our notice of appeal and our motion for stay of execution, they are not supposed to remove the candidates of our party from the list”, he said.
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