The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ebonyi, has debunked reports that it has nominated former Governor David Umahi’s brother, Austin, to replace him in the Senate.
Recall that the Ebonyi South senatorial district seat became vacant after Sen. David Umahi was appointed Minister of Works.
The state Chairman of the party, Chief Stanley Okoro-Emegha, debunked the report on Monday in Abakaliki while briefing newsmen, noting that the report was ‘false’.
Mr Okoro-Emegha said that Austin or any other person has not been nominated to fill the vacuum as the party will conduct a fresh primary to elect a candidate.
“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.
The party’s chairman said that the APC will conduct a credible primary to elect a candidate who will be acceptable to it and 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,” he said.
He noted that the party was waiting for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare the seat vacant and issue guidelines on the conduct of its election.
“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.
Mr Okoro-Emegha said that the party and Ebonyi people are still celebrating Umahi’s appointment as the minister of works.
“Ebonyi was hitherto rated lowly in the country but we have continued to radiate light to all.
“The position occupied by Umahi is not for political patronage but for the best brains with engineering and developmental acumen,” he said.