Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance Board of Trustees, has urged the party’s leadership to ensure party-loyalty and merit in deciding who bears its flag in elections.
Ezeonwuka made the call when Chido Obidiegwu, an aspirant for Ihiala Federal Constituency visited the Ogilisi Foundation in Oba Idemili South, Anambra on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APGA has yet to release the timetable for its primary elections ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The chieftain said it was gladdening that APGA had become the beautiful bride for all political office aspirants and interests.
However, he warned that it was important to consider those who had contributed to the growth of the party first at payback time.
Ezeonwuka, who is also the spiritual leader of APGA, said that many people were coming into the party not because they believed in its ideology but because they needed it as a platform to clinch positions.
He said giving tickets to such people at the detriment of loyal and qualified party men would spell doom for the unity, stability and prosperity of APGA as a party.
He said: “We have people who have worked for the party and are equally qualified to occupy political positions and Obidiegwu is one of these people.
“Now, there are rolling and fair weather politicians who are coming into the party because they feel APGA is viable now and that they can use it as platform to win election or settle their stooges.
“As a chieftain of this party, I am saying we should not allow these new friends to come and grab what should go to those who have toiled and nurtured APGA.
“Obidiegwu is one of such persons; he has worked for Gov. Willie Obiano and for APGA as the chief anchor of events, he brought glamour to Anambra politics,’’ he told NAN.
“The message for our moneybags is that APGA appreciates them but we will not condone imposition, they should patiently wait for their turn, especially as we go into primary elections.
“Our dear governor who is the Leader and BoT Chairman of APGA should not allow imposition of candidates.
“It has failed us in the past, the party should insist that those who are qualified and are in touch with the grassroots within the party are given tickets.”
On his part, Obidiegwu, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Events, said the visit was part of his wide consultations with the grassroots and stakeholders on his aspiration.
Obidiegwu said that though he was most qualified for the job among his contenders, he was more encouraged by the quantum of approval he had received from the people of the constituency.
He said Ihiala had suffered poor representation at the Federal House of Represesentatives and promised to use his contact and knowledge in politics to influence positive legislations for his people.
He expressed confidence that he would win APGA primary elections for the constituency if the contest was open and fair, having contributed to the Obiano’s success in the last election.
He said: “I am here on consultation towards my aspiration to represent Ihiala Federal Constituency in the National Assembly.
“Our consultation is to be in tune with the grassroots and Ogilisi-Igbo is one of such people and we believe it should cut across all the social strata.
“I have the approval of my people, APGA stakeholders and leaders in Ihiala having consulted with them across the wards; the elite of Ihiala know I am competent to give the constituency quality representation.
“I am available for open, free and fair contest, without sounding immodest; I am the most qualified person that have indicated interest in the race.”
Obidiegwu holds a Masters’ Degree in Mass Communication, and is a Broadcaster and Integrated Marketing Communications expert.