The Democratic Vanguard, a group in the All Progressives Congress in Ebonyi, has blamed Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, for APC’s poor performance in the just concluded general elections in the state.
The group in a press statement by its Coordinator, Vincent Uzor, in Abakaliki, on Wednesday, said the minister of abandoned the party and worked against its victory in the elections.
Uzor alleged that the minister was not involved in the party’s electioneering campaigns, activities and other processes leading to the elections in Ebonyi.
He kicked against the alleged declaration of presidential ambition by the minister when President Muhammadu Buhari, has yet to be officially inaugurated for his second term in office.
He said: “It is important that we make these statements in light of what transpired in the just concluded elections where Ebonyi APC efforts to take power from the PDP, was sabotaged and betrayed.
“The sabotage and betrayal were made by no other stakeholder, other than the minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
“We also make these statements in order to put to light and expose the desperate and undesirable effort to launch a presidential ambition for 2023 by Onu, even when President Buhari is yet to be sworn in, for a new term he won.
“Recall, that Ebonyi APC governorship primary was won by Senator Sonni Ogbuoji, as against the preferred candidate of the minister.
“The minister supported his Personal Assistant, Ogbonnaya Obasi, who lost to Ogbuoji. For failing to win the ticket, Onu withdrew and was not supportive of efforts made by the party to defeat the PDP in Ebonyi.
“Onu never participated in any campaign of the APC in the state, even as the leader of the party in Ebonyi. Ebonyi APC lost the elections for failure of the minister to synergise with candidates of the party in providing needed resources, contact and security.
“For all the strength, goodwill and membership, APC Ebonyi, was not able to win any single seat in all the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly elections.
“The case of APC showing in Abia and Rivers, where party stakeholders visibly led the campaigns of the party and were involved during the elections, was not the case in Ebonyi.
“Our own minister because of seemingly vendetta, avoided bringing forth resources, contact and physical presence to bear in the state.”
Uzor also said the minister refused to allow a detachment of Army personnel made available to him, to protect APC agents and members who were harassed, intimidated and beaten by thugs at his home town, Uburu.
“After suffering such humiliating defeat, it should have been proper for the party to examine what went wrong, identify possible breaches and ways to reinvent the party.
“Rather, the minister summoned a meeting to launch his 2023 Presidential think tank. We find this rather too early and a betrayal of the suffering of APC men and women in Ebonyi who yearned and desired change and liberation.”
The minister has however denied all allegations and maintained his loyalty and commitment to APC.
Onu spoke through Ogbonnaya Obasi, his Personal Assistant.
Obasi said that the minister contributed time, energy and money in the elections, stressing that accusing the minister of causing the failure of APC was uncharitable, unfounded and without basis.
He said: “We will not want to join issues with anybody as to what led to the failure of APC in Ebonyi. Onu is a senior party man and a responsible gentleman.
“It is therefore laughable and preposterous, for people to come out to claim that he caused the failure of his party in his state.”