…predicts victory for party

Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, has emerged the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state.

At the APC direct primaries held at the Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Square in Owerri, Imo State capital, on Friday, the governor polled 63,618 votes out of 64,667 accredited delegates drawn from the 305 electoral wards and 27 local government areas in the state.

He was declared winner of the exercise by the Chairman of the Governorship Primary Election Committee for Imo State, Rear Admiral Williams Kayoda (rtd), who first called for the affirmation of the results from local government areas by the ward leaders after moving a motion to that effect which was seconded by two delegates, one from Ahiazu Mbaise LGA and another from Ideato LGA.

Rear Admiral Kayoda said he and his team were in Imo State “to witness the accreditation and voting of APC delegates in line with the party constitution, guidelines of the Electoral Act of 2022 as amended and the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended”.

Addressing the APC delegates gathered for the exercise which also had in attendance APC stalwarts from the state and representatives of the National Working Committee (NWC), the Chairman said though the party and the State House of Assembly granted the governor the right of sole candidature in the November election, the APC needed to follow due processes so as to be in tandem with extant requirements of the law.

“The process must be followed to the letter in line with the mandate of the constitution,” he said.

He said in “the Nigerian clime there are three instruments that guide every activity – legitimacy, legality, and morality” – and affirmed that “once the three are followed it will align with the democratic process”.

Kayoda, who said his team of seven members for the primary elections, six members for the appeal committee and eight members that constitute the secretariat were divided to cover the 305 INEC wards and the 27 LGAs of the state, observed that the polling and returning officers for the primaries did their job well.

The APC Deputy Chairman (South), Chief Emma Eneukwu, who represented the National Chairman, Sen Abdullahi Adamu, handed over the APC flag to Uzodimma as the party’s candidate for the coming poll, eulogizing him for his unusual capacity that has benefitted the party and its members.

Governor Uzodimma, in his acceptance speech after the primary election, dedicated his victory to God Almighty for making the day possible and for touching the hearts of APC leaders and members to unanimously choose him as their governorship candidate for the second tenure.

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A press statement issued by Governor Uzodimma’s Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser, Oguwike Nwachuku, late Friday night, said the governor, who was excited over the victory and trust by his party, thanked the delegates and all party members and promised not to betray the confidence they reposed in him.

He told the mammoth crowd that “democracy is the best form of government and we cherish democracy because it is the only government that is for the people that we can call our own”.

He recalled how he prayed to God before going to contest and emerging as governor of Imo State, saying “from that date till now God has never disappointed me”.

“On assumption of office, I met some challenges but God in his infinite mercy handled the challenges in his own way,” he said.

Saying the grace of God on him could be seen in the difference his administration has made in the development of Imo State since assumption of office, Governor Uzodimma reiterated that “political party is a vehicle” and prayed God to “use him as the driver of the vehicle to take Imo State to its destination”.

“But for insecurity, Imo State would have witnessed much more development than is experienced today,” he said.

He noted that at present “APC is the party at the national, in Imo State, and by July when this administration will conduct the local government elections, APC will be everywhere in the local governments”.

He charged the APC members in the state not to be afraid because “God will take charge of the battle” in their favour, assuring that victory would be theirs come November 11, 2023 as obstacles thrown at his administration by the opposition would be converted into opportunities.

Welcoming the delegates earlier, the Chairman of APC in Imo State, Dr. Macdonald Ebere, thanked all for coming for the exercise, particularly those who came from Abuja APC headquarters, and expressed happiness that all went well as directed.

He expressed joy that Imo APC unanimously agreed to return Governor Uzodimma for the second term.