Chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ukwuani Local Government Area, Delta State for the March 6 council elections in the state, Mr Chidi Uwabuofu, has said that his running mate, Mr Onah Onyeka, was never any time, a card-carrying member of the Allied Peoples’ Movement, APM, as being peddled in some quarters.

Reacting to the purported invalidation of Onyeka’s candidacy by the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission, DSIEC, on the grounds of dual nomination, Uwabuofu, in a statement, said he (Onyeka) “was never in any way, a councillorship candidate of APM”.

Disclosing that the leadership of APM had forwarded a petition requesting DSIEC to disqualify Onyeka, Uwabuofu said: “In the petition, APM claimed that Mr Onah was nominated as their candidate on the 5th of January 2021 as against his nomination as my running mate on January 4th 2021.

“Mr Onah couldn’t have requested to represent APM after emerging as the Vice Chairmanship candidate of the APC. On this cause, we remain firm and in all acceptance agree that this purported invalidation by DSIEC is nothing but a malicious and fraudulent attempt at winning an election through the back door.

“Mr Onah Onyeka never screened as a councillorship aspirant and by virtue of his absence in the screening, he was supposed to be disqualified as a councilorship candidate having not presented himself to be screened for that purpose as required by DSIEC.

“However, despite an affidavit by Mr Onyeka to the effect that he is not a member of APM and not running for any election under the party, which was received and acknowledged by DSIEC on Monday 19th January 2021, it is shameful to note that the body still went on to publish his name as a successfully screened candidate of APM. Is this not fraudulent?

“The same DSIEC successfully screened Mr Onah as a Vice Chairmanship aspirant on 13th January 2021 and published his name as a successful candidate to become the running mate of Chidi O. Uwabuofu come 6th March 2021. This was after Mr Onah appeared to be screened by DSIEC and presented his documents to the electoral body.”

“DSIEC obviously has been compromised as there was no official statement to the APC any reason(s) for this purported invalidation. They however resorted to this open publication to dent the image of the candidate, the APC, and that of the supporters.

“At this point, it is necessary to let all our teeming supporters and progressives in Ukwuani L.G.A. know that the alleged invalidation of the nomination of my running mate, Mr Onah Onyeka by DSIEC is obnoxious, baseless, ridiculous, fraudulent and unacceptable.”

“We, therefore, request our supporters to remain calm, focused, and continue to believe in this quest to rescue our Ukwuani from another journey of the downtrodden”, saying the “evil act” was orchestrated “by some enemies of progress who are bent on sabotaging the change Ukwuani deserves.”