Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo state took to the streets of the state capital Owerri to protest against the national chairman of the party, Adams Aliyu Oshiomole whom they accuse of introducing impunity to the party; the protesters also accuse Oshiomole of imposing unpopular candidates on members of the party
The protests caused a major gridlock in Owerri metropolis as protesters belonging to the APC carried placards with various inscriptions like;
‘Oshiomhole should respect the will of the people’; ‘We say no to substitution of candidates’; ‘Oshiomhole is killing APC’; ‘President Buhari, save our party from Oshiomhole’; ‘We insist on the result of October 6 Primary’.
According to members of the party in the state, Oshiomole has turned the ticket of the APC to a ‘cash and carry’ affair.
Some of the candidates allegedly substituted by Oshiomhole include Kingsley Uju (Ohaji-Egbema-Oguta- Oru West Fed Constituency), Paschal Obi (Ideato South and Ideato North Fed Constituency) and Prof. Nnamdi Obiareri (Imo North Senatorial Zone).
Addressing the aggrieved members of the party during the protest, the secretary general of the group, South-East for Buhari Charles Amadi alleged that the actions of the national chairman were capable of destroying the chances of the APC in Imo State and in the South-East geopolitical zone in general.
Amadi said further that substituting the names of aspirants who won the party’s primaries held in the state and giving automatic tickets to people who never took part in the primaries was undemocratic as he urged President Buhari to prevail on Oshiomhole and other members of the party’s National Working Committee to practice internal democracy within the party.
A former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ugochi Nnanna Okoro, also lashed out at Oshiomole, accusing the national chairman of introducing the kind of impunity that led to the ouster of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
“Oshiomhole has moved the secretariat of the party to his private residence, where he stays to perpetrate all forms of impunity but we will resist him in Imo State.
We will not allow him to destroy the party we fought hard to build. We were called all manner of names because we joined the APC and today the same people are being treated as sacred cows by Oshiomole. We are by this protest registering our total displeasure with his style of leadership.” She said.