By Martin Opara

All Progressives Grand Alliance forum of governorship aspirants, in a meeting that lasted from about midnight on Sunday till the early hours of Monday, 22nd October, 2018, endorsed the former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon (Barr) Ike C. Ibe, as the party’s consensus Imo state governorship candidate for the 2019 general election.

One of the governorship aspirants, Dr Sam Amadi, former Chairman of National Electrical Regulatory Commission (NERC), who spoke on behalf of other members of the forum, made this known, while addressing journalists in Owerri, yesterday on the outcome of the meeting, alongside Barr Ziggy Azike and Hon Ike C. Ibe.

He said, “we held a meeting last night to address some issues and thereafter, resolved not to meet with Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as earlier agreed by some people. We also resolved to dissociate ourselves from the Jerry Chukwueke led reconciliatory committee, said to have been set up by the party, until the National leadership of APGA, makes it clear that there was no governorship primary election in the state. We, also unanimously elected Hon Ike C. Ibe as the party’s consensus candidate at the meeting”.

They maintained that the only way to avoid acrimony and rancor that may undermine the party’s interest at the polls, is for a candidate to emerge through consensus, “because we can’t all be governors at the same time. APGA should therefore, accept Ike C. Ibe, who has emerged through a free, fair and credible process. Besides, the party had always asked us to present a consensus candidate. But if they fail to address the issue and do the needful, we will then consider our option B”.

Responding to a question, about reports that Senator Araraume has offered to refund their individual expenses in the course of the governorship primary election, they dismissed such suggestion as an insult on their sensibilities, because there was no primary election. “APGA was a peaceful and united party, hinged on due process and the rule of law before Senator Araraume came and truncated everything. Though some have left the party because of this and other acts of impunity. We are poised to restore sanity and values that our people hold high, instead of thuggery, manipulation and rule of the jungle. We are willing to support and work with somebody who emerges credibly, without asking for refund”.

Speaking, Chief Ibe said APGA has become a brand in Imo politics and “will, with our commitment and collective effort be a party to beat. That is why some of us have come together to ensure that the right thing is done.

Members of the forum present at the meeting include, Nick Opara Ndudu, Dr Joe Obi Njoku, Mr Stanley Amuchie, Chief Humphrey Anumudu, Chike Nsofor, Barr Ziggy Azike, Dr Sam Amadi, Barr Philip Ndukwe, Senator Bright Nwanne, Mr Frank Nneji and Chief Ike C. Ibe.