We don’t have any candidate for governorship poll – Imo APC chairman

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Imo State, Chief Daniel Nwafor, in this interview with EVEREST AMAEFULE says sensitive electoral materials may have been compromised and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to come up with new result documents

What is your response to the postponement of the elections?

Election postponement was a disappointment to me and to most Nigerians. A lot of time, energy and resources had been put into working for the election day. As a political party, we had to mobilise our supporters to come out to vote. The candidates went out campaigning. Everyone was involved. The voters were enthusiastic. So, it came as a shock to most people.

A majority of the people think that it was incompetence on the part of the government. Others think that it was a strategy by the ruling party to manipulate the process.

I think it was incompetence on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission, not the government because for the first time in the history of elections, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari provided all funds way ahead of time to INEC. INEC never lacked funds. INEC was given the opportunity to prove itself. It had all powers to plan these elections. I think INEC failed Nigerians.

There were allegations that there was collaboration between the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria. The CBN locked its vaults and prevented the materials from being moved and this was the script of the government.

I think it is totally false because INEC has admitted that it was partly due to logistics; movement of materials across the various states. It didn’t involve the CBN.  When materials were available in the states; the CBN warehoused them but the materials didn’t get to some states on time.

So, it was not a central bank issue. The Central Bank is more like a storekeeper for safety. The problem, from what INEC said, was with movement of the materials across states whether flying or through trucks. It was a logistic problem and I think they failed in that regard.

So, the government is fully absolved from all blame in the matter. It was squarely on INEC and the man has taken full responsibility.

Now that the result sheets have been exposed, are you worried?

For us as a party, we demand that INEC probably introduces new result sheets. The ones that were exposed would pose great danger. We do not have confidence that the result documents would remain as intact as they were supposed to be.

So, we think that INEC should adopt other procedures to probably bring new result sheets.  The result sheets have been exposed and we cannot guarantee that they are still safe and that they would remain safe after the exposure. So, we want INEC to bring a new batch of result sheets.

You are campaigning without any agreement between the state governor and your candidate for governorship election. How have you been managing the conflict?

In the Imo APC, we are united behind our governor. We are united against the national leadership of our party led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who tampered with the results from our primaries. He unilaterally changed the candidates, who won the primaries. That is why we are in courts and the FCT High Court reaffirmed that the actions of Oshiomhole were illegal.

So, with regard to support; the Imo APC had before now expelled our governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma. The Imo APC, as it stands now, does not have a candidate for governorship. We are running our party, supporting all other candidates except Senator Hope Uzodinma who is no longer a member of our party.

We are united and we are in agreement with President Muhammadu Buhari who said that we should vote across party lines; that we should vote our conscience across tribe and religion. We are doing just that. We are voting the president, not just the party.

How do you support a presidential candidate who asks his members to vote across party lines?

We take it in good stride. We are voting President Buhari not necessarily because he in our party but because he is a man of integrity. He is a man that we believe that will repair this country. He is in the process of rebuilding Nigeria. We are voting him for who he is.

So, as a party chairman, you are supporting the candidate of the Action Alliance?

When we get to the bridge, we will cross it. My task now is to deliver our presidential and National Assembly candidates. That is what we are working on now. When we get to governorship race, we will take a decision on who the party will support.