Election: Wrangling responsible for our defeat, Ebonyi APC chieftain
By Douglas Okoro
Prof. Benard Odoh, an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, says lack of cohesion, party wrangling and lack of team spirit, were responsible for its loss during the Feb. 23, Presidential and National Assembly election in Ebonyi.
Odoh spoke on Thursday in Abakaliki, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He, however, commended the party in the state for giving President Muhammadu Buhari the highest votes in the South-East zone.
Buhari scored 90,726 votes, while Atiku Abubakar of the PDP scored 258,573 votes.
Odoh, former Secretary to Ebonyi State Government, also regretted that the APC in Ebonyi could not manage the challenges of the party very well.
He said: “Internal wrangling, poor internal cohesion, and lack of team spirit undermined the party’s ability to win positions in the just concluded elections in Ebonyi.
“Abia for instance, scored less votes for APC, but was able to win a senate and two House of Representatives seats; we didn’t manage our challenges well and this robbed us of the desired victory.
“Buhari’s stronghold states remained intact and more votes poured in from South-East, more national assembly seats were won by the party in the zone in the just concluded elections.
“We in the South-East have realised that APC is a formidable party and our inclusion in the Nigerian project have become more imperative than ever before.
“In my assessment, our party did better in this election than in 2015. We will have better stake going forward.
“Ebonyi incidentally gave Buhari the highest number of votes in the region and it’s a great feat.’’
Odoh commended the INEC for the transparent conduct of the election, but noted that there was room for improvement on its performance in the forthcoming governorship and state houses of assembly elections.
“INEC tried in leaving up to its word by conducting the elections after it failed to conduct the poll on Feb. 16, earlier slated for the first leg of the elections.
“But I am not impressed that results took over 48 hours to be collated and declared; I think INEC can do better than this.
“I am optimistic they will improve their efficiency of result collation and declaration in the remaining elections; this will help raise confidence and credibility of the entire process,’’ he added.
NAN reports that the ruling PDP won in all the six federal constituencies and the three senatorial seats.