The candidate of the Labour Party in the 2011 governorship election in Enugu State, Barr. Okey Ezea, on Thursday emerged the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress for the 2015 governorship poll in the state.
Ezea was unanimously elected by the party’s 3,467 delegates, from 260 wards, after his rival, Dr. Ifeanyi Asogwa, stepped down at the last minute in order to vie for the seat of the Nsukka/Igboeze Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
After losing the 2011 governorship contest to Governor Sullivan Chime of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ezea had gone to court to challenge the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, but Ezea failed in his bid to upturn Chime’s election in court.
However, while announcing Ezea as the APC governorship candidate in Enugu State for the 2015 polls, the chairman of the party, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said Ezea would have been the current governor of the state if not for electoral fraud perpetrated by the PDP.
Nwoye vowed that the APC would correct the anomaly and ensure that Ezea regains his mandate in 2015, noting that unlike the PDP’s consensus candidate, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Ezea was not selected by a few people.
“Delegates from 260 wards elected this man (Ezea) to be our flag bearer – he is the only candidate that was elected by the people in Enugu today.
“But for electoral malpractice, he will be sitting in the government house today.
“But, what happened to him in 2011, we will correct in 2015,” Nwoye said to loud cheers from the party faithful at the APC secretariat in Enugu.
In an acceptance speech at the event, Ezea described his emergence as the party’s governorship candidate as a privilege.
He said it would be easy to defeat the PDP in the election because, according to him, the ruling party had failed.
The APC governorship candidate said, “Our job has been made easy because the PDP government has failed our people.
“They (PDP) have stolen our money – life was better before PDP, today life is worse because of PDP.
“They should be ashamed to ask for our votes again,” adding that there was nothing on the ground to justify the total sum of N544bn collected by PDP governments as allocations to Enugu State since 1999.
“PDP has collected N544bn in Enugu State since 1999 and somebody is telling me that we can’t have free education and free health care services. They (PDP) are all thieves,” he said.
Ezea said he would, very soon, release details of all the monthly allocations to Enugu State, in order to prove to the people of the state that the various PDP governments in the state had been corrupt and inefficient.