Information from the panel on consensus candidate for the Imo North Senatorial primaries of the All Progressive Congress (APC) indicates that Sir Frank Ibezim emerged tops.
Ibezim scored four votes to beat 12 other aspirants who appeared before a nine-member panel set up to choose a consensus candidate from among the plethora of aspirants.
Other senatorial hopefuls aspiring to occupy the vacant seat formerly held by late Senator Ben Uwajumogu include Hon. Mathew Omegara who scored three votes, while Sen. Athan Achonu, Chief John Onyegbule, and Hon. Bright Nwachukwu got two votes each.
The remaining aspirants – Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Hon. Chikwem Onuoha, Rt. Hon Acho Ihim, Hon. Mark Uchendu, Chief Eze Okoro, Prof Osy Nwebo, Adanne Chidinma Uwajumogu, Pharm. Chiemela Joe-Obi bagged one vote each.
The Cosmas Iwu-led panel had adopted a voting process of allowing the aspirants to choose from amongst themselves.
Each was asked to vote for self and the other best alternative. A major upset was that of Senator Ararume who secured only his own vote and none from the other aspirants.
Ibezim on the other hand was the best alternative choice of three other aspirants giving him a total of four votes and a close edge over Omegara who came second with three votes.
It was also gathered that Senator Ararume who left APC to contest the last governorship election on APGA platform may have been the architect of his own misfortune as he chose not to appear before the panel in person.
He rather participated via virtual, thus missing a golden opportunity of personally selling his candidature to the other aspirants who attended the panel sitting in Owerri, Imo state capital
In the meantime, there are indications that about seven of the other aspirants including Ararume may have chosen to jettison the consensus arrangement and try their luck by contesting the party primaries slated for September 3, 2020.
By that decision, the aspirants seem to be reneging on their pledge they made prior to the consensus screening to abide by the outcome of the exercise.
However, the attempt to renege on the arrangement may not go down well with the Imo state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma ,who initiated the consensus screening arrangement with the hope of trimming the growing number of candidates and uniting the party behind the more acceptable candidate.
At the last count, eleven of the 13 aspirants including the most preferred choice have purchased the expression of interest and primary election forms going for a princely sum of ₦7 million Naira each, except for female candidates who are granted 50% discount.
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