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The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Victor Umeh, has said he lost the party’s senatorial primary election because of a conspiracy among the party leaders.
Umeh asserted that the party’s top hierarchy did not want him to get the party’s ticket, noting that they called, stampeded delegates, and shared between $500 to $1,000 for the delegates to ensure they did not vote for him.
He said despite the actions of the party leaders, he still scored a total of 151 votes from about 320 delegates.
Umeh had failed to clinch the APGA ticket to represent the Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, losing to a current House of Representatives member, Dozie Nwankwo.
He thereafter moved to the Labour Party, where he clinched the ticket on Saturday.
The former APGA chairman would be contesting the 2023 Anambra Central senatorial elections against Nwankwo, who is deemed to be his political son.
Reacting during an interview on Monday, Umeh said he consulted widely and heeded the call to join the senatorial race.
He said, ‘There was a clarion call for me to join this senatorial race, I consulted extensively and they gave me their nod before I declared.
‘The momentum was huge and those who didn’t want me at APGA knew they would not be able to stop me easily and they resorted to all sorts of antics. I have heard some of them say the primary election was free and fair, but how can it be free and fair when important party leaders were intimidating delegates, calling them and telling them not to vote for me.
‘Party leaders worked against me, and when they saw that their intimidating antics were not working, they resorted to sharing $1,000, $800 and $600 to delegates.
‘We know the state of the country’s economy, you won’t expect someone who is hungry to reject money or even be able to differentiate between the mission and vision of some people.’
Umeh said he was satisfied with the delegates as he got 151 votes and lost the primary election to Nwankwo by just 11 votes.
“After the declaration of that result, some people who were there started calling me and telling me to insist on a recount of the votes that there were things that they saw, I said it is gone. I can’t go back to ask for a recount. Whether they took my votes and gave it to another person or not, that is gone, and I have let that go,” he added.
On joining the Labour Party, Umeh said it was soul-lifting that he has reunited with a former governor of the state, Peter Obi, who he described as his brother.