In a last minute substitution of a physically challenged House of Assembly candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ankpa I Constituency, Emmanuel Adukwu, constituents and political stakeholders have expressed disappointment.
ebirareporters.com gathered that there had been pressure on the party leadership in the state to have Adukwu step down for the aspirant who scored 3 votes at the party’s last primary election.
From EC9 submission reports on the website of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Adukwu has been substituted and replaced by Akus Lawal.
Recall that a group under the auspices of All Progressives Congress, APC, Concerned Youths in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State had raised an alarm over the desperate attempt to replace the physically challenged candidate.
The group, in a petition signed by Haruna Omale Godspower accused Muritala Ajaka, the National Deputy Publicity Secretary of the APC of attempting to change the name of the Ankpa State Constituency flagbearer, Emmanuel Adukwu because of his physical disabilities.
According to the group, the National officer from the State has been mounting pressure on the Party leadership to replace Adukwu with the aspirant who scored 3 votes at the party’s last primaries held at Ankpa.
The group claimed in the petition that the National officer is alleging that Adukwu had agreed to step down without providing evidence, adding that he had been using the name of Governor Yahaya Bello to push his sinister plot.
They, however, called on Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who they believe is not aware of the illicit move to wade in, stressing that some National officers of the APC were working with some persons under the guise of religious sentiments.
While pointing out that the Deputy Publicity Secretary of APC is not from Ankpa, but hails from Ajaka in Igala Mela Odolu Local Government, the group wondered why he was showing so much interest in removing the APC candidate for next year’s Ankpa Assembly election.
The party members, who noted that Adukwu was publicly endorsed by Governor Bello at a meeting in Abuja, also expressed worries that the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the APC want to revert the Governor’s action after much accolade nationwide for being the first Governor to have achieved such a feat for the disabled community.
“The Deputy Publicity Secretary should be conversant with the Electoral Act that is very clear on the substitution of candidates. We are warning against subversion of the decision of Governor Bello and the free mandate given to Emmanuel Adukwu who emerged victorious at the party’s Primary,” the statement added.
It would be recalled that Hon.Tolu Bankole, the National Leader, People With Disabilities and Member National Working Committee, (NWC), APC, had on several occasions appealed to Governor Bello to assist in ensuring that Mr Emmanuel Adukwu, the APC Candidate for Ankpa State Constituency is elected into the State Assembly.
Tolu, while speaking against the fear that there were plots to replace Adukwu, cautioned those bent on frustrating the dreams for People with Disabilities to have a representative at the State Assembly to desist, stressing that the move would be rejected.