The resignation of the deputy governorship candidate of the Accord Party has taken a new twist as the party has engaged the services of legal experts to address the issue it describes as a ‘deliberate and calculated attempt to scuttle and jeopardize the gubernatorial candidature and prospects of Accord Party.’
It would be recalled that Prince Okpere Udo, the ‘erstwhile’ deputy governorship candidate of the party, had on 3rd March 2023, announced his resignation from the party and his withdrawal from the joint governorship ticket he had with Bishop Emeka Nwankpa, wherein he (Udo) defected to a rival party.
In a letter written by the party’s lawyer and copied INEC, the party described Okpere Udo’s action as running contrary to Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2022, which clearly stipulates the time frame for withdrawal or substitution of candidates, and thereby declared the said resignation a nullity.
While acknowledging Okpere Udo’s right to association, the party said that the action was done in bad faith with the intention of derailing Emeka Nwankpa’s success at the March 18 guber poll. Subsequently, the party has given Okpere Udo 24 hours to reverse his decision, failing which the party would initiate a legal action against him and ask for substantial damages.
Accord Party is not alone in this wave of resignation of deputy governorship candidates, as the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the African Democratic Party (ADP) deputy governorship candidates in Abia State have also jumped ship.
Recall also that Emeka Nwankpa Campaign Organization, while reacting to Okpere Udo’s resignation, had accused him of being used by a rival party to deliberately sabotage Emeka Nwankpa, a decision it believed was motivated by what it described as ‘greed and avarice made manifest by monetary inducement’.
It is left to be seen if Okpere Udo would reverse his decision to dump Accord Party and subsequently renounce the Labour Party as demanded by Accord Party.