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Dr Paul Okorie, a one time Commissioner for Housing and Transportation has called for a seamless democratic transition of power in 2023 in Ebonyi.

Okorie made the call at a news conference in Abakaliki, on Wednesday.
Okorie, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said that democracy and democratic practices were hinged on open and free contests that availed people freedom to select the best to lead them.

The former commissioner, while reacting to the alleged endorsement and adoption of Mr Francis Nwifuru, one of the governorship aspirants on the platform of APC by Gov. Dave Umahi, condemned the action, describing the endorsement as ‘undemocratic.

“He said: “Somebody who wants to be a governor or preside over the affairs of the people should subject himself to scrutiny not hiding under anybody or people to push him through.

“The person should not short-change others or use shortcuts to achieve his aim; he should be able to leave himself open for people to assess and criticise on the basis of his antecedent and character.”

He continued, “the alleged endorsement is undemocratic and runs counter to the democratic principles of fair play, transparency, equity and free contests.”

“I do not see why a person who wants to preside over the affairs of a state or constituency will be looking to be endorsed as a concensus candidate,” Okorie stated.

The APC chieftain opined that a leader who emerged through endorsement would owe allegiance to the ‘endorser’ and not to the people.

“In democracy, power belongs to the people and not to a single or group of individuals; therefore, the people should be responsible for choosing who should lead them.

“I have contested for governorship twice; I’m a victim, I condemn the acts of endorsement and I will never support it.” he added.

Okorie who called for peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections in Ebonyi in the 2023 general elections also advocated for seamless selection process in choosing flagbearers of APC in all the elective positions.

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