Lafia – The Eggon Cultural Development Association (ECDA), has dismissed claims that it had endorsed former information minister Labaran Maku of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), for the Nasarawa State governorship seat.
Reports had claimed that ECDA, the umbrella body of the Eggon people, had endorsed Maku as its sole candidate in the March 9 governorship election .
But Mr Arigu Orgariza, Financial Secretary of ECDA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Lafia that no such endorsement took place.
“What was rumoured as an endorsement of Maku was `a sham’ and not the stand of the association because it is not the correct report of the committee set up to recommend the best candidate among Eggon natives contesting the governorship seat.
“Mr Vincent Paul, our General Secretary, is the architect of the confusion. He has shown a clear preference for Maku and wanted to stage-manage a declaration that the entire Eggon people were behind his candidate.
“With four Eggon natives contesting the seat, ECDA felt that the interest of the ethnic group would be better served if it had only one candidate and queued behind him.
“So, we set up a committee, headed by Prof. Francis Akwash, to work toward trimming the number since we are all brothers.
“The committee recently concluded its assignment and submitted the report to the ECDA executive committee.
“The report indicated that Maku had 46.9 percent support from Eggon elders and stakeholders selected to vote, while Mr David Ombugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), got 53.9 percent support.
The other two – Mr Mathew Ombugaku (Rebuild Nigeria Party), and Abdullahi Agibi (Labour Party), got zero percent.
“The outcome of the voting shows that the candidate chosen is David Ombugadu, but that did not go down well with the General Secretary.
“We told him that we must abide by the report but he kicked against that. But, many of us insisted on abiding by the content of the report,” he explained.
He said that the committee also recommended that efforts should be made to convince other candidates to support Ombugadu so that votes from the Eggon group would be delivered en bloc to him.
According to him, the committee also recommended that ECDA should reach out to other indigenous ethnic nationalities to canvass for their votes for the preferred governorship candidate.
“The committee also recommended that agreements reached with other ethnic nationalities with regard to supporting the ECDA choice must be respected as a mark of honour.
“As an official of ECDA, I am standing by this report because that is exactly what happened; I am advising the general public to ignore any news that goes contrary to the content of the report because it is fake and false,” he said. (NAN)