The flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Imo East Senatorial District, Prince Alex Mbata has extended his hand of friendship to other five aspirants who contested the primary poll with him.
The co-aspirants are Chief Jerry Chukwueke, Dr. Kemdi Opara, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, Hillary Nwachukwu and Lucy Uloaku Oguzie.
Mbata reportedly polled 425 votes to beat Mrs. Akeredolu who garnered 21 votes, Chukwueke, 14; Opara, 3; Uloaku 1 and Nwachukwu, 0 at the primary poll on Saturday, May 28.
In a statement he personally signed, Mbata saluted the other aspirants for participating in the primary election, described all of them as winners.
He said he was extending the olive branch to them being strategic partners in the collective search for and desire for the uplift of the zone.
Mbata enjoined them to bond with him as members of one political family and work for the victory of the party in the upcoming elections.
The candidate also expressed his profound gratitude to the delegates in Owerri zone, party members and stakeholders for deeming him worthy to emerge the senatorial candidate of the party in the zone.
Meanwhile, two of the aspirants namely Mrs. Akeredolu and Dr. Opara have reacted to the the emergence of Prince Alex Mbata as candidate of the party in the zone.
The wife of the Ondo State governor said she had withdrawn from the race hours before the sham of a primary poll was purportedly conducted.
She said she had stormed the Secretariat of the APC in Owerri when she sensed that the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma was hell-bent on manipulating the poll.
Akeredolu said she insisted on all aspirants testing their popularity and acceptability before the delegates but the governor was interested in hand-picking the candidate for the party.
According to her, she never participated in the so-called primary poll of the party and wondered how 21 votes were credited to her.
Similarly, Dr. Kemdi Opara also picked holes on the primary election, saying as far as he was concerned the party never conducted any primary poll in Imo East Senatorial District.
He charged his supporters to discounternance the votes credited to him in the sham of a primary poll said to have been conducted by the party.