The former governor of Anambra State, Chief Peter Obi, launched himself back into reckoning after the disastrous defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election as his favoured candidate, Crown Prince Ken Emeakayi, was returned unopposed in the State Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held at Emmaus House, Awka, Saturday.
According to sources, the choice of Emeakayi is needed to provide a strong opposition to the quest of the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to return governor Willie Obiano to power in 2018.
In return for the programmed takeover of power by PDP in the 2018 governorship election in Anambra State, an impeccable source indicated that Chief Obi has been promised the Vice Presidential candidate ticket of PDP in the 2019 election.
Alternatively, the party is said to be ready to offer Obi the Presidential ticket of PDP, should the permutation favours his ambition to gun for the slot.
Chief Obi after facilitating the emergence of Chief Obiano as governor of Anambra State in the November 2013 election, dumped APGA for PDP in a controversial manner at a colourful ceremony held at his Niger Drive residence, Onitsha, few weeks to the Presidential election. The decampee said the defection would provide him the much-needed opportunity to be relevant in national politics and work for Jonathan’s botched return to power in the 2015 Presidential election.
The victory of the immediate past Chairman of the Anambra State PDP, Emeakayi with a total of 958 votes, was greeted with uneasiness following the non-attendance to the State Congress by majority of the statutory delegates.
The State Congress monitored by Godfrey Nsofor from INEC’s Elections and Party Monitoring unit was organized to elect State Executives for the party after the national leadership sacked all the factions contending for leadership in the Stare, including the Emeakayi and Ejike Ooguenego factions. In the stead, the National Working Committee of the PDP set up a Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the party preparatory to the 2015 general elections.
It is being feared that non-participation of the majority of the delegates, will likely return to party to the trenches, fueling speculation of a return to the era of factionalization.
According to the guidelines, the delegates to the State Congress includes the three-man ad-hoc delegates from the ward as well as statutory delegates made up of the former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme; Senator Onyeabo Obi,member PDP Board of Trustees; Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary; Iyom Josephine Anenih, member of BOT; serving Senators, Andy Uba, Uche Ekwunife and Stella Oduah.
Also among the delegates were House of Representatives members of PDP, namely, Chukwuka Onyema, Linda Ikpeazu, Obinna Chidoka, Anayo Nnebe, Eucharia Azodo, Sopuluchukwu Onwuka, and Emeka Anohu as well as three PDP members of the State House of Assembly.
Announcing the result at the State Congress of the party, held at the Emmaus House field, Awka, the State capital, the Returning Officer, Mr. Ike Abonyi stated that, the Emeakayi was returned unopposed as he was the sole candidate for the post, but he has to go through a voting process as provided in the party’s constitution..
It was gathered that delegate voted for one Okoli for the post of the State Chairman, but was nullified by the Congress Committee due to the fact that he did not formally seek for the office.
Accreditation of 968 delegates from the 21 local government areas started by 1.30pm while voting for the 26 positions was concluded at 6.54 pm.
The Returning Officer who announced Emeakayi winner as 7 .05 said 9 votes were voided.
Apart from Emeakayi, other contestants who won their seats are: Me. Nzube James Etoniru – Secretary(Idemili South), Mr. Emeka Nzekwe – Publicity Secretary (Anambra East), Prince Eddy Okosi (Youth Leader (Onitsha North), Wilson Anakwe – Treasurer ((Awka South), Sa-Ben Nwosu – Organizing Secretary (Nnewi Norh), Afam Akonnaya – Legal Adviser (Njikoka).
As at the time of going to the press, there is still anxiety as to who would emerge winner for the post of the Financial Secretary contested by Mr. Ekedozie and Egwuoyibo Okoye zoned to Nnewi South LGA as well as the post of Women Leader vied by Mrs Grace Okeke and Ego Afuegbu, both from Dunukofia LGA.
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