Why We Rejected Last Weekend’s Ward Congress—Imo PDP Aspirants

A coalition of political aspirants and stakeholders in the Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has given reasons for rejecting the party’s three-man delegate election conducted last week Saturday November 1st and called for its cancellation.
The coalition has also threatened not to support a candidate that emerges through the process which they described as flawed.
The group, comprising governorship and National Assembly aspirants and other stakeholders submitted a four-page petition titled “Flagrant Abuse of Party Rules/Guidelines and Brazen Hijack of Party Congress in Imo State” to the PDP national leadership.
The governorship aspirants who signed the petition included Senator Ifeanyi G. Ararume, Dr. Charles Onuoha, Dr. Charles Amanze, Hon. Bethel Amadi, Senator Chris Anyanwu, Prof. Jude Njoku, Senator Bright Nwanne, Barrister Mike Ahamba (SAN), and Hon. Charly Onyeagbako.
While the Senatorial and House of Represenatives aspirants who signed the petition include Hon. Kelechi Nwagwu, Hon. Osita Opara, Chief Celestine Ngaobiuru, Obinna Kingsley Onwuhuariri, Obialor Kingsley, Austin Nwachukwu, Acho Obinwanne, Hon. Dr. Mike C. Ohia, Hon. Nzekwe Stanley.
They stated in the petition that the delegates’ election “was fraught with illegalities and was not allowed to hold in many local governments”.
According to the group, party members trooped out for the election from morning till evening, but the exercise did not hold in most of the 305 wards in the state.
They accused the Chairman and members of the electoral panel of manipulating the results to favour the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha .
They further stated that the Panel members came into Owerri on Friday October 31st and called for a meeting of the aspirants, party officers and stakeholders that same evening. The meeting lasted till very late in the night, only to continue 3pm on the election day.
When the returning officers were being dispatched to the 27 LGAs by 5 pm, well-meaning stakeholders advised that Congress be rescheduled but this suggestion was rejected. “The outcome was that many of the electoral could not get to their assigned wards, and most party faithful, who had been waiting since 7.00am dispersed. So, no actual voting took place in most areas.”
The petitioners also accused the electoral panel of coming to Imo State “with the preconceived intent to either forestall the conduct of the elections or manipulate same in favour of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha” and equally caused more confusion by withholding the original result sheets and distributing the photocopies.
Also in their statement, they declared that “the Electoral Panel Chairman and his colleagues then returned to Abuja on Sunday 2nd November 2014 and began to re-write the results including those Local Governments where elections had taken place.” They added that every attempt made to get the panel to do the right thing was rebuffed.
They cautioned that what transpired, if allowed to prevail, can only lead to a repeat of past mistakes which caused the Party to lose the governorship in 2007 and 2011. They therefore requested that the exercise be cancelled and a fresh one conducted in a transparent manner.
While re-stating their loyalty to the Party and their commitment to restore PDP to power in Imo State, they averred: “our position is that only a credible and transparent Party Congress can produce an acceptable candidate, whom we can all rally around for victory”



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