Okigwe Senate: Ndubueze’s Aspiration Suffers Major Set Back As PDP Elders Insist On Candidate’s Capacity
The Okigwe zone senatorial aspiration of Hon Patrick Ndubueze suffered a major set back over the weekend, as elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the aegis of ‘Imo PDP Elders Council’ roundly rejected his appeal to zone the Imo North Senatorial ticket to Okigwe political bloc comprising of Okigwe and Onuimo Local Government Areas.
Ndubueze, had through a group of supporters, petitioned the Elders Council, demanding that the Okigwe bloc be allowed to produce the next senator for Imo North Senatorial district. Ndubueze hails from Okigwe LGA of Imo State.
Presenting the appeal of Ndubueze’s campaign group, during a meeting of the Council held in Owerri, Hon. Basil Duru argued that during the last PDP primaries in 2015 which Senator Athan Achonu won against Ndubueze, the Imo PDP Elders had promised the Okigwe bloc that in 2019, they will be given the senate seat for the zone.
Duru therefore, pleaded with the Imo PDP Elders Council to give effect to this promise in the interest of justice. He maintained that to do otherwise would amount to an injustice and a negation of the promise of the Elders Council to the Okigwe bloc.
But responding, the Chairman of Imo PDP Elders Council and Member of the Party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu disagreed with the submissions of the Ndubueze group. He clarified that the Elders Council never promised the Okigwe bloc automatic senate ticket for Okigwe zone, pointing out that the elders only promised to consider the bloc in any major party office available in 2019.
Iwuanyanwu contended that, the promise had already been fulfilled by the seceding of the state party Chairman, Chief (Barr) Charles Ezekwem (Ikemba Okigwe) to Okigwe LGA. He also explained that as a party in opposition, PDP cannot be talking of zoning for aspirants to elective offices, stressing that the party “needs a candidate with the capacity, out-reach and who enjoys massive support in the zone”, to win the election.
He advised the Ndubueze group to have a rethink and put PDP’s interest first above personal interests, adding that the issues raised by the Ndubueze group are the internal affairs of Okigwe zone PDP which the Elders Council lacks the jurisdiction to even dabble into. He said that it will be fair for political offices to be spread across all the LGA’s in the zone rather than concentrating them in a particular bloc.
It should be recalled that Onuimo LGA also holds the position of Okigwe zonal chairman of the PDP through Chief Silas Onyeiwu, leaving other four LGAs in the zone without any position.
In his comments, the former Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, advised the Okigwe zone leaders to sort out whatever complaints from the zone by themselves. He said that the zone is capable of determining who hoists the PDP’s senatorial flag without any rancor.
Former Deputy Governor, Chief Ebere Udeagu, in his remarks, upbraided the complaints for ignoring elders in the zone and rushing to the elders at the state level without recourse to them.
According to him, he is not interested in the complaint by the Ndubueze group, stating that things must be done through the proper channels.
Political analysts are of the view that the unfolding scenario in the Okigwe senatorial seat contest is a “case of the elders, leaders, stakeholders and the masses against the wish of the minority in the zone”. They maintained that Okewulonu’s aspiration seems a mission accomplished by the massive support he enjoys from PDP elders, leaders, stakeholders, women, youths and even across party lines in Okigwe zone.