2023: Save Ebonyi PDP from collapse, let conducted primaries stay, ‘aspirants appeal NWC

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From Mba Nnenna- Abakaliki.

As the cancellation of primaries conducted by the the Peoples Party Ebonyi state tarries, ‘Candidates’ of various positions in the forthcoming general elections in the state, have appealed the National Working Committee (NWC) and other critical stakeholders of the party to tread with caution and allow the already conducted primaries to remain.

This is as they noted that the PDP in the state might be unwittingly heading for collapse and failure, should the reverse become the case.

One of the aspirants Chief Lazarus Ogbe, while speaking on behalf of his colleagues at a press conference, in Abakaliki, Thursday, urged the national leadership of the party to allow the wishes of the masses prevail in the matter.

 

Recall that, on May 29, 2022, the NWC had directed the cancellation of all primaries in the state, till further notice.

But in deviance, a factional group allegedly loyal to Dr. Ifeanyi Odii under PDP went ahead and conducted the primaries, thus producing candidates for various positions, including gubernatorial. Two days, May 31, 2022, to be precise the NWC, observed that the congresses held on May 28 and 29, in the state were null and void, and declared it cancelled.

But at the press conference, on Thursday, Ogbe, who is aspiring to represent the people of Ebonyi Central Senatorial Zone (in the Red Chamber), said, “I am speaking on behalf of the elected candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Ebonyi State. These are candidates that were nominated and elected on the 28th and 29th of May, 2022.

“We flied the flag of the party in the various positions of elections ranging from House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and Gubernatorial.

“We recall that on the 28th and 29th day of May, 2022, the National Working Committee of the PDP scheduled primary elections in Ebonyi State. It’s on record that Ebonyi didn’t do its own primaries, the day other states of the federation did theirs, because of little crisis that emanated in the conduct of election to elect three-man delegates.

“Eventually, the congresses to elect three-man delegates were done in Ebonyi State and this took place in all the 171 wards of the state and they were elected. The three-man delegates in turn was to go to the various wards, State constituencies, Federal constituencies/Senatorial Districts and gubernatorial stage to nominate candidates of their choice, who will eventually fly the flag of the party in the 2023 general elections.

“Consequently, the NWC slated two days for the conduct of the primaries/nominations and on May 28th, the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senatorial were scheduled. The State Chapter of the party duly complied with that directives and conducted very transparent primaries, which were observed and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the security agencies and other relevant authorities.

“The elections were certified to be the most transparent election conducted in recent time.

“Unfortunately, today we started hearing rumours that the same NWC that sent, directed and instructed that primary elections should be conducted in Ebonyi State, on the 28th and 29th of May, 2022, has reversed itself to direct that another primaries, at the same level of nomination, be conducted. No reason was given, because the first one was dully monitored as they sent letters to Ebonyi chapter of the party, INEC and security agencies.

“There was no breach of the electoral and party guildelines; no breach was recorded.

“It’s on this note that we want to appeal to the party to allow peace to reign in the Ebonyi State chapter of the PDP.

“The people have gone out to nominate candidates of their choice, and so, re-orderring for another set of congresses would mean igniting a bigger crisis in the party in Ebonyi State and that will mean its collapse.

“I understand that a political party presents one candidate from one constituency, for a party’s political position. On what grounds is the NWC re-orderring for fresh primaries in the state PDP? Is it that it wants to present two candidates for a particular position? If that is the case, I have never seen where two candidates are contesting for a particular position, in the same party.”

He added, “We appeal to the NEC of PDP, major stakeholders of PDP, the NWC of PDP and, mostly importantly, the Presidential flag-bearer of the PDP to intervene in this situation in order to forestall looming crisis in the state chapter of PDP. This is important to avoid a repeat of what transpired in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections, on the side of the All Progressives Congress; and in Rivers State, on the part of the APC.

“The people have spoken and we urge the party leadership to toe the part of peace and justice. The people have nominated their candidates-from House of Assembly to gubernatorial. The NWC, the NEC, and other organs of the party and its Presidential flag-bearer should intervene in this matter. Aspirants who have been nominated by candidates by virtue of the three-man delegates and through the people, should be allowed to contest the general elections.

“If any person has vested interest in a particular candidate, such person should allow the will and wish of the masses to prevail. These people that have been nominated, bought forms and they were cleared and there’s no law that says they should not contest. Therefore, we ask our party to toe the path of peace and justice.

“In the case of the Governorship primaries, it was done in the glaring eyes of party faithfuls, the security agencies. INEC monitored it and it was beamed live on AIT, Channels and others. There was no case of irregularities till date. But it’s just unfortunate that all of a sudden, we are hearing that the primaries have been cancelled. We appeal for peace and caution.” (He said)

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