By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
A very reliable source has revealed why former Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, announced his decision to quit the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Imo State.
Ihedioha, had in a letter to the National Chairman of the party cited personal sacrifice and having aligned “myself with the request made by our state chapter to the National Working Committee, NWC, for a consensus choice of candidate regarding the 2023 governorship primaries in the interest of harmony and unity of the party”
Our correspondent learnt that the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, choose to withdraw from the governorship primary because of the failure of the national leadership of the party to address his concerns over the party’s guber primary.
It was gathered that the out-gone National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, had failed to listen to complains of the former governor over the posture of the National Secretary and a fellow aspirant, Senator Samuel Anyanwu to supervise the Primary in which he is a contestant.
Ihedioha and Anyanwu were last week cleared by the PDP Screening Committee ahead of the April 14 Imo PDP governorship primary.
The duo have been described as political cat and mouse over simmering and irreconcilable political differences which began at the 2015 Imo PDP governorship primary.
Anyanwu had challenged Ihedioha’s victory at the 2015 Imo PDP guber Primary up to the Supreme Court. The apex court later upheld Ihedioha’s victory at the exercise.
The rift continued unabated despite the dummy sold to the media by the camps of both politicians that all is well.
However, Ihedioha seems to have capitulated, choosing to quit the governorship primary this time over lack of level playing ground.
A source told our correspondent that the former governor kicked against “Anyanwu’s seeming edge or undue advantage conferred on him by some forces in the party before the guber primary”
A political pressure group sympathetic to Ihedioha, PDP Action 2023, in a statement seen by this newspaper stated that “As a sitting National Secretary, it is only proper that he (Anyanwu) should not supervise the primaries for which he is a contestant.
“It is shocking that as the National Secretary, Senator Anyanwu screened himself as an aspirant and later on signed the clearance certificate of the “successful” aspirants including himself” part of the statement read.
Ihedioha was alleged to have taken his grievances to notable leaders of the party to complain that his co- contestant should not be a judge in his own cause by allowing Anyanwu supervise his primaries in which he is a partaker.
Another source said Ihedioha had strongly pushed for the resignation of Anyanwu from the contest, citing provisions of section 47 (5), of the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as amended.
“Ayu and others simply refused to activate the provision of the party constitution and wanted to confer undue advantage to any National Officer of the party to sit tight in office and preside over primaries for which they will be candidates.
“The party is aware that S.36 of the PDP Constitution confers the National Secretary with the powers of supervisory role and implementation of most of it’s activities.
“The National Secretary is a critical player in the preparation towards the selection of delegates and other processes for the Imo State PDP guber primary which he is involved in.
“Infact, as we speak, the National Secretary has chosen the panel that will conduct the Imo PDP Primary 3 man delegates election. He will also appoint the panel that will conduct the primary proper.
“The National Chairman turned a blind eye to all these protestations for a fair process and Ihedioha decided not to dignify the skewed process with his participation” the source stated.
However, Senator Anyanwu’s campaign team, Divine Mandate Movement, in a statement in Owerri, commended Ihedioha for his withdrawal from the Imo State PDP Governorship Primary.
“His decision to throw in the towel is not a sign of weakness but a move geared towards ensuring that our great party, PDP reclaims the seat of power come November 11, 2023 Guber election” part of the statement signed by Sunny Ndukwu, a Director in Senator Anyanwu’s Divine Mandate Movement stated.