From Fred Itua, Abuja
Minority Leader of the Senate Enyinnaya Abaribe announced Wednesday morning his withdrawal from this week’s gubernatorial primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State.
In a press statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen, Abaribe said the party has refused to create a level-playing field for all aspirants, hence, his reason for withdrawing.
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He said he will announce his line of action soon. This is even as claims have heightened that the former Abia State deputy governor, may defect to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), to actualise his ambition.
Abaribe in the statement accused the PDP of high-handedness and promised his teeming supporters that the right decision that will serve their interests will be made soon.
He said: “The last couple of weeks has been tortuous as we battled hard to navigate our party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) away from a self-destructive path.
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“The essence was to create an unfettered democratic space and a level playing field for all aspirants vying for all elective offices in the state, to participate equally in the primary elections.
“That was not the case and of course what we are witnessing is a shambolic process driven by a procured court injunction.
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“To make matters worse, the use of only imaginary 3-man Adhoc delegates to the exclusion of the party’s statutory delegates in the primary elections to elect our candidates even when INEC the nation’s electoral umpire, has unequivocally stated that no congress held in Abia State for that purpose, has no doubt put the party and her candidates in a quagmire.
“The implication for our party is grave and as such has put all ongoing primary exercises on quicksand.
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“I am known for standing firm in defence of my convictions for the right of all people to a free and fair democratic process. That was why my campaign set sail on a democratic journey that took us to all the nooks and crannies of our dear state. We covered all the local governments and we could see the enthusiasm on the faces of our people who are desirous of change to a progressive government with a human face.
“We committed human and material resources, preaching the “Rise Up Abia” message for the total emancipation of our State from the drudgery of imposition and godfatherism, which has seen the state at the lowest wrung of infrastructural, human and material development index among the states of the federation.
“Our people were and are indeed fired up for a new lease of life that will be brought about by a people’s government.
“There was no doubt that Abians are tired of being subjected to being the butt of jokes and ridicule from their peers, particularly those from the contiguous states that were hitherto far behind Abia State in the development index in the time past. That was the narrative we sought to change when the campaign took off.
“Unfortunately, the ugly developments ignited by a rapacious ambition to maintain the wicked governance status quo of imposition and godfatherism have aborted this quest in PDP.
“Accordingly, I Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe will not be part of this charade. I am therefore withdrawing from the exercise, which means that I will not be part of the PDP governorship primary election that holds in Abia State on Wednesday 25th of May, 2022 as doing so would have amounted to an endorsement of illegality that is already being challenged in the courts.
“I, therefore, ask all our people, our teeming supporters and Ndigbo to remain calm, keep the faith and wait for the new direction, which will be announced very soon.
“What is important is that the campaign to liberate Abia State would surely assume a new dimension. The time is now.
“Thank you for always being there for me and the campaign. Together we shall triumph.”