From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The crisis rocking the Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deepened, yesterday, as Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, 10 other aspirants and some leaders rejected the delegates list submitted to the party headquarters.
Abaribe, who read a statement on behalf of other aggrieved members who staged a protest at the PDP national Secretariat in Abuja, said the three-man ward delegates congress did not hold in Abia State.
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Consequently, he admonished the party leadership to use only statutory delegates in choosing candidates for the 2023 general elections in Abia to avoid a looming disaster at levels in the state.
The statement was signed by Abaribe, the state deputy governor, Ude Oko Chukwu, Emma Nwaka, Enyinnaya Nwafor, Chima Anyaso and Sampson Orji.Others signatories were Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, David Iro, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, Ncheta Omerekpe, and Charles Ogbonna.
The minority leader, who is also a governorship aspirant said: “At the centre of the vexed issues is the obvious manipulation by a tiny segment of the State Executive Committee of the party to yield to plots at subverting the democratic process, which is geared towards achieving a predetermined goal of imposition at all levels.
“We are therefore here in our party’s Abuja National headquarters to alert the party and the Nigerian public of this ugly development, which if not stopped could spell doom for the party ahead of the 2023 general election not only in Abia State, but in the South East as a whole.
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Abaribe said it was preposterous that what was bandied as a list emanated from an imaginary congress conducted vide a letter of notice to the Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner signed by the Abia State Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Allwell Asiforo Okere.
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“The implication being that the functions of NEC and NWC was performed by a State Chairman of the party and not the National Chairman and Secretary of PDP. INEC has come forward to clarify that it neither received any communication from the PDP National Chairman and the National Secretary to participate nor did it monitor such exercise, as required by extant laws,” Abaribe said.
Consequently, he admonished the party to disregard the delegates list, adding that “the National Legal adviser, we believe, knows the implications of going ahead to use such legally unknown delegates in the primary elections and should advise the NWC accordingly, unless the party wants to enjoy the unenviable luxury of walking towards self-destruction.”
Abaribe further urged the party leadership not to allow its powers to be usurped by the Abia State chapter, as communications to INEC for congresses and convention must be through the National Chairman and the National Secretary.
“It will be imprudent for the NWC to be seen to have allowed its powers to be so usurped knowing the dire consequences of such action on the electoral process and the quest to enhance the fortunes of the party in the 2023 General elections,” he said.