From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the Abia State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to conduct its ad hoc delegate election. This is contrary to claims by a section of the party in the state that it held its ward congress on May 6.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was reported to have been seen in a video, addressing some party members at Obingwa Ward 7 claiming that delegates had been elected.
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However, contrary to the governor’s position, the state secretary of the party, David Iro told journalists in Umuahia that the election of the three-man delegates was yet to take place in Abia.
“There has never been any delegates conference in the PDP anywhere in Abia. I can state it categorically that it has not been done,” he said.
This is even as PDP in the state is insisting that the three-man delegate election held in the state.
Barely 72 hours after making the statement, the State Working Committee (SWC) of PDP suspended Iro for one month, saying it took the action because the secretary made unguarded utterances that brought embarrassment to the party.
INEC’s position which has vindicated the state secretary of the party was contained in a letter written to the Wadata House, the headquarters of the People’s Democratic Party, Abuja informing them that no three-man ad hoc delegates Congress held in Abia State.
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This puts to rest speculations on whether or not the three-man delegates elections held in Abia.
INEC’s letter which was said to be in response to an inquiry made by a legal practitioner, and signed by its Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony made it clear that Abia PDP had not conducted its three-man ad hoc delegates congress.
The letter said: “Pease refer to your letter dated 11th May 2022 requesting confirmation if the commission is in receipt of a letter from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman and National Secretary that rescheduled the party’s Abia State Ward Congresses that failed to hold on the 4th of May, 2022.
“This is to confirm that the last notice received from the PDP National Headquarters was the one that scheduled the Abia State Ward Congresses for 4th May 2022.”
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It will be recalled that the three-man ad hoc delegates elections were meant to hold in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state in preparation for the main primaries.
It however did not hold as INEC stated that the rescheduled date failed on a public holiday and was expecting a new date from PDP.
The election which was shifted to a later date did not hold as some aggrieved members of the party were alleged to have gotten a court injunction to stop the election from holding.
In the light of the above a PDP stakeholder in the state, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya has called on the national leadership of the PDP to listen to the complaint of the PDP governorship aspirants from Abia and do away with the list submitted to it from Abia State as no such election took place in the state.
Ogbonnaya, who was the past Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said submission of any document by Abia PDP as a three-man delegate list, was the height of impunity which should be resisted.
He urged the national leadership of the party not to accept such a list if they do not want Abia to go the way of Zamfara.
“If national leadership of the party will go ahead and accept such list all that governorship aspirants from Abia, except one is kicking against it, it means they don’t want PDP to have members of the state House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senators and governor come 2023”.
He said since they do not want Abia to go the way of Zamfara, that’s why they are pleading with the national leadership of our great party to do something to save the doomsday.
However, in a statement yesterday, Abia PDP insisted it conducted the three-man delegate election in the state.
In a release signed by Ama Abraham, State Vice-Chairman/Ag. State Publicity Secretary, the party insisted the delegates’ election held on May 6.