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Ebonyi PDP Crisis: Candidates warn Ayu, NWC against organising another primary

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PDP fixes September 26 as date for second NEC meeting

Ebonyi State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates have warned the Senator Iyorchia Ayu led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party against organising another governorship or assembly primary in the state, noting that doing so could be a recipe for crisis.

Recall that the court recognized leadership of the PDP in Ebonyi had on May 29, conducted governorship primary election that produced produced Dr Ifeanyi Chukwu Odi, a Lagos based industrialist as the flag bearer of the in the state.

The primary which was conducted at the party’s secretariat located along Abakaliki Enugu expressway, was monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and national electoral committee for governorship, senatorial and house of representatives.

However, former senate president, Anyim Pius Anyim who is said to be backing another faction of the party in the state led by Senator Obinna Ogba, prevailed on the party’s national leadership not to endorse Odi’s emergence.

Consequently, the NWC said it cancelled the primary that produced Odi, including all state assembly and national assembly primaries held in the state, and will announce new date for fresh primaries.

The NWC which announced the decision in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba on Sunday, had charged all aspirants, critical stakeholders, leaders and members of the party in Ebonyi State to remain calm, united and focused.

However, the party party candidates at a press conference on Thursday, warned that any attempt to hold another primary would be illegal as there is a subsisting court order barring conduct of another primary without the authentic list of ad-hoc delegates in the state.

The press conference was addressed by Hon. Lazarus Nweru Ogbee, senatorial candidate for Ebonyi Central Senatorial District; Barr Ifeanyi Nworie, candidate for Ezza South East Constituency in the House of Assembly and Dr Obinna Nwachukwu, candidate for House of Representatives in Ishielu/Ezza North Federal Constituency.

They spoke on behalf of all the candidates elected during the PDP primaries conducted on 28 and 29 of May, 2022, which was monitored by INEC and supervised by appropriate security agencies and was beamed live on National Television Networks- AIT and Channels.

The candidates contended that having participated in the previous exercise which was not marred by any irregularities, it would be “very illogical and unreasonable to repeat the exercise.”

According to them, doing so “will be subjudice given that there is an impending court case instituted by the candidates and the 3- man delegates drawn from each of the 171 wards in the state against the PDP when the maneuverings of the party became obvious early in the day.”

They therefore, appealed to the NWC of the party led by Dr Ayu and the Presidential Candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to wade into the stalemate and call off the repeat primaries in the interest of peace and stability in Ebonyi state PDP.

They cited a provision in the Electoral Act which stipulates that only a court of competent jurisdiction can void or cancel a primary election that has been successfully organized and mornitored by INEC.

They accused the PDP leadership of pandering to the selfish calculations of some vested interest in the state chapter of the party who see themselves as the owners of the party in the state.

The stakeholders warned that if the NWC fails to do the right thing, the PDP may lose out completely in the 2023 general elections.

 

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