The governorship hopefuls and chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia have asked the national working committee (NWC) to take immediate action to prevent an “impending implosion” of the party in the state.
In a statement dated May 20, 2022, the governorship hopefuls and chieftains in Abia said no ward congresses were conducted in the state; hence the delegates’ list to be used for primaries in the state is a “nullity”.
“By now, most citizens and residents of Abia State and indeed Nigeria have become aware of the impending implosion and destruction of PDP in Abia State,” the statement reads.
“The NWC of PDP scheduled Congresses for election of 3-Man Ward Adhoc Delegates in most States of Nigeria for the 30th day of April 2022. The Congresses could not hold that day because the NWC was restrained by a Court Order from holding it. Subsequently, it was alleged that the Court Order had been vacated and on that basis, the National Chairman and Secretary of PDP jointly signed a letter to INEC rescheduling the Congresses for Wednesday the 4th day of May 2022. On that day the Congress did not hold as well and this is not in dispute.
“What is in dispute is that whereas, the majority of faithful party members in Abia State were waiting for the National Chairman and Secretary of PDP to reschedule the Congresses and inform INEC accordingly, an individual and his acolytes simply wrote a list of Adhoc Delegates across the 184 wards of Abia State which they are pushing the NWC to accept as the authentic list of Adhoc Delegates in Abia State.
“The implication is that this individual will singularly determine all 24 individuals who will emerge as candidates for the 24 State Constituencies of Abia State because having 100% control of the Adhoc Delegates already gives him over 40% of the votes for each of the Congresses before the events even hold. Similarly, this individual and his acolytes will determine all eight candidates of the Party for the House of Representatives, all three Candidates for the Senate and of course who becomes Governor of Abia State in 2023. Abia State will be in the pocket of one individual if this is allowed to happen. Nothing like this has ever occurred in Abia State before.
“These unconscionable cabal falsely claim that Congresses held in Abia State when every truthful person in Abia State generally and PDP members, in particular, know that no Congresses held anywhere in Abia State.”
The governorship hopefuls alleged that Alwell Okere, PDP chairman in the state, was made to “concoct a letter” dated May 4, 2022, when the initial congresses were fixed and addressed it to the resident electoral commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state conveying the list of the committee members to conduct a congress on May 6.
According to the party chieftains, the notice was received by the REC on May 5, adding that “notices take effect on the date they are received. Thus the REC (not INEC) received a day’s notice of the sham congress going by the records of the cabal”.
“All of these are to no effect. The Law is very clear: Only the National Chairman and National Secretary of a Political Party can communicate with INEC at their National Headquarters in respect of Congresses, Primaries and Conventions. Neither the State Chairman of a Party nor the REC of INEC have any role in the matter and so the said Congresses of the 6th day of May 2022 are dead on arrival and pig-headedly insisting on using the phantom list of delegates will only deal a death-blow to the PDP,” the governorship hopefuls said.
The party chieftains said “the only thing they know about Congresses of PDP in Abia State is the Notification of 30th April 2022 scheduling Congresses for 4th May 2022 when it did not hold. Therefore, as of 13th May 2022, INEC did not take into account or recognize whatever its REC in Abia State purported to have participated in on 6th May 2022.”
“We have also just heard this evening that a Court order of an Abia State High Court was obtained with a view to allowing the said sham Delegates’ list of 6th May 2022 to be used by the NWC in conducting the Primaries. It is unfortunate that those to whom the fortunes of PDP were entrusted are running from Pillar to post to no effect. Without bothering to engage in interpretation of what the order says or does not say, we wish to point out that a State High Court has no jurisdiction in these matters and such orders are exercise in futility.”
They warned that if nothing is done to address the situation, it will lead to the destruction of the party in the state.
Signatories to the statement who are governorship hopefuls include Enyinnaya Abaribe, minority leader of the senate; Ude Chukwu, deputy governor; Emma Nwaka, Chima Anyaso, Ncheta Omerekpe, Samson Orji, and Enyinnaya Nwafor.
Party chieftains who also signed the statement are Onyema Ugochukwu, Adolphus Wabara, Uzoma Abonta, Eme Okoro, Charles Ogbonna and David Iro.