The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday met for the first time since after the November 1, 2014 ad-hoc delegate and November 8 national delegate elections to harmonise the various complaints arising from the exercise.
This is coming as the Ndoki people in Ukwa East and Ukwa West of Abia State dragged the party before President Goodluck Jonathan accusing the PDP in Abia State of marginalising them and scheming them out of political relevance, despite the fact that they are the main oil producing localities that qualify the state to become an oil- producing state.
Since after the two congresses in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, the NWC met only yesterday to address the complaints arising from some states like Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Imo, Benue, Cross River, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Katsina amongst other states where the congresses took place.
In the afore mentioned states, there are several complaints of manipulating of the list of the ad-hoc delegates and the just concluded national delegates lists by officials of the party to the disadvantage of some of the governorship, national and state Assembly aspirants.
The NWC meeting, it was gathered, would be taking a critical look at the lists of delegates with a view to taking all aggrieved interest groups into consideration.
According to an NWC source that spoke to THISDAY, “we cannot afford to conduct fresh congresses in the affected states, but the NWC will harmonise the various petitions and ensure that every stakeholder and interest group is carried along.
Also as part of the subtle readjustment of the timetable for the submission of governorship and National Assembly nomination, Senators and House of Representatives PDP members with governorship ambition may have been told to confirm their interest in contesting for their substantive seats at the National Assembly.
According to a source that spoke to journalist, “Senators and members of the House of Representatives who have purchased governorship nomination forms have been advised to revert to their substantive seats at the National Assembly. This is one of the basic reasons why the party extended the deadline for the submission of nomination forms. This is to give them some soft landing and not to overheat the party.”
Also, a presidential aspirant of the PDP, Dr. Umar Ardo, who is challenging the eligibility of the president at the Court of Appeal has chided President Jonathan for declaring his intention to contest despite the fact that the eligibility contest is still a subject of litigation.
“But the eligibility issue is not and cannot even be my major concern right now. My concern now, which is almost a nightmare, is the fact that as Jonathan was declaring at the Eagle Square, so-called Boko Haram insurgents are ravaging our state, hoisting their flags all over our towns and villages, pillaging our farmlands, killing, maiming and kidnapping our people, sending thousands into the bushes, forests, hills and camps, and we don’t have a government to halt these. Our people are forced to re-think their allegiance to the governments of Nigeria. To us, this is what Jonathan’s presidency means in Adamawa State.
“Under this circumstance, how can we think of election? Those who are calling for the re-election of President Jonathan, do they have votes to cast for him? Governor Bala Ngilari, Alhaji Hassan Adamu, Hajia Zainab Maina, Mr. Boni Haruna, Hon. Ahmad Fintiri, etc. for example, who were all at the Eagle Square, none of them have votes as their polling units are all under the Boko Haram Caliphate. Instead of them to concern themselves with the liberation of their home towns and working towards rejoining Nigeria, they are busy advocating about elections in which they have no votes. What a great pity, things are put on their heads!”, he said.
Also briefing journalist yesterday in their petition to President Jonathan on marginalisation in the state, a delegation of Ukwa people of Abia South Senatorial District, lamented that they had been shut out of political relevance through an arrangement they claimed violated the rotational principle in the state.
According to the Chairman of Ndoki Progressive Union, Rev. Ebiseke Charles, they are determined to call attention to the injustices being perpetrated in Abia South Senatorial District of Abia State against the people in Ukwa West and Ukwa East.
“As you are all aware, the PDP Abia State chapter and the governor of the state had earlier in the year zoned the governorship position to Abia South Senatorial District, being the only Senatorial District that has never produced the governor of the state since it was created.
“However, developments in the last one week have shown that what was thought as belonging to both Ukwa and Ngwa people for which a free electoral contest was expected, was only a smokescreen for the continuous domination of our people”
“With the decision of the NWC of the PDP to return two Senators per state, the consequential purchase of Senatorial form by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and the purported adoption of Okezie Ikpeazu as the governorship candidate of the party in Abia State, it means that the Ngwas and in fact Obingwa Local Government Area alone is to produce both the Senator for the district and the Governor of the State”
“We draw attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the fact that in the last eight years, Ukwa people have been abandoned without any noticeable government presence in terms of infrastructural facility”
“That Abia State is classified as an Oil producing State in Nigeria is because Ukwa is part of the State. Ukwa does not come to the table empty handed and cannot be part of the Abia State without being part and parcel of the state. We therefore call on the PDP to ensure that this ugly trend is reversed”, the petition to the president stated.
Meanwhile, governorship aspirants in Delta state yesterday accused the state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, his cousin and former governor, Chief James Ibori of manipulating the governorship primary election in the state.
The aspirants said the party was being manipulated and that because of this, the ruling party in the state was bound to lose the forthcoming governorship election.
The aspirants spoke in Abuja at a press briefing, which was held at the residence of a former federal Commissioner of Information, Chief Edwin Clark.
Those who signed the communiqué were Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege, Mr. Kenneth Gbagi, Victor Ochei, Ndudi Elumelu and Prof. Sylvester Monye. Others were David Edevbie, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, Prince Sam Obi, Esther Uduehi, Clement Ofuani, Johnson Opone, Gabriel Oyibode, Godswill Obielum and Peter Okocha.
Part of the communiqué which was read by Esther Uduehi said, “The raging battle between the governor and Ibori for the control of the soul of the party in Delta State, is weakening our electoral chances.
“The unfolding events in our party in Delta Statesman run-up to the 2015 elections are not satisfactory. We also reject moves by an out-going governor to single-handedly pick candidates for state and National Assemblies in Delta State.”
Caption: Governor Babangida Aliyu
Aliyu: Success of 2015 Elections will Depend on Resolving Insecurity
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State said on Wednesday in Minna that the success of the 2015 general elections would depend largely on solving the security challenge in the North-east.
Aliyu said this at the 4th International Literary Colloquium to mark his 59th birthday.
The colloquium had as its theme: ‘Leadership and National Development and Post Centenary Nigeria: New Literatures, New Leaders and New Nation.’
According to News Agency of Nigeria NAN report, “Recently, I told somebody that the legitimacy of our 2015 general election will depend on how we are able to solve the problems in the North-east.
“This is because the moment you cannot conduct elections in an area, you are already questioning the legitimacy of that election.
“So, we must fight Boko Haram to enable the people go back and hold elections there,’’ he said.
He called on the populace to support the federal government’s efforts in tackling terrorism.
“I believe that the best thing to do now is to go all out for war with Boko Haram. Let us rally round Mr. President with ideas to eliminate insurgents,’’ he said.
He decried a situation where some soldiers sent to confront insurgents abandon their duty posts, saying such was not in the interest of the nation’s security.
The governor advised the military high command and security agencies to properly scrutinise applicants for military service and other security bodies to ensure that only patriots were recruited.
Aliyu said the colloquium was organised to contribute to the literary and intellectual development of the state.
“I have just signed a Bill into law establishing Niger State Book Development Agency which will sustain the colloquium.’’ he said.
Source: thisdaylive.com by Chuks Okocha