CHIME MAY DUMP PDP
Dazed by the gale of defection buffeting the party, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, has assured party faithful that the leadership was addressing issues arising from the primaries across the country with a promise to be fair and transparent.
The party has been suffering mass defection of late with former Lagos and Borno State administrator and gubernatorial aspirant in Adamawa State, Buba Marwa, dumping it for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), citing the cancellation of the primary election in the state as reason.
Marwa had alleged that the primary was cancelled to prevent him from emerging as the party's governorship candidate.
In Jigawa, the three sitting senators from the state, led by former the governor, Saminu Turaki, also dumped the PDP to express their disaffection over the conduct of its primaries.
Speculation is also rife in Enugu State that Governor Sullivan Chime may dump the party as the faction loyal to the PDP national chairman has refused the harmonization committee agreed on by the two factions. Chime and Nwodo had been engaged in war of attrition following last year's dissolution of the Vita Abbah-led PDP executive in the state.
A peace deal brokered at the Presidential Villa by the former chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, had impressed it on both Nwodo and Chime to set terms for an harmonization committee, but the peace deal collapsed. During the week, Chime led a delegation to meet with the PDP NWC at the party's national secretariat in Abuja. In his company were the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Ayogu Eze and some House of Representatives members from Enugu State.
Also sighted at the Wadata Plaza were former Anambra State Governor, Jim Nwobodo and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani. The Nwodo camp had gone to an Abuja High Court twice during the week to seek for the authentication of its congresses. Both camps are disturbed that the state chapter of the party might not be able to meet the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the conduct of primaries by political parties.
Under the INEC guidelines, parties are expected to have concluded primaries on or before next Saturday. It is however not clear the alternative platform being explored by Chime, but a Sunday Sun source revealed that he had opened discussions with the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
But reacting to the barrage of complaints from the primaries across the country over the primaries, Nwodo said that the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) is on top of the situation and is attending to complaints as they come.
In a statement released by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, the national chairman said that the leadership was aware of the feeling across the country due to some irregularities, but assured that fairness and justice will prevail. He said that the party has set up machinery that is monitoring the primaries and would act swiftly on some very obvious cases.
Nwodo particularly frowned at the deployment of violence by some aspirants and reiterated that the NWC will quickly cancel any result emanating from venues violence was reported. He also warned the party members involved in the conduct and organization of the primaries to be fair and transparent in their actions.