PDP CANDIDATES, MINISTER AT LOGGERHEADS
The crisis rocking Anambra Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has deepened following alleged diversion of N150 million campaign fund meant for the party's candidates' prosecution of their campaigns and elections.
The money was said to have been released from Abuja to the Minister of Women Affairs, Chief (Mrs.) Josephine Anenih for onward disbursement to the candidates but was not delivered to any of them.
Daily Sun gathered that trouble started when the candidates who got wind of the fund started asking questions. Anenih however, denied receiving any money on their behalf until it was confirmed from the Director-General of the campaign organisation in Abuja who disbursed the money.
It was further gathered that the candidates who were embittered by the development threatened to take her up. They argued that their elections would have held without the party's usual support had the National Assembly election held last week, yet an individual was sitting on their money.
At the point of their threat, the minister was said to have owned up to being in possession of the money but said it was left behind in Abuja. She began to pacify them individually, culminating in a meeting held in her house on Monday, where she allegedly pleaded with them to temper justice with mercy.
But when approached on the issue by journalists yesterday,, Mrs. Anenih denied ever diverting the said fund. She described the allegation as falsehood and a calculated attempt to smear her good image.
She admitted that PDP has a tradition of assisting its candidates and that the gesture was extended to Anambra candidate although she did not mention whether the money was given to any of the candidates as she said the modalities were internal affairs of the party.
Denying the allegation, Anenih said further, 'that's another wicked lie from the pit of hell and as far as I am concerned, it's also one of the dirty strategies that dirty politicians adopt to smear the image, assassinate the characters, impugn the characters of people who live above board. I don't know what they want to gain by that and I would beg the press not to help wicked people to spread wicked rumours.'
When asked who among the multiple candidates of the party would get the money, she said, 'it is not your business, this is our PDP's internal problems and it's none of any other person's business.'
Although the matter, Daily Sun learnt had been partially resolved between her and the candidates, some of them were still agitating that her alleged action would have caused the party serious damages had the election held last week. Hence, they vowed to take up the matter with the national secretariat of the party.
Meanwhile, Anenih has described as false the insinuation that the PDP ceded some seats in the election to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Anambra State, insisting that that there was no pact between the PDP and APGA on the issue.
She described as an insult on the President, the propaganda by some people that he (President) had adopted some candidates in other parties, noting that if he had done so, he would have announced it the day he came for rally in Onitsha, she insisted that there was no such agreement.