ANAMBRA PDP ELECTS NEW EXCO
At last, factions in the Anambra State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have come together to elect new state executives of the party. The election which took place yesterday during the state congress of the party held at Emmaus House Complex, Awka with the former House of Representatives member, Hon. Chijioke Edoga from Enugu State as the Returning Officer, saw the emergence of Chief Emma Nweze as the new state chairman.
Other executive members elected at the congress include: Former Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Cosmas Agagbo, Deputy State Chairman; Chief Chuba Egolum, Vice Chairman, Central; Prince Kenneth Emeakayi, Vice Chairman South; Emma Mbamalu, Vice Chairman North; Chief (Mrs.) Susan Ekwunife, State Secretary; Mr. Ngozi Egudosi, Publicity Secretary; Chukwudi Okasia, Treasurer and Hon (Mrs.) Genevieve Ekwochi, Woman Leader.
The state congress which was attended by many stakeholders however recorded the absence of the Chris/Andy Uba's faction and the absence of the three senators in the state, Ikechukwu Obiorah, Annie Okonkwo and Alphonsus Igbeke, including some House of Representatives' members.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on whose directive the congress was executed by the National Working Committee (NEC) of the party through the Zonal Committee led by Chief Olisa Metuh, had a team of five officers of the commission that monitored the congress.
Addressing the 29-member state executive shortly after they were sworn-in by the zonal Legal Officer of the party, Mr. Ukpai Ukairo, the National Vice Chairman, South East, Chief Metuh described it as the best the state had ever put together.
He said, 'You are elected by the entire PDP in Anambra State, by the stakeholders, by the leaders, by the elders. You are elected and I pray that you conduct and comport your affairs very well.
'As a matter of fact, I am happy that your election has been supported by Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Chief Chukwuma Soludo, all the Senators, by all the members of the House of Representatives, by members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) in Anambra. I am saying that this is the first executive that we have ever elected in the history of Anambra.
'I wish you success, I hope that you prevail in administering the party, whoever supported you; whoever campaign for you is not important. What is important is that you will carry the entire Anambra PDP affairs fairly and justly as you comport yourself'.
In his acceptance speech, Chief Nweze said, 'It is with deep sense of humility and with profound gratitude to God that I accept the verdict of good people of Anambra State. Today, we all witnessed an event that is unprecedented in the history of PDP in Anambra. We witnessed an event that is a reflection of the wishes of the masses.
'Today is the beginning of an era, the new era in Anambra PDP. On behalf of my entire executive, I thank everybody that has made this feat possible. We are going to witness a new and vibrant PDP in the State; it's no longer a cash and carry the PDP. It's going to be a PDP where the voice of the man in the village counts.
'We are going to recognize everybody in the party. Nobody is going to be relegated to the background; nobody is going to be marginalized. I call on everybody; I call on every peace-loving member of PDP in this state to rally round us, give us your support and give us your cooperation so that we bring back PDP to what it was, as of 1998.'
Meanwhile, some stakeholders in the party have described the state congress as undemocratic, alleging that no ward congress held in the state.
One of the stakeholders and former governorship aspirant, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu who spoke to Daily Sun said, 'What happened was just a farce. There was no ward congress, no materials was brought. In the local government, there was no list and even the state congress they claimed to hold was just an affirmation of their lists.
'This is a litmus test for Jega to see whether he can match his word with action and whether Nigerians are dealing with a transformed INEC.
'This is a personal challenge for Nwodo and if before he became chairman had fought for internal democracy in PDP and when he became chairman promised internal democracy; we want to see if he will allow the Ogbuluafor's style as executed by Metuh'.