MADEZIA, OMO-AGEGE IN CONFLICT OVER RPN GOVERNORSHIP TICKET IN DELTA
DEPUTY governorship candidate of the Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN) during the 2007 election, Lady Nkem Madezia has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop the Delta State re-run election scheduled for January 6th, 2011.
She wanted INEC to stop the election pending the determination of the case by a Federal High Court over the tussle for the RPN governorship candidate ticket currently between her and former Secretary to Delta State Government, Barrister Ovie Omo-Agege.
While addressing the media in Lagos yesterday, Madezia said it would amount to an injustice and marginalisation against her if INEC goes ahead with the rerun without the court determination of the case.
However, Omo-Agege in a reaction claimed that he is the authentic candidate endorsed by RPN National Executive Council, following the demise of the RPN governorship candidate, Olorogun, Felix Azorbo. He claimed to have won the ticket after a primary election conducted by the party.
Madezia said, 'In 2007, I ran as deputy governorship candidate in the Delta State elections on the same ticket with Azorbo.
'When the Court of Appeal annulled the 2007 election and ordered for a rerun, I am supposed to get the governorship ticket but to my surprise Omo-Agege surfaced from nowhere and attempted to hijack the governorship slot of the party for the re-run election.'
She sited the party's constitution, which stated In article 21, section five that a member can only qualify or be eligible to contest any election unless that member has been a financial member of the party for at least three months before the date of such election. 'It will interest the general public especially the citizens of Delta that Omo-Agege has never at any time been a member of RPN. There was no record that shows he was duly registered by the party in any of the wards,' she said.
She added that it was on record that Omo-Agege was a governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the controversial and now unpopular Ogwashi-Uku primaries that was held in 2007 where Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan emerged and Omo-Agege came third.
Madeiza lamented that Omo-Agege is simply trying to take advantage of the vacuum created by the demise of Azorbo with whom she had a joint ticket under RPN in the 2007. 'The party congress and primaries where Omo-Agege claimed to have emerged the governorship candidate was held without recourse to due process as spelt out in the 2006 Electoral Act and the constitution of the party.
But Omo-Agege said Madezia claim that being a deputy governorship candidate in 2007 qualifies her to be the automatic candidate after the demise of Azorbo is contrary to what the law says. 'INEC have the right to ask a political party to produce a candidate and I also have the right to choose my deputy,' he said.