NAN – Efforts by the PDP Electoral Committee for Enugu State to organise a unified governorship primary election on Monday failed as some of the aspirants headed different ways for different reasons.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while two of the seven aspirants withdrew from the race, one boycotted it on the ground that the delegates’ list was inconsistent while another organised a parallel primary election.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Asara Asara, had called a meeting of the aspirants with the committee, during which he pleaded with them to abide by the rules.
Asara said the mandate of the committee was to organise one governorship primary election based on the list of delegates given to it from the party’s headquarters.
He said the committee did not have the powers to review some of the complaints raised by the candidates, but would note them in its report.
He also admitted that the list from the party headquarters was different from the one presented by one of the candidates which was a certified true copy from the Federal High Court based on the Nov. 1 ward congresses.
Meanwhile, Mr Chinedu Onu, one of the aspirants, told the committee that he had withdrawn from the race in protest against the party’s handling of the process.
Another aspirant, Mr Anayo Onwuegbu, had in repeated radio advertorial, announced his withdrawal from the race and pledged his support for another aspirant, Rep. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
On the other hand, Sen. Ayogu Eze, who produced the court-certified list of delegates, attended a parallel primary election where he was declared winner by an electoral panel headed by Mr Obi Nkwonta.
Nkwonta said Eze polled 530 votes out the total valid votes of 661 while 11 votes were voided.
Addressing the delegates, the senator said his aim was to take Enugu State to the next level and called on other aspirants to join hands with him to move it forward.
In a similar vein, another aspirant, Dr Sam Onyishi, said he did not join in the primary election because it would amount to “giving credence to an illegality’’.
“The high level of inconsistency in the delegates’ list means that the election cannot be fair. People who voted on Sunday for the senatorial primaries were today (Monday) denied accreditation because their names had disappeared from the list.
“I want to assure my supporters that I am still very much in the race. I have lodged my protest with the national body and many of the delegates had also protested their exclusion,’’ the owner of Peace Mass Transit, said.
The primary, organised by the PDP committee, was attended by three other aspirants, Ugwuanyi; the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Mr Eugene Odo, and a former presidential aide, Onyeke Onyeke.
The results are being awaited.