By Maximus Uba
ASIDE the performance of Governor Peter Obiâ€™s administration since he took office few years ago from Mr Chris Ngige, one disturbing feature in Anambra State today is the continual dust raised by members and non members of the State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Said to be the first chapter to be so formed after General Abdulsalami Abubakar lifted ban on political activities in 1998, several observers are at a loss at the determined effort of people, some prominent, some wealthy and other just serial trouble makers in creating confusion in the once virile chapter.
Crisis in the chapter according to several pundits took root when Ngige who was sponsored into office as governor began disagreeing with the leader of the party in the state, Mr Chris Uba, unarguably a grassroots man. Because Ngige was in government at the time as governor and had free money to spend, some hawks at the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the party who profit from crisis in state chapters had urged him to continue the fight with Uba, a fight that was almost turning dirty until the court put paid to his seat as governor, Ngige thereafter decamped to the Action Congress with his followers.
The second aspect of crisis that visited the chapter actually came from some members who left to find shade elsewhere in their bid to govern the state but spuriously found their way back to party with loads of money at their behest and thereafter began attempt to hijack the soul of the party. In this bracket are the likes of Mr. Nicholas Ukachukwu, a former member of the House of Representative as well as the All Nig
eria Peoples Party governorship candidate in the 2007 election.
Because he believed that everything in life has a price, Ukachukwu invested so heavily both at home and in Abuja wooing people he thought would give him the PDP state structures but the recent resignation of his factional chairman, Barrister Obi Okoye and his return to the fold of Emodi led executive destabilized the man, his faction as well as his followers who if counted may not be up to fifty members in all.
Instructively the fall of Ukachukwu was significant in that other motley crowd of factions fizzled out as since Ukachukwu cannot do it, who else will. With the collapse of Ukachukwu faction, observers had thought erroneously that the stage managed fight over the soul of Anambra PDP would be over while leaders will have no option than to queue behind Emodi led Executive. Sadly many were surprised to hear about a meeting held on August 18, 2009 by some â€œyesterday stakeholdersâ€ of the party from the South -East at the Government House, Enugu where they endorsed the dissolution of the State executive
committee and proposed fresh congresses at all levels.
At the said meeting, were the likes Governor Ikedi Ohakim who has been doing everything to get at Chris Uba because of his friendship with Sen. I. G. Araraume, and others like Ogbulafor, Pius Anyim, Olisa Metu majority of whom are not even from Anambra State. For avoidance of doubt, nobody is quarelling with some self-styled political leaders holding a meeting, nobody is even quarrelling with their call for fresh congress but there is everything bad in people appointing themselves, holding courts without authority from right quartersâ€™ even issuing an unwarranted communiquÃ©.
But like a bad decision which cannot stand the taste of time, the communique released by the hurriedly put up eminent group of ten was instantly, and angrily rejected by the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee as according to them, the so-called stakeholders did not have the powers to override the decision earlier given by the National Working Committee that the Emodi Executive remains the legal Executive. Hear Prof. Rufai Alkali, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP â€œConsistent with our determination to enrich democracy, and party discipline, we wish to make it clear that the Executive committee led by Messrs Uchenna Emodi remains the only recognized committee and must continue to discharge its duties.
Indeed and I affirm, the decision of the National Working Committee cannot be reviewed or set aside by any of the zones, besides, the forum though attended by some respectable leaders of our party from the South- East does not enjoy recognition by the constitution and therefore cannot legislate upon or upturn decisions duly taken by the National Working Committee or the National Executive committee of the Partyâ€. stated Rufai Alkali.
Political watchers therefore see the strongly cast position of the National Working Committee as a way of reading riot act to those who are not done with creating factions in Anambra PDP but who go around sponsoring amorphous meetings to thwart the decision of the National Working Committee concerning the Emodi led executive and other decisions of the committee. Basking on the above development which has given it a legal cover, the Emodi led executive was reported again to have extended its hands of fellowship to warring members to come back and contribute their quota towards recovering the State from the Peter Obiâ€™s administration.
Hear Emodi â€œInformation available to my office confirms that the Governorship election in Anambra State will most likely take place on or before February 6, 2010 if this so, this continual bickering by our members over leadership is misplaced. I promise to provide equal chance and opportunity to all aspirants, I have even downed my own ambition to run in the interest of peaceâ€ Emodi said.
Determined therefore to move forward especially considering that time is no longer on its hands, the Emodi leadership last week directed more than over hundred governorship aspirants of the PDP to flag off their campaigns among party members. A statement signed by its publicity secretary Barr. Afam Ilunoh said while it was waiting for guidelines from the National Working Committee for the conduct of primaries, governorship aspirants can make their intentions known to both National and State Executive as well to members relying on the provisions of the Electoral Act.
Ilunoh said the party ought to make its governorship candidate known to the Independent National Electoral Commission. (INEC) 120 days to the next election now slated for February 6. Already several governorship aspirants in several statements over the weekend applauded the latest decision of the National Working Committee to reaffirm its support for the Emodi led executive. One of them, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu congratulated the NWC for avoiding double speak.
Obiogbolu urged Emodi executive to carry everybody along including the army of governorship aspirants and others in several factions. Obiogbolu is not alone, Senator Emma Anosike another governorship aspirant applauded the party headquarters as well as the National Working Committee on the affirmation of Emodi led Executive. Anosike then enjoined Emodi to be fair, carry everybody and be painstaking in talking decision affecting all members of the chapter.
It will be recalled that the National Working Committee had in April this year offered full and unconditional recognition to the Emodi led executive unarguably the most organized with grassroots membership spread across the length and breadth of the State. The present affirmation and recognition according to observers will finally put to rest as to who is the authentic Executive in the state but observers said the beauty of it all is that it came time enough to enable the committee prepare to recover the governorship it lost in 2005 due to infighting and disagreement. Welcome home the Anambra State PDP as led by Uchenna Emodi, however we urge fairness
*Maximus Uba lives in Mbaise. Nigeria