By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & By VINCENT UJUMADU
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has written the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, asking it not to tamper with its nomination of Mr. Tony Nwoye as its candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
In a letter to the commission dated Friday September 13, 2013 the PDP through its counsel, J.K. Gadzama, alerted the commission to reports in the media where it was alleged that Senator Andy Uba had been upheld as the party’s candidate for the election upon the order of the courts.
In the letter, signed by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama and Managing Partner, J.N Egwuonwu Esq., it was deposed that the judgment of the court ordering the parties to the dispute on the legitimacy of the Anambra State PDP executive should maintain the status quo, however, did not in any way infer that the nomination of Nwoye through the primary conducted by the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC should be upturned.
Noting that the conduct of gubernatorial primaries is the exclusive function of the NEC of political parties as stipulated by Section 87 of the Electoral Act, the letter said that a change of leadership even if enforced on the party cannot alter the job procedurally done by the NEC which produced Nwoye as the party’s candidate.
Integrity of the commission
While appealing to Jega to maintain the integrity of the commission under his leadership, the PDP while referring to the order of the Federal High Court asking the parties in Anambra State to maintain the status quo, wrote: “Sadly, this order of court, most especially the third paragraph which states that the 1st and 2nd Defendants (the Peoples Democratic Party, and the Independent National Electoral Commission) should recognise and deal with the 1st Plaintiff (Ejike Ogbuebego) in all matters in Anambra State has been badly misconstrued and the position of the court deliberately and mischeviously misrepresented.
Some media houses even reported that the Court had upheld Andy Uba’s nomination as the PDP Anambra State Gubernatorial Candidate when nothing of the sort transpired in court.
Maintaining that the court order “does not in any way relate to the nomination and election of Hon. Tony Nwoye as the Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Anambra State (which nomination and selection has not been invalidated or nullified by any court in Nigeria), rather it is with respect to who is the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Anambra State.
“The issue of who is the valid gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Anambra State does not in any way concern the state chairman of the party in Anambra State; rather it is a function of the National Executive Committee of the party,” Gadzama wrote .
He made copious references to judicial pronouncements which he said were in accordance to Section 87 (1)(4)(b)(i) of the Electoral Act as amended which he said “confirmed that only the National Executive Committee of the party has the power to conduct primaries for governorship elections in Nigeria.”
“Therefore, the fact that the Court directed the party to recognise Ejike Oguebego and work with him in respect of its affairs in Anambra State does not translate to the recognition of Andy Uba who never participated in the primaries organised by the National Executive Committee of the party. Andy Uba cannot therefore by any form of ingenuity become the Anambra State PDP Gubernatorial Candidate when he was never an aspirant along with several others at the Primary Election that was transmitted by media houses in Nigeria and watched both nationally and globally.
“Your esteemed commission is therefore urged to and enjoined to tow the path of legality and accept the nomination form of Hon. Tony Nwoye who is the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for Anambra State, having won the primaries of August 24, 2013 organsied by the only appropriate National organ of the Party that has the constitutional and statutory powers to do so, to the exclusion of all other organs.
“This recognition is necessary to ensure that the polity is not unduly overheated as the Commission’s silence on the issue has led to misconceptions, most notably the recent report by media houses that Dr. Andy Uba had been declared the Anambra State gubernatorial candidate by the Federal High Court.
“The Commission is therefore urged to recognise Hon. Tony Nwoye as the Anambra State Gubernatorial Candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party as required by law. His name has already been submitted to your Commission.”
The letter was copied to the Secretary of INEC, Chairman Legal Services Committee of INEC, Director of Legal Services, INEC, Federal Commissioner, Political Party Monitoring INEC, Director Political Party Monitoring, INEC, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, national chairman of PDP and the Acting National Secretary of PDP among others.
Ubah kicks off campaign in style
THE Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah has kicked off his campaign at the famous Holy Trinity Cathedral field, Onitsha in style with a mission statement that his vision for Anambra State is bigger than whatever fears he had been made to face.
Addressing supporters, Ubah said he had gone through pains in the course of wanting to serve Anambra people. He insisted that he is not deterred because he is determined to take the state to a higher level.
He said: “My Bible tells me that anything that will be fruitful will be achieved through hard work. Many people have been boasting that they will stop me, but I believe in God to take care of every situation. I don’t want to over advertize myself, but I want to assure the people of this state that I am prepared for this race.
“I have no godfather, but I have God Almighty who has been directing our affairs. When other political parties are busy fighting each other, we are busy preparing for the election and with your support, we will reach our destination,” he said.
Ubah said he believed in the ability of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega to conduct free and fair election in November and urged the electorate to ensure that their votes counted.
Essentially, he listed his priorities if elected governor to include provision of adequate security, building of super infrastructure, industrialization, job creation, youth empowerment and provision of quality health care services, among others.
National chairman of LP, Mr. Dan Nwanyanwu said Ubah is currently facing what Governor Olusegun Mimiko faced while he was campaigning in Ondo State, adding that those who are saying that they own President Goodluck Jonathan are not telling the truth because the president is also a very good friend of LP.
Nwanyanwu said: “Lagos State government deported Igbos and one of those who want to govern Anambra State said they are right in doing that. When LP forms government here in Anambra State, we won’t deport Yorubas, Hausas or anybody because they are all Nigerians.
When Governor Mimiko faced a similar situation in Ondo, he did not deport anybody, but he rather built a modern market for the Igbos where they are doing their business happily. That is the kind of thing LP government under Ubah will do.”
According to him, Ifeanyi Ubah is a self –made young man who has a lot of ideas on how to develop Anambra State and should therefore be given the opportunity to do so.
Waiting for the final list of candidates
Tomorrow is the last day for the substitution of names of candidates by the various political parties for the November 16 election and there are indications that there might be surprises.
Such surprises are expected from the PDP and other smaller political parties that have been waiting to adopt some of the candidates that failed to make it during their party primaries.
Also, it was gathered weekend that the churches are deeply involved in the selection of deputies for some of the political parties that have selected their candidates.
For instance, when a governorship candidate of a political party hinted of a name of a member of the Anglican Church, the Bishop in charge of his Diocese invited the said deputy governorship aspirant for questioning.
The man’s name is among those that will be submitted to INEC tomorrow.