By Tony Edike
THE cold war between Governor Sullivan Chime and the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, over the control of the party’s structure in Enugu State continued Monday with the governor’s camp raising an alarm over alleged plans by Nwodo to influence the results of PDP primaries in the state.
Chime’s political camp told reporters in Enugu yesterday that it had already forwarded a protest letter to the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, informing it “of alleged plot by our National Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, to take undue advantage of his office to manipulate the process of the party primaries in Enugu State.”
Speaking through a former National Auditor of the Party, Barr. Ray Nnaji, the governor’s faction alleged plans to rig the exercise, starting from the Ward primary election “through biased administrative actions meant to favour a certain group of individuals opposed to the re-election bid of Governor Sullivan Chime.”
Nnaji said: “This protest has become necessary in view of the recent ugly development during the last screening exercise of State House of Assembly aspirants in Enugu State as a result of the failed attempts by the national chairman and his supporters to intimidate, influence, blackmail and hijack the entire members of the screening panel and ensure that the exercise will not take place at the state secretariat of the party as directed by the National Working Committee of ou party.”
The former PDP national officer alleged that Enugu State PDP had been in an unnecessary crisis “since the appointment of Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo as the national chairman of the party, following some intrigues by him and his supporters to heat up the political system in Enugu State through falsehood and misrepresentation of issues and facts against the duly conducted state congress of 2008.
“The national chairman and his group have employed all desperate measures aimed at distracting the party and governor of the state to see if such immoral and wicked acts can get the governor to yield to pressure and concede some party structures and elective positions to them.
“We are fully aware that the members of Ward Congress Panel posted to Enugu State were handpicked by the national chairman and are made up of his personal friends and business associates. We are also aware that they have been briefed and directed to work specifically to his instruction without fail on how to manipulate the exercise through adoption of an already prepared list of 3- man Ad-HOC delegates per ward, contrary to what will be the outcome of the ward primary election in the state.
“It is against the backdrop that I am highly compelled to call the attention of the National Working Committee of the Party and other
Stakeholders of the Party to this dangerous move by the National Chairman and to be on the alert to checkmate this fraudulent and undemocratic attempt to rig the party primaries in Enugu State.
“I humbly look forward to the intervention of our esteemed National Working Committee on this sensitive matter.”