By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Vincent Ujumadu
RESULTS on ground in PDP congresses are often not reflected in the result sheets that come out of the PDP national secretariat.
So the practice is for diligent contestants and party officials to proceed to Abuja once the formality of the congress is over to monitor or police the results.
So, it was not surprising that once the ward congresses finished across the state that party officials and many aspirants proceeded to Abuja to mount vigil at the PDP national secretariat.
One of the first to check out was Mr. Ejike Oguebego, chairman of the faction led by Chief Chris Uba. 978 delegates were expected to have emerged from the congress conducted by the faction which remarkably is the one recognized by INEC but not by the party.
At least two of the aspirants disclosed that their joint agreement between 11 of the 12 aspirants who participated in the ward congress conducted by Ken Emeakayi was that they would all go to their wards for the congress and not influence the officials from neighbouring states.
“But we never knew that we had a Judas among us,” one of the aspirants told Vanguard yesterday as he alleged that one of the 11 hijacked officials from some of the neighbouring states and dazed them with money so that the officials lost their direction to the wards where they were supposed to supervise the congresses and rather went to the moneybag’s house where a list of delegates favourable to the moneybag was written.
Many of them going to Abuja are said to have gone with petitions against the “saboteur”.
PDP aspirants brave the odds against INEC
Fears that the PDP ward congresses conducted by the Ken Emekayi faction of the party could be declared invalid are being pooh-poohed by some party stakeholders who are standing on what they claim as the provisions of the Electoral Act which stipulates that INEC should observe the congresses quite unlike the provision of the former act which gives the commission the right to monitor.
“INEC can only observe and it has no role in the congresses,” one of the aspirants told Vanguard yesterday.
Meanwhile, one of the more formidable aspirants, Senator Andy Uba chose to sit it out and participate in the congress organized by the Ejike Oguebego faction loyal to Chief Chris Uba, younger brother of Senator Andy Uba.
Comrade Nwoye returns
The past two years have been undoubtedly challenging for Comrade Tony Nwoye, one time national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS and chairman of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP during the 2007 elections.
In 2011, he contested for a seat in the House of Representatives and believing he won, he became one of the chief mobilisers for Aminu Waziri Tambuwal thinking that his action would give him a juicy committee position in the House of Representatives. He did not even get to see any juice as he was not inaugurated on account of legal and other intrigues characteristic of elections in Anambra State.
He has remained outside the chambers of the House of Representatives despite a court victory.
Comrade Nwoye subsequently set his eyes on the governorship and after paying the N11 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms, he was screened out by the Gubernatorial Screening Committee allegedly for irregularities in his tax papers.
That decision was reversed by the Appeal Committee, which upheld his claims and now Comrade Nwoye is back in contention to slug it out against 12 other nominees including his one time patron, Senator Andy Uba.
The Nwoye camp was buoyant following his clearance and are claiming to be in good position in the delegates count.
APGA aspirants move to Abuja
Tomorrow’s ward congresses to be conducted by APGA promises to be a fight to finish given the antecedents of some of the major contestants hoping to fly the party’s flag in the election.
Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, erstwhile executive director of Fidelity Bank, Willy Obiano and former Secretary to the State Government, SSG Osalaka Obaze who also has a rich pedigree in academia are among the intellectuals in the field. Can they measure and slug it out with the same zeal that the professional politicians are likely to do?
Yesterday, the delegates took a break from their campaigns and strategizing sessions in Anambra to relocate to Abuja for the screening before the party’s screening committee which is meeting them today in Abuja.
How would Maxi have acted?
Maxi Okwu, many would remember was the veritable political activist who was with Chekwas Okorie and Victor Umeh in the first days of APGA. He subsequently lost out in the power struggle and proceeded to found the Citizens Peoples Party, CPP which did not fly.
Though he was ousted from APGA by Umeh and Governor Obi, but after many years when it became convenient, Obi sought him out, probably believing that he, Okwu was the only one with the political capacity and acumen to match Umeh.
They almost succeeded, but Umeh fought back and today Umeh is in full control of APGA and dictating the nomination process for the party’s gubernatorial candidate. Many are wondering where Okwu is now and how he could have directed APGA’s nomination process had he won the battle.
Orjiako to mediate between Ngige and Okonkwo
The former Anambra State chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Chief Pat Orjiakor has been named the interim state chairman of the brand new All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
In his position he is expected to lead the arbitration team when two of the party’s major contenders for the governorship, Senators Chris Ngige and Annie Okonkwo pull out their gloves. It would not be an easy task.
That is not to underestimate the prospects of the third known aspirant in the fledgling APC, Mr. Godwin Ezemo.
Remarkably, Orjikaor belonged to the former ANPP and would not be suspected of having politically primordial tendencies.
His adoption as the interim state chairman of APC was announced during a meeting of the party in Awka attended by two governorship aspirants of the party, Okonkwo and Ezemo.
Both aspirants said Orjiakor has worked very hard to keep APC together since the merger plans began and believe that he is eminently qualified to lead the party to victory in the governorship election.