BY VINCENT UJUMADU & ENYIM ENYIM
AWKA—CONFUSION, Tuesday, trailed Monday’s ward congress of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with factional leaders trading blames and claiming success in the exercise.
At press time, the result of the congress had not been released.
While the PDP leadership supervised the congress in line with the decision to recognize the state executive headed by Prince Kenneth Emeakayi, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from its headquarters supervised another congress conducted by Mr. Ejike Oguebego, who is recognized by INEC as the state chairman.
The congress was to elect three delegates in each of the 326 wards.
Most of the political gladiators and their cronies stationed themselves at the collation centre at the Marble Arch Hotel, Awka, to ensure that their lists were accepted by the congress committee headed by the speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Udeh Okochukwu.
However, INEC officials who monitored the congress conducted by Oguebego faction of the party were sighted yesterday at the ANIDS bus terminal as they were boarding a bus back to Abuja.
It was not clear whether they went with the result they collated.
The commission had earlier said in a statement that it would not monitor the congress conducted by Prince Kenneth Emeakayi.
One significant development of the ward congress was that except Senator Andy Uba, other governorship aspirants subjected themselves to the congress conducted by the party.
When Vanguard visited the collation centre, some of the governorship aspirants were waiting for results from the various local government areas and while some expressed happiness with the outcome of the exercise, others said there was no congress anywhere in their areas.
Factional chairman of PDP recognised by the national leadership of the party, Prince Kenneth Emeakayi could not be reached at press time, but one of his confidants said the state executive of the party was satisfied with the exercise in most wards in the state.
According to him, if there was any problem in some wards, it was not enough to dub the exercise as unsuccessful.
The factional chairman recognized by INEC, Chief Ejike Oguebego insisted that the list of the three-man delegate congress held Monday in the 322 wards of the state by his executive was the authentic one.
Oguebego said: “We had only one congress yesterday( Monday) conducted by the Oguebego PDP-led executive monitored by the officials of the INEC and security agents, including the DSS and the police and it was peaceful. Any other group claiming that they had a parallel congress is mischief calculated at causing confusion.
“The NWC has no option than to accept and receive my list of the three- man delegate congress. INEC has made it clear to them. INEC is the umpire once it comes to election matters of political parties. We are not aware of any parallel congress by any group. I want to make it clear that we are PDP and we are not different from any other PDP that any other person is talking about”.