Prince Kenneth Emeakayi was few months ago adopted by stakeholders including national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as the chairman of the Anambra State chapter of the party. His emergence followed more than 10 years of intractable infighting that led to multiplication of factions within the party. Since his emergence, Prince Emeakayi has attempted to cobble the different factions within a united body. In this telephone interview he spoke on the party’s plans and prospects ahead of tomorrow’s governorship primaries. Excerpts:
By EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR
By our constitution it is the national chairman that sends the list of candidates to the national body. How many delegates are you expecting for the primary election?
In all we are expecting about 1,500 delegates.
So how far can you say that the crisis in the chapter is over given the continued assertions of Mr. Ejike Ogbuebego?
Just like in every other endeavour and even in families, you cannot rule out the possibility that when the entire family has agreed on something one person may still want to say, “I do not agree.” But I know for sure and authoritatively that the meeting where the National Working Committee resolved the issue of Anambra that all of us were in attendance. Ejike Ogbuebego was there in person, his benefactor, Chief Chris Uba was there in person, Senator Andy Uba and all the factional leaders were there.
After every consideration and when the national chairman pronounced me as the legitimate chairman and asked everybody to work with me, Ogbuebego was the first to speak in that meeting and he accepted the decisions of that meeting and pledged to go back to Anambra to work with me. After him, his benefactor, Chief Chris Uba spoke in the same manner and this is verifiable.
It has been alleged that Senator Andy Uba is not participating in your primaries. Why?
I cannot say so. What I mean by that is that in all the meetings I have called for gubernatorial aspirants in my capacity as state chairman, Senator Andy Uba attended all and he signed and I have records of where he signed.
Response to journalists
The only function he did not attend which people read meanings into was the last rally we held in Awka, but I read his response to journalists where he said that he was part of that rally and where he said that he had flight problems. By nature what I take from people is what they tell me. Saturday will be there for us to know the truth. It is only when Senator Andy Uba fails to participate in that primaries that we can say otherwise.
Have you been able to link up with Chief Chris Uba on these insinuations?
Well, I have. You know because he was at that meeting where the decision was taken and he pledged to work with me, so when I heard the rummour about his people trying to do something different from that, I placed a call to him and he denied knowledge of it. As I told you, I take people by what they say to me in as much as his later actions did not conform with what he told me, but I am holding him to what he told me that he stands by what he said.
But Chief Chris Uba has been laying relatively low in this election?
Well, Ejike is Chris Uba and Chris Uba is Ejike. Why did I say so? A lot of people who are supporting me may not have liked my face but, people are supporting me because they believe that in terms of capability that I can deliver.
On the other hand people also feel that the PDP should be a public thing, not a family thing. This is because you know that the last chairman of Chris Uba’s group was Benji Udeazor, now the relationship is that the woman that gave birth to Benyi Udeazor and the person that gave birth to Chris Uba’s wife are of the same parents. Now, Ejike’s mother happens to be the elder sister to Benji Udeazor’s mother. What it then means is that it is the same parents that gave birth to Chris Uba’s wife, Ejike’s mother and Benji’s mother. And our people felt, no way.
You can quote me, Chris Uba after that meeting at the national secretariat, I held another meeting with Chris Uba, Senator Andy Uba, Senator Ugochukwu Uba, Chief Olisa Metuh and a few others from Anambra and at that meeting Chief Chris Uba said that one of the reasons he was happy with my adoption is that I have the capacity to drive PDP.