Oduah, Uba, Metuh, Reps seek postponement of Congress
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
LAGOS—DAYS AFTER the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP lost the governorship election in Anambra State, the state chapter of the party has been thrown into crises with the chairman of the state chapter, Prof. ABC Nwosu tendering his resignation.
Even more, party stakeholders including members of the National Assembly, have petitioned the national chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi for a postponement of the state congress.
The demand by the petitioners was anchored on the state of flux following the governorship election loss and the death of the foundation chairman of the party, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, who is from the state.
Their contention, Vanguard gathered yesterday is, however, being seriously opposed by the National Secretary, Senator Ben Obi who is from the state, who it was claimed was angling for the conduct of the congress as scheduled.
Senator Makarfi told Vanguard yesterday that the national leadership was weighing the issues raised in the petition against the claims raised by those aligned to Senator Obi.
The petition to Makarfi is against the background of the fact by the party stakeholders that the resignation of Nwosu, the loss of the governorship election and the death of Ekwueme have left the party in a flux which would require sometime for them to recover from. The petitioners also claimed that going ahead with the congress this weekend would make party members object of mockery as it would mean an insult on Ekwueme who they claim brought the party to the state.
The signatories to the petition include Senator Stella Oduah, five members of the House of Representatives including Obinna Chidoka, Eucharia Azodo, Emeka Anohu, Chris Azubogu and Ben Nwankwo. Chief Chris Uba, a member of the Board of Trustees, BoT; immediate past National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh; former minister, Prince John Emeka; Chief Okey Ezenwa, Chief Mike Nwakalor, Chief Linus Ukachukwu. Dr. Alex Obiogbolu and the minority leader of the State House of Assembly, Chukwuka Onyema.
The petition read in part:
“There exists a clear crisis of confidence arising from the result of the elections and any attempt to cover it up by going ahead with the congresses will not augur well for the rebuilding process.
“The result of the election, where PDP lost all the 21 Local Government Areas and over 90 per cent of the 365 wards in the State, calls more for self examination, cleansing, remorse and genuine reconciliation.
“The sudden death of Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the widely acclaimed father and co-founder of the PDP, has thrown committed and dedicated party members into serious mourning. Party members and other responsible citizens of the State will view it as highly insensitive and disrespectful for PDP to attempt a State Party Congress at this time.
“Consequent upon the foregoing and with the greatest respect to our revered national chairman and members of the National Working Committee, we submit the following prayers.
“1. That the State Party Congress be postponed until after the National Convention.
“2. That only statutory delegates be allowed to attend the National Convention from Anambra State
“3.That the Southeast Zonal Working Committee be mandated to oversee the affairs of Anambra PDP until a free and fair state congress is conducted.”