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Rumbles in PDP over guber, NASS primaries

MUTTERINGS of disaffection arising from the gubernatorial and National Assembly primaries in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were, yesterday, threatening the fabric of the party. Besides the exit already made by disaffected party members prior to the primaries, there were fresh eruptions arising, ironically, from new efforts to manage the pre-primary rumbles.

In Enugu State the last minute agreement between Governor Sullivan Chime and the camp of the National Chairman, Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo, is threatening to rupture the harmony of the Chime camp. Central to the agreement brokered between Chime and Nwodo reportedly at the instance of the Presidency is that Senator Ayogu Eze and all other leading supporters of Governor Chime from Nwodo’s section of the State should be stripped of return tickets to the National Assembly and the State House of Assembly.

In Kwara State, the determined effort of Governor Bukola Saraki to produce a successor not related to him is also posing internal crisis within the party and with the behemoth political machine controlled by his father, Dr. Olusola Saraki.

Post primary rumbles were also being manifested in Abia, Ogun and Zamfara States on account of parallel primaries by different party factions. The squabble reached comical levels in Zamfara where a former Minister of State for Information, Ikra Bilbis, and Governor Mahmuda Shinkafi organized parallel gubernatorial primaries at the Gusau Airstrip and the local motor park respectively.

Deep conspiracy
Meanwhile, the surprising gale of defeat by prominent members of the National Assembly especially purported associates of their governors was, yesterday, fuelling suspicions of possible fight back by the supposedly disaffected National Assembly members.

Senator Chris Anyanwu who was announced to have lost the Imo East senatorial ticket to Dr. Kema Chikwe at the second primaries on Sunday alleged a deep conspiracy in the camp of Governor Ikedi Ohakim to deny her the ticket she claimed she won. She said the lights in the stadium were switched off, Saturday night, when she was headed for victory leading to a repeat primary on Sunday which she claimed she also won but that a contrary result was announced.

Senator Anyanwu, in a petition to the National Assembly Petition Appeal Panel, alleged massive over voting by non-delegates and coercion of delegates notably by officials of the Governor Ohakim inclined New Face of Imo Organisation.

Chime, Nwodo camps
At the end of the reconciliation meeting in Abuja between Governor Chime and Nwodo’s group on Sunday night, both camps reportedly agreed to drop the earlier 50-50 sharing formula for the party structure and elective offices in the state.

The two camps, according to sources, rose from the peace meeting agreeing to leave the Vita Abba-led state executive, the Ward and Local Government executives of the party intact to conduct all the primaries for the April elections.

Rivalry between Bilbis and Shinkafi
The rivalry between erstwhile Minister of State for Information Bilbis and Governor Shinkafi of Zamfara State reached a climax, Sunday night, when both men were returned as PDP gubernatorial candidates in parallel congresses one of which was held at the Gusau airstrip.

The PDP leadership in the state under Ibrahim Mallaha held its congress at the old motor park near Kantin Daji.
Chief Oris Onyiri led four other members of the Special State Congress Committee sent by the national leadership to conduct the election. While announcing the result, Onyiri said the election was conducted in a free and peaceful atmosphere. He added that Shinkafi scored 576 votes while Bilbis got 43 votes in the contest.

Parallel primaries in Abia
Similarly in Abia State, parallel factions of the party organized parallel primaries where Governor Theodore Orji and Chief Ikechi Emenike separately emerged without challengers respectively at the Umuahia Township Stadium and the Okaiuga Nkwoegwu Civic Centre.

At the election that produced Chief Emenike, 643 delegates were accredited to vote. And after voting, 11 of the votes were voided while Emenike scored a total of 632 votes to emerge in the candidate election which had Prof. Mba Uzoukwu as the returning officer.

After the result was announced by the returning officer, Prof. Mba Uzoukwu, Emenike was given the party’s flag by the factional chairman, Chief Ben Etie.

At the other venue the party exco led by Senator Emma Nwaka, Orji polled 718 votes from the 723 delegates that voted to emerge the flag bearer.

The two elections were well attended. The dignitaries that attended the Nwaka faction election included former PDP National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbuluafor, former Senate President, Chief Adophus Wabara, Labour and Productivity Minister, Chief Chukwuemeka Wogu.

Others were Senators Ike Nwachukwu, Uche Chukwumerije, Nkechi Nwaogu, and Enyinnaya Abaribe, serving members of the House of Representative, members of the House of Assembly, among others.

Alternative party platforms
The conduct of the primaries itself caused many former party chieftains to seek alternative party platforms. Vanguard learnt, yesterday that erstwhile Governor of Benue State, Mr. George Akume, was in talks with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, for the purpose of using the party platform.

In Kwara the internal cohesion of the Saraki family was further set at edge after Governor Bukola Saraki organized PDP stalwarts to produce a gubernatorial candidate yesterday.

Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed who emerged from the Kwara South senatorial district is not the choice of the governor’s father who had led his followers to decamp from the party. The elder Saraki is canvassing the election of his daughter and serving senator, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, as successor to his son, Bukola.

Ahmed polled 695 votes to defeat three others aspirants, namely Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa who scored 39 votes while Alhaji Yekini Alabi came far third with 9 votes.

Governor Saraki had, Sudnay, met with all the contestants during which he urged the need to cede the office to Kwara South with a proviso of one term only.

Following that most of the other aspirants from Kwara North and Kwara Central withdrew leaving the duo of Alhaji Yekini Alabi and Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa who insisted on going ahead with the election. After the election which ended early yesterday following delayed commencement of voting on Sunday, the head of the PDP election panel Hon. Musa Adar at 2.50 a.m. declared Abdulfatah the winner.

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Posted by on Jan 10 2011. Filed under Party Politics, Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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