PDP faction kicks against rescheduled PDP primaries in Ebonyi

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“If you see your brother or leader breaking the law, will you join him to break the law too? After the primaries, those that were nominated went to court about it.”

Candidates of factional PDP elected in the party’s primary elections between May 28 and 29 from Silas Onu-led side said they would not be part of any fresh primaries in Ebonyi.

The group made their position known at a news conference on Thursday in Abakaliki, appealing to the relevant organs of the party including the National Executive Committee (NEC), National Working Committee (NWC) and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate, to intervene to save the party from looming crisis.

Lazarus Ogbe, spokesperson for the group and senatorial candidate for Ebonyi Central, noted that participating in any rescheduled party primaries in Ebonyi meant encouraging illegality and unconstitutionality.

He said under the law, political parties were not allowed to produce two candidates for a particular elective position in a given constituency.

According to the group, the PDP primary elections conducted in Ebonyi that produced the House of Assembly, House of Representatives, senatorial and governorship candidates met all requirements of the Electoral Act and party guidelines for the primaries.

Mr Ogbe added that the primary elections were credible, transparent, free, fair and remained authentic since the exercises were monitored and observed by relevant authorities, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and the media.

“If you see your brother or leader breaking the law will you join him to break the law too? After the primaries, those that were nominated went to court about it. So, we cannot deliberately join people that are poised to break the law to break the law equally,” noted the PDP faction. “So, if they have sent another letter for the reconduct of the primary elections; well, we have done the elections as they directed.”

Aspirants loyal to Tochukwu Okorie, a factional chairman, abstained from the primaries conducted by Mr Onu on May 28 and 29.

Ifeanyochukwu Odii, who contested against other governorship aspirants, was elected and returned as PDP’s candidate in the election monitored and observed by INEC and security agencies.

However, a letter dated May 31 and addressed to the INEC chairman, which was jointly signed by PDP chair Iyiorcha Ayu and the party secretary Samuel Anyanwu, cancelled the May 28 and 29 congresses.

The letter added that fresh primaries would be conducted between June 4 and 5 to elect the party’s candidates for the 2023 general elections.

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