As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conducts its Governorship primary today, certain federal lawmakers in the National Assembly have given indication to withdraw from the election in their respective states.
Former Deputy Senate President and governorship aspirant in Enugu State, Ike Ekeweradu; Minority Leader and governorship aspirant in Abia State, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Chairman House Committee on Judiciary and governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State, Honourable Onofiok Luke, in separate statements disclosed their intention to stay away from the primaries.
Senator Ayaribe in the statement describes the process as shambolic since it was being conducted without deference to guidelines given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said: “The essence was to create an unfettered democratic space and a level playing field for all aspirants vying for all elective offices in the state, to participate equally in the primary elections.
“That was not the case and of course what we are witnessing is a shambolic process driven by a procured court injunction.
“To make matters worse, the use of only imaginary 3-man Adhoc delegates to the exclusion of the party’s statutory delegates in the primary elections to elect our candidates even when INEC the nation’s electoral umpire, has unequivocally stated that no congress held in Abia State for that purpose, has no doubt put the party and her candidates in a quagmire.
“The implication for our party is grave and as such has put all ongoing primary exercises on quicksand.”
Senator Ekweremadu who announced his withdrawal in a statement by the Director-General of his campaign, Charles Ogbo Asogwa, urged his supporters to remain peaceful.
Honourable Luke in a statement entitled, “When Reality Stares us in the Face,” disclosed that his teeming supporters have been shut out of the list of adhoc delegates while there is no room for statutory delegates since President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to give the much-anticipated assent to the amendment to the 2022 Electoral Act.
His statement read in part: “I entered the ongoing Governorship race of our dear State to change the narrative in the political system and governance by seeking more inclusion through our Building Together and Growing Together agenda. We took our message to all the 31 Chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state. That message was well accepted by members of our party and soundly resonated with Akwa Ibom citizens. Our hope of victory was dependent on God using the delegates at the PDP primaries and ultimately Akwa Ibom people at the general election. This was our conviction and it is still our conviction today.
“However, unfolding realities within our party and the Nation have called for a reconsideration of my participation in the gubernatorial primaries of our party today. This is for the simple fact that we will not be going into this election with our largest support base which is the statutory delegates. We also do not have any of the ad hoc delegates as our supporters who bought forms to be Adhoc delegates were excluded from the process. This position they have stated in a formal protest to the national headquarters of our party and have also sought redress.
“This Statement would have been issued much earlier than now but we were waiting and hoping that the President would assent to the amended electoral bill 2022 which would have corrected the oversight. As of this morning, Mr President is yet to assent to it.
“Consequently, I will not be participating in today’s governorship primary election. I make this statement after due consultation with the leadership of the Amazing Grace Campaign team and representatives of my support base.
“I am prayerfully and politically consulting on the way forward, and I will communicate the same in the coming weeks.
“My sincere gratitude to our supporters. You have shown me immeasurable goodwill. I still count on your strength going forward. With you, we will continue to press towards an Akwa Ibom that works for all its citizens.”
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Withdrawal trails PDP primaries… Withdrawal trails PDP primaries… Withdrawal trails PDP primaries…