From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Former Commissioner for Information and Orientation in Ebonyi state, Chief Abia Onyike, has insisted that a business mogul from the southern part of the state, Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, is the authentic gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in the state.
Onyike who is the Director of Media and Publicity, Anyichuks Campaign Organization, stated this in a statement in Abakaliki on Sunday.
He was reacting to a press conference addressed on Saturday by the Senator representing Ebonyi Central in the National Assembly, Chief Obinna Ogba, wherein he claimed he was the authentic governorship candidate of the PDP in Ebonyi state.
Odii and Ogba had emerged candidates of the party in a parallel primaries held in the state.
The national leadership of the PDP had in a statement by it’s Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, cancelled the primary that produced Odii, claiming that the panel that conducted the election was not properly constituted.
But Odii approached a Federal High Court in Abakaliki which delivered a judgement on the 7th of June and upheld his election as the candidate of the party.
The party however ignored the judgement, and proceeded to issue Ogba with a certificate of return as the recognized candidate of the party in the state.
But Onyike in his statement said the crisis rocking the opposition party could be amicably resolved to enable the party move forward.
He said” the crisis rocking the PDP in Ebonyi state is a self-inflicted logjam which came about because of weak leadership. However, the crisis cannot persist without a resolution and the time to resolve it has come, if the party must rise to the occasion in the state as a liberation movement in the hands of Ebonyi people to rescue themselves from the atrocities of the incumbent APC Government in the state.
“The resolution of the crisis could be achieved not through falsehood or the telling of blatant lies to the suffering people of Ebonyi. Our teeming members and the ordinary people on the streets need to be told the true situation of things so that they can face the situation squarely and take their destiny into their own hands.
“The PDP Governorship Candidate today is Dr Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odi. He won the Primary Election conducted by the PDP on 28 and 29 of May, 2022. The 3-man Delegates List used for the Primary Election was the outcome of the State PDP Congress of 7th May, 2022 which was eventually recognised by the PDP National Working Committee(NWC). That Primary Election was properly authorized by the PDP NWC and was peacefully conducted with the INEC monitoring the exercise in line with the Electoral Guidelines and the 2022 Electoral Act. An attempt by the opposition to cancel the successfully conducted Primary Election suffered a set-back.
” The parallel Primaries conducted on the 4th and 5th of June, was an anti-democratic intervention by some powerful forces who were hell-bent on reversing the popular will of the people. The ruling of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki on 7th June, 2022 restoring the authenticity of the first Primaries which elected Dr Odi was a historic confirmation of the democratic will of Ebonyi PDP cadres as against the dictatorship and imposition by a few Godfathers.
“On the 10th of June, 2022, the National body of the Party obeyed the Court Order by forwarding the names of all the candidates elected during the legitimate Primaries of 28 and 29 June, 2022 to INEC and the processing of their forms have commenced.
“The PDP Governorship Candidate in the person of Dr Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odi is willing and ready to provide leadership and to reconcile the members of the party after the divisions arising from the internal power struggle”