‘PDP risks not having candidates in Ebonyi’
By Charles Onyekwere
An Abuja-based Elections Transparency Group (ETG) has raised the alarm that opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) may not have a governorship and other candidates in the 2023 general elections in Ebonyi State.
The group said it’s no longer acceptable when political parties conduct primary elections, cancel them to conduct fresh ones just to accommodate interest.
The ETG said in a release issued at the weekend by its Convener, Dr. Kazeem Adekunle, that the best option before the PDP was to have accepted result of May 29, 2022, primary election of the party in Ebonyi State that produced Dr. Ifeanyi-Chukwuma Odii as the governorship candidate.
The body said unless the PDP National Working Committee(NWC) has a motive of making sure that the party does not participate in the 2023 general elections in Ebonyi State, there should be no reason anyone will contemplate jettisoning a primary election duly monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
ETG said “with the position of INEC affirming that its report of the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District APC primary, as submitted to INEC headquarters in Abuja, was final, it should be clear enough that no one can upturn the results of the May 29, 2022, primary election of the PDP in Ebonyi State.
“The same way APC cancelled already conducted primary in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District was the way PDP said it cancelled the primary election in Ebonyi State.
“Also, the same way INEC in its report validated the APC primary for Akwa Ibom NorthWest Senatorial District was the same way INEC affirmed that of Ebonyi State.
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“Therefore, if INEC is insisting that it will not recognize Senator Godswill Akpabio, who emerged from the APC fresh primary in Akwa Ibom, it is certain that INEC will also not recognize Senator Obinna Ogba as PDP governorship candidate as well as others who emerged from the party’s rescheduled exercise of June 4 and 5, 2022, because the primaries were not monitored by INEC.
“Most importantly, Federal High Court, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has nullified the June 4 and 5, 2022 exercise and declared Dr. Odii as the authentic governorship candidate of the party.
“It, therefore, behoves the PDP to put its house in order and act in accordance with the Electoral Act 2022, else, the party risks not having candidates in Ebonyi State.”