Monday, 8 December 2014

Mark, others emerge PDP candidates as Anambra PDP Aspirants hold pararell primary, declares self winner

All those who contested for People Democratic Party (PDP) primary in Anambra state named each oher winner's of the pararell primary conducted.

Following the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Assembly primaries held at the weekend in almost all the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Chris Emeka Azubogu has emerged winner of the party's ticket to Represent Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo Federal Constituency of Anambra State, in the lower chambers of the Nigerian National assembly.
Hon. Azubogu will be contesting for the House of Representative seat against other opposition parties for the second time, having been previously elected to the House in 2011, on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The House member who is the current Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market, polled a total of 105 votes against his opponents Dr. Harry Ohaneze and Julius Oforma who polled 15 and 3 votes respectively.
Consequently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer, Barr C.J. Chinwuba declared Azubogu as winner, pitching him against contenders of other opposition political party in the forthcoming 2015 General Elections.
Similarly, Senate President David Mark has also clinched the PDP's for the Benue South senatorial zone.
Mark won the ticket when the major contender and former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of defence during General Sani Abacha regime, Chief Mike Onoja, stepped down from the contest at the last minute before the election.
The returning officer who declared the result for Benue South said the primary election in the zone was based on consensus, adding that the party also followed the rules by affirmation. He however declared that Mark polled 384 votes while five were voided.
In Akwa Ibom, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa-Ibom State, yesterday, emerged the unopposed Senatorial  candidate of the PDP for Ikot Ekpene zone. The incumbent, Senator Aloysius Etuk had earlier stepped down for him as a result of numerous consultations held with major stakeholders in Ini and Ikono Federal Constituency.
While in Plateau State, incumbent Governor Jonah Jang became one of the serving governors to be given a senatorial ticket. He got 273 votes to emerge as the PDP Senatorial candidate for Plateau North Senatorial zone. He defeated former Ambassador to Ukraine, Ibrahim Kasai who scored 18 votes. 291 delegates participated in the exercise.
All other federal constituencies where the exercise took place recorded success as Governor Jang's candidates emerged winners.
The situation in Abia states points at Abia, Governor Theodore Orji as winner of the party's ticket for Abia Central unopposed. He scored a total of 221 votes to be declared the winner by the returning officer, Chief Ndidi Okereke.
The election which was monitored by INEC officials was held at the Umuahia Township Stadium amid tight security provided by the Abia police Command whose commissioner, Adamu Ibrahim was physically present to supervise his officers and men.
Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, who was screened and cleared to contest the election with Governor Orji, boycotted the exercise, citing lack of confidence in the processes leading to the primaries as her reason. She had alleged that the whole exercise was manipulated and skewed towards some preferred aspirants in the state.
In the Presidents home state, Bayelsa, former Director General, Nigerian Television Authority, (NTA), and current Chairman of Silverbird, Mr. Ben Murray Bruce emerged as PDP candidate representing Bayelsa East Senatorial district.
In Bayelsa East Senatorial District Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce polled 138 votes beating Mr. Anthony Ikoli, SAN, (11 votes), Nelson Belief (two votes), Mrs Irene Digitemie Opuene (four votes). Austin Dressman and Professor Ayebaemi Spiff withdrew from the race.

Meanwhile, chaotic primaries held in Anambra state has led to claims that former Aviation Minister Stella Oduah, incumbent Senator Andy Uba, and Ms. Uche Ekwunife had emerged as the party’s candidates for the Anambra North, Anambra South, and Anambra Central senatorial zones respectively.

A longstanding member of the party alleged that top party officials at the national headquarters in Abuja had collected N150 million from the declared winners in order to auction off the tickets to them. “They sold the tickets to Chief Mrs. Stella Oduah and Andy Uba to sell the tickets to them,” said the source. He added that Arthur Eze, a billionaire businessman, had also paid N150 million on behalf of Ms. Ekwunife.
A few days ago, several members of the party had told us that President Goodluck Jonathan had indicated that he wanted the state chapter of the PDP to allocate the senatorial tickets to Ms. Oduah and Mr. Uba, while another sources claimed that the First Lady Patience Jonathan had coerced Mr. Eze to back Ms. Ekwunife, whom he had earlier disparaged as disreputable.
One source said the national headquarters of the PDP had appointed electoral panels to fraudulently deliver the party’s senatorial tickets to the three candidates who had paid N150 million each.
Some party members told us that, whereas Ms. Oduah and Mr. Uba pretended to hold primaries in Nteje and Aguata respectively, Ms. Ekwunife sneaked into Ekwueme Square in Awka at 4 a.m. and, with her dubious collaborators from Abuja, simply declared herself the winner.
According to them, three aspirants in Anambra Central zone all confirmed that the purported primary did not hold. “We challenge Uche [Ekwunife] to show on national TV any video evidence of the purported primary, including the delegates, the aspirants who contested with her, the votes scored, and the names of the members of the electoral panel,” one of the candidates said.
“The charade that Mrs. Ekwunife and her dubious collaborators contrived at 4 a.m. amounts to unprecedented impunity,” another of the aspirants said. He vowed, “We will definitely go to court to challenge this impunity. If the whole farcical exercise is not cancelled, a group of us will go both to court and to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to expose the criminal and civil aspects of this 419 scheme by Uche [Ekwunife] and other desperadoes.”
A coalition of senatorial aspirants from the different zones told SaharaReporters that they would call on President Jonathan and the PDP’s national chairman Muazu to immediately work on setting up a panel to uncover the criminal wing of the party that had devised what one of them called ‘“chere were’ [“wait and take”] kind of primaries spreading like wildfire all over Nigeria.”
One of the aggrieved PDP members in Anambra added that the fraudulent primaries were “threatening the success of the PDP in the 2015 elections and also malnourishing our democracy.” He added: “The now in vogue disdain for due process and rule of law by our leaders is an invitation to chaos and anarchy. In the name of justice, the PDP should reschedule the primaries in Anambra—and inform the aspirants about the venues as well as the names of delegates with immediate effect.”  



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