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PDP Crisis in Enugu Deepens

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The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party in Enugu State has deepened with the National working Committee of the party rejecting Ikeje Asogwa, managing director of the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation whom Governor Sullivan Chime anointed as the chairman of the party in the state

By Anayo Ezugwu  |  Nov. 10, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT  |

THERE is no end in sight to the political crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Enugu State. The National Working Committee, NWC, on Wednesday, October 29, rejected the appointment of Ikeje Asogwa, managing director, Enugu State Housing Development Cooperation, as the new chairman of the state chapter following the earlier resignation of Vital Abba, chairman of the party. The NWC has directed David Aja, deputy chairman of the chapter to immediately take over the affairs of the party in the state.

A statement signed by Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary, PDP, said the party directed the deputy chairman to convene a meeting within two weeks to elect a new chairman in accordance with the provisions of the PDP constitution. The NWC had on Tuesday, October 28, refused to receive Chime who visited the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, to present Asogwa to the party leadership.

The controversial manner Asogwa emerged caused the NWC to refuse to meet them so as not to create the impression that Asogwa had been endorsed by the national body. Realnews gathered that the crisis in the Enugu State chapter of the party was responsible for the non-reception of the governor by the party leadership. And that the disrespect shown by Governor Chime to the PDP-NWC and other PDP chieftains, who unsuccessfully intervened in the controversial impeachment of his deputy, Sunday Onyebuchi, contributed to the treatment meted out to him. It was further learnt that the crisis deepened after Chime’s insistence that Ike Ekweremadu, deputy Senate president, should not return to the Senate and endorsed Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the governorship candidate and himself to replace Ekweremadu.

The endorsement crisis made the PDP NWC to issue a statement annulling the pronouncement and banning subsequent endorsements by the state chapter after the Abba-led state working committee endorsed Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the state’s governorship candidate.   The party disclosed that the national leadership was uncomfortable with Chime’s disdain for it and lack of respect to its directives, which made him to continue endorsing several other persons in the party under his watch while denying the party revenue from prospective aspirants.

[caption id="attachment_26323" align="alignright" width="276" class=" "]Metuh Metuh[/caption]

The state executive committee in a meeting presided over by Governor Chime had on Saturday, October 25, approved the appointment of Asogwa, as replacement of Abba, who resigned his position as the chairman of the party in the state. The party, in a statement at the end of the emergency meeting of the state executive committee, said it accepted Abba’s letter dated October 20, 2014, following his intention to stand for election in the forthcoming primaries of the party. According to the statement signed by Okey Eze, state publicity secretary, the party said it accepted Abba’s resignation, without any mention of the Aja, his deputy and appointed Asogwa, who is from the same zone as its chairman in the state in line with article 47 (6) of the PDP constitution.

But Aja, who was at the meeting, stoutly rejected the decision. He faulted the process that produced Asogwa and insisted that he remains the authentic acting chairman of the party in line with section 47 (1) of the PDP constitution. He argued, for instance, that he was the one constitutionally empowered to convene the state executive committee meeting in the event of the resignation of the chairman, and not the secretary.

“I told them that under section 35 (1) of the party’s constitution, if the national chairman resigns, the deputy chairman takes over, even if it is for one day and he should be the one to convene the National Executive Committee, NEC, where a new national chairman will be elected, but they turned down my submission. I was sitting beside Governor Chime and I told him that what they were doing was wrong, because I am the right person to convene the meeting but he said that under section 47(1), that the SEC can meet and chose another person from the same zone to replace the chairman. I told them that I was not complaining about who replaces the chairman but that the procedure was wrong.  I wanted to walk out of the meeting but a governorship aspirant asked me to sit back that it was wrong to walk out on the governor. As far as I am concerned, I remain the acting chairman of the party in the state until a substantive chairman is elected,” he said.

According to Aja, he was not officially invited to the meeting. He said someone informed him of a meeting of the state executive council holding behind his office and he decided to go there and ascertain what was happening, and on getting there, he saw Governor Chime and some members of the party already seated. When he asked what was happening, he was informed that the state secretary convened the meeting and he decided to sit down and listen. The meeting was informed that Abba has resigned and that the meeting was called to select a new state chairman.

Most members of the state executive committee were not present at the meeting and Aja protested that what was happening at the meeting was wrong. “I told them I was the right person to chair the meeting in the absence of the state chairman but they refused. I also told them that the meeting should be rescheduled to enable me convene a proper SEC meeting that will decide the way forward. I told them that what they were doing was null and void since the meeting was not convened by me, they rejected my submission claiming that they have the right under section 47 (6) of the PDP constitution to convene the meeting.”

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