Chieftains of the People Democratic Party in Anambra State are fighting for the soul of the party as many of them kick against the procedures for the ward, local and state congresses
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Aug 3, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Anambra State is still a divided house. The crisis rocking the party in the state came to the fore with the commencement of its ward, local government and state congresses on Tuesday, July 21. The party has five factions who are fighting for the soul of the party in the state. The leaders of the different factions are Peter Obi, former state governor; Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary of the party; Tony Nwoye, former governorship candidate of the party; Chris Uba, a party chieftain and former Senator Annie Okonkwo. They all want to control the party machinery in the state by having an upper hand in who emerges at the congresses.
The Nwoye-led faction, also known as the Anambra PDP Stakeholders, had accused Metuh of using his position in the national executive to hijack the party in the state. They alleged that Metuh wanted Ken Emeakayi, immediate past chairman of the party in the state who is also aspiring to lead the party again to emerge as the chairman.
In a statement in Awka, the PDP Stakeholders, called the National Working Committee, NWC, to shift the proposed congresses to another week to give room for interested parties to obtain their forms. The group, in defending the request for postponement, said the PDP National Working Committee should put into consideration the two-day Sallah public holiday which prevented those who want to purchase the form from doing so because banks were closed.
The group said they are loyal party members committed to the progress of PDP in the state, and would support credible, free and fair congresses in which names were not written in a hotel room, but were at a loss as to where to pick the form since it was not stated in the publication.
Besides, they said the membership of the congress committee was not disclosed, and had expected that the committee would have met with the party stakeholders before the congresses as it used to do, adding that they were in support of a week shift in date to give room for proper, effective planning and conduct of the congresses in the overall interest of the party.
But the Metuh faction said there was no need postponing the evil day, saying that they would want the congress to hold as scheduled. They alleged that some money bags were being used by the All Progressives Congress to destabilise the PDP in the state. Emeakayi, who is being touted as Metuh’s anointed candidate for the state chairmanship said on Monday, July 20 that some PDP bigwigs had been working for the APC in Anambra State to ruin Metuh. Emeakayi said there was no crisis in the state PDP and that the party was ready for the congresses, starting at the ward level. He noted that he was only an aspirant like any other person who offers to serve the party at the level of state chairmanship.
He said the scheduled congress was the first time the NWC of PDP was coming to conduct congresses for the chapter since the dissolution of its state executive in November 2014, and that he saw the publication and purchased the form like any other interested aspirant prepared to lead.
Emeakayi added that even as the publication listed designated banks in which aspirants for varying positions can go and pay, it also made provision for those who could not make it to the bank to physically go to the party’s national head office in Abuja or its zonal office in Enugu to obtain the forms in cash. He said the NWC of PDP made the publication and not him, and neither was the account number where to pay and obtain the forms his, wondering how he got involved in the sale of forms and how the stakeholders claimed they were not aware when serious contenders had purchased declaration of interest forms some three months ago.
The Obi-led faction has, however, insisted that the central senatorial district of the state should produce the state chairman of the party. The group asked the PDP NWC to caution Metuh. Meanwhile, the Uba faction of the party insisted that the Ejike Oguebego State Executive Committee of the party remains, saying there is a court judgment to back up the claim.