Ndi Anambra Decide: The PDP Primaries and Constitutional Debacle by Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Tension, panicky and confusion currently pervade the political landscape of Anambra State! The Confusion, hues and cries occasioned by whom to be recognised as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, if not checked, might escalate to violence, as averse by Chief Victor Umeh, the embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). In addition, the intrigues and hullabaloo currently being generated by the crisis, if not adequately and carefully managed, may lead to the eclipse of the State chapter of the PDP and its lose of the state governorship seat to either the newly registered-vision oriented, ambitious and serious-minded All Progressives Party (APC) or the Incumbent but crisis-ridden All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The party in Anambra conducted its governorship primary election on Saturday 24th August producing two candidates namely, Tony Nwoye, a former National President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and Dr. Andy Uba, Senator representing Anambra South in National Assembly and a former Domestic Aide to Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Genesis of the crisis:
The state chapter of the PDP is presently having two factions. The April 2012 congress conducted to elect the executives of the party in the state failed to produce a result that satisfies the yearnings and aspirations of its members; this, however led to the party being factionalised. Two State Working committees (SWC) emerged with two chairmen namely Ejike Oguebego and Ken Emeakayi. While Oguebego faction has the recognition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Emeakayi’s group is being oiled by the National Working Committee (NWC) of his party. The Primaries of Emeakayi’s faction took place at Alex Ekweme’s square, Akwa and produced Tony Anwoye as its candidate, while that of Oguebego’s group, after their primary election at Emaaus House, Akwa, announced Dr. Andy Uba as its candidate for the November 16 much-awaited election.
Who wins and flags PDP ticket?
Two issues are at stake at the moment! Two factions produced two different governorship candidates! Now, who wins and flags the ticket? Who get the blessing of INEC? and going by the latest scenario, it is apparent and conspicuous that a court of competent jurisdiction will be approached by the feuding factions for adjudication and interpretation; however, who wins in court? The 2010 electoral act, though with the supervision of INEC, vested the power to nominate candidate for elections on political parties. Political Parties are to nominate their candidates through primaries to be supervised by INEC. Moreso, the electoral act 2010 entrusted the power to nominate governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly candidates on the national executive committee of political parties.
Similarly, section 85 of the PDP constitution empowers its NWC the responsibility of nominating governorship candidates for the party. Categorically speaking, Section 85 of PDP constitution and 2010 electoral act give no role to its state working committees on the conduct of governorship primaries. Such power is unambiguously vested on its NWC. Constitutionally, the modus operandi for the conduct of governorship primaries is equally to be determined by the NWC, not the SWC. The sales of expression of interest and nomination forms, process of electing delegates, screening and disqualification of candidates and conduct of governorship primaries are the sole responsibilities of the NWC.
Consequent upon the foregoing, I wish to ask rhetorically that who gets the blessing of court between the duo of Nwoye and Uba to flag the PDP ticket? The primaries that produced Comrade Tony Nwoye was organized by the NWC of the PDP but was not supervised by INEC, while the primaries that declared Dr. Andy Uba winner was supervised by INEC but without the blessing of the NWC of PDP. Now may I ask, who flags the Anambra PDP ticket between Andy Uba, Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC and Tony Nwoye, former radical President of NANS? Time, the unique creature that changes a day to a night with an amazing ease will certainly tell!
Adeleye, a Public Affairs Analyst, writes from Lagos, Nigeria. Maxwell_adeleye@yahoo.com. +2347039168005
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