Imo PDP in crisis over senatorial candidate’s disqualification

The nullification of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Imo West Senatorial candidate, Dr Jones Onyereri’s may have thrown the Imo State chapter of the party into confusion.
Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha with the Unity Torch; Executive Chairman, Imo Sports Commission, Chief Fan Ndubuoke; among others before the flag off of the 13th Imo Sports Festival at the Government House, Owerri…yesterday.

[FILES] Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa (left) being presented by PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu (middle) as running mate to presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar (right) at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA
The nullification of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Imo West Senatorial candidate, Dr Jones Onyereri’s may have thrown the Imo State chapter of the party into confusion.
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In a suit by Jerry Alagboso and Dr ThankGod Ezeani, challenging the validity of the party’s primary election held on May 26, last year, which produced Onyereri, the Supreme Court nullified the election on the grounds that the primary was not held in Imo West.
 
Onyereri had defeated Alagboso, member representing Orlu/Orlu/Oru east in the House of Representatives, and Ezeani, a former House of Representatives member during the party’s primary elections.
 
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, critical stakeholders and party leaders in Orlu zone have pointed accusing fingers at former governor of the state, Chief Emeka Ihedioha as the mastermind of Onyereri’s predicament.
 
The stakeholders frowned at Ihedioha’s desperation to pull down every party leader in order to clinch the party’s governorship ticket after two unsuccessful outings, warning him to steer clear of the zone.
 
At a press conference addressed by the trio of Ambassador Iwuoha Ofonagoro, Damian Nzeribe and Dr Akwuiwu Josephine, the group alleged that but for the insistence of Ihedioha, the petitioners, Alagboso and Ezeani had decided to discontinue with the case after Onyereri’s initial triumph at the Appeal Court.

They said it was Ihedioha, who encouraged the duo to challenge the emergence of Onyereri up to the Supreme Court. 
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They queried what interest Ihedioha and his accomplices stood for by conspiring to ensure that the party does not have a senatorial candidate on the ballot. The group also declared Ihedioha and his co-travellers persona non grata in the zone.
 
In similar vein, a former Commissioner for Technology Development in the state, Meekam Mgbenwelu, has resigned his membership of the RebuildImo Organisation, a political vehicle reportedly established for the re-election of Ihedioha. The former commissioner, who served with Ihedioha during his seven-month short-lived administration, was appointed spokesperson of the organisation three months ago.
 
In a statement addressed to Ihedioha through the Director General of the RebuildImo Organisation, Dr. Vin Udokwu, Mgbenwelu said that he was resigning due to “the internecine conflicts within Imo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”
 
He noted that the internal wrangling had significantly impeded his ability to communicate effectively to the various stakeholders that constitute the broader collective.
 
Mgbenwelu decried the Supreme Court disqualification of Onyereri for the Imo West senatorial seat, which he said was “precipitated by a fellow PDP party member.”
 
He alleged Ihedioha masterminded the removal of Onyereri, the people’s choice, who is loved across party lines by every Orlu zone man and woman.
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