PDP applauds LGA congresses as Ibiono stakeholders reject consensus
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Akwa Ibom State chapter, apparently had a rough time with a few local government areas over the emergence of candidates for the party. Though the party had announced readiness to conduct peaceful and transparent election, a few local government areas, including Nsit Atai and Ibiono Ibom, did not resolve their internal squabbles before the primary.
The party’s state chairman, Udo Ekpenyong, had last Monday declared that PDP met all the requirements necessary for peaceful and orderly congresses. Mr. Ekpenyong told newsmen that the leadership of the party ensured that due process was thoroughly followed in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution.
“PDP is a family and we are doing everything to keep the family together. We must behave as a family,” he said.
He further noted that the party would frown at any behaviour capable of disrupting the peaceful nature of the congresses, adding that the party would sanction perpetrators of such acts.
To minimise tension, the party had earlier announced that it would hold congresses for some volatile local government areas at strategic locations within Uyo, the state capital, including Uyo Sports Stadium and Christ the King Primary School, Barracks Road, to ensure close security monitoring.
In Ibiono Ibom, delegates waiting at the venue even after every other LGA had concluded theirs, informed of power-play by some key party men in the area. One of the aides to the Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Mr. Moses Essien, said Senator Bassey Albert Akpan had been pushing for a consensus candidate for the area.
“The senator came here in company of the party’s chairman and announced to the people that Ibiono Ibom has adopted the incumbent chairman as consensus candidate,” he said.
But, majority of the delegates, who were still awaiting voting materials, insisted on having the election. The delegates vowed to resist any form of imposition from anyone.
“The senator came here and took away the delegates’ list,” one of the delegates, who pleaded anonymity, charged. “He wants the incumbent chairman to return, but we are insisting on an election. Let both of them stand to give room for a popular candidate to emerge.”
The returning officer for the local government area, Mr. Ime Okon, when contacted, however, said the process was ongoing as the people were awaiting instruction from the party before commencement of the exercise.
He said, “We are waiting for instruction from the party. There are issues to be sorted out with the party, but I strongly believe we will still have a peaceful exercise.”
Apart from these isolated cases, it was observed that the primary was conducted peacefully in the other 29 LGAs, even as the state’s party chairman was seen visiting polling units and insisting on a peaceful conduct of the primary.
MEANWHILE, the Special Appeal Committee set up by PDP in the state to look into a litany of petitions brought against some aspirants, who were not cleared for the primary, has resolved that the arguments canvassed by the 37 chairmanship aspirants, who appeared before the panel, lacked merit and were wanting in substance.
The appeal committee, headed by Uwemedimo Nwoko, maintained that the final list of cleared aspirants published by the party and the decision of the first appeal committee were thorough and in compliance with the party’s constitution and therefore could not be altered or set aside.
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