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ENUGU PDP CRISIS DEEPENS

ENUGU PDP CRISIS DEEPENS

The Crisis rocking the Enugu State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, appears not to have ended as an Enugu High Court recently restrained Elder David Aja from parading himself as the acting state chairman of the party.

A factional chairman of the party loyal to Governor Sullivan Chime, Mr. Ikeje Asogwa allegedly obtained the injunction which is an indication that the truce being brokered by President Goodluck Jonathan between the Chime’s faction and the David Aja faction loyal to the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu had failed.

Meanwhile Ekweremadu’s faction had earlier obtained an injunction by the Federal High Court presided over by Justice A Ademola in Abuja, restraining the national leadership of the party from accepting another results of the penultimate Saturday’s delegates election across the 17 local governments in Enugu State, other than the one already submitted  by the Aja faction who is recognised by the National Working Committee, (NWC) of the party.

Several complaints reaching President Jonathan over the development compelled him to convene a meeting to attempt to resolve the differences between the two combatants.

The meeting held at the Aso Rock Villa Penultimate Thursday and it was also attended by the party’s National Chairman, Adamu Muazu and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.

The presidency is said to believe that Nnamani, who is respected in political circle of Enugu and has substantial influence in the state can help make the feuding parties to sheathe the sword or reach a compromise.

However, the injuction by Asogwa group was reportedly granted by Justice A. R Ozoemena and it is a sign that the battle between Ekweremadu and Chime may not have ended..

The leadership crisis in the party has continued as Aja had recently asked the National Chairman of the party Ahmadu Adamu Mua’zu, to call Governor Chime to order.

The PDP NWC had earlier dropped Asogwa, who took over as the state Chairman, after the resignation of Engr. Vita Abba.

Aja in a petition sent to Muazu, asked him to prevail on Chime to allow him to carry out his functions without threat or harassment.

He said in line with the letter from  the party’s NWC, he had already put in motion the process for calling a   meeting of the State Executive Committee , SEC, for the purpose of appointing a  new chairman.

The petition read: “You will recall that following the resignation of Engr. Vita Abba, as the Chairman of the Enugu State chapter of our great party on October 20, 2014, I was in accordance with the party constitution expected to take over the running of the party until the State Executive Committee SEC, meets to appoint a new chairman from the area the previous one came from pending the holding of an election for a new chairman.

“Mr. Chairman, you will recall that in total breach of the provisions of the constitution, the state secretary of the party, Steve Oruruo, purported to summon and preside at a meeting of the SEC on October 25, 2014, where Chief Ikeje Asogwa was illegally appointed the new chairman of the Enugu State Chapter of the party.

“You will recall that I addressed a  letter to you dated October 27, 2014 where in I complained about the said illegal and  unconstitutional appointment.

Fortunately, the NWC, harkened to my call and on October 30, 2014 I received my copy of the letter addressed to the National Vice Chairman (South East) where in  I was recognized as the acting Chairman of the Enugu state chapter of  our party, and  I was instructed to summon a  meeting of SEC within 14 days to appoint a  new chairman from the zone where the outgoing chairman hails from in accordance with the party constitution.

“In spite of the foregoing Oruruo purported to summon a meeting of the State Executive Committee, allegedly at the behest of two thirds of the members of the committee on 31st October 2014.  Let me start by stating that under our party constitution, the chairman of the state chapter of the party shall summon a meeting of the SEC at the request of two thirds of the members.  Such request can only be addressed to the Chairman or Acting chairman as in this case.

“Thus this power to summon the meeting, resides in the chairman and not the secretary.  I did not receive any request to summon a meeting nor was I informed by Oruruo about any such request.  Surprisingly, Governor Chime was present at the said illegal meeting and participated actively in it, in defiance of the directives of the NWC Governor Chime and Oruruo then proceeded to appoint Chief Ikeje Asogwa, once again, as the chairman of the Enugu State Chapter of the party.

“To make matter worse, numerous announcements have been made on the radio to this effect.

In any case sir, in accordance with the letter confirming my status as the acting Chairman, I commenced preparations for the conduct of the ward congresses for the election of three delegates from each ward.

“I must observe that Governor Chime and Chief Asogwa refused me access to the party office at Chime lane, GRA, Enugu, when I went to oversee the affairs  of the chapter.   I was therefore compelled to relocate my office.

“The ward congresses were successfully conducted and party members participated fully in the activity which was witnessed by the committee members sent from Abuja.  The results were also duly handed over to them for transmission to the party headquarters.

“I use this opportunity sir, to thank eminent  personalties like Dr. Okwy Nwodo, the former chairman of the party;  Chief Jim Nwobodo, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Ayogu Eze, Senator Gil Nnaji, Senator Fidel Okoro, and many other eminent personalities who participated in the ward congress.

“Let me say sir, that I have already put in motion  the process for calling a  meeting of the state  executive committee for the purpose of appointing a new chairman in accordance with the letter from the NWC.

“I pleaded with you sir, to call Chime to order and ask him to allow me to carry out my functions without threat or harassment and to stop the flagrant breach and violation of our party constitution.”

However, anyone who had witnessed the last grand rally organized by Governor Chime to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid would be surprised to see the same party that organized such rally described in the media as the first of its kind in the state to be deeply in crisis barely three months to the 2015 general election.

Meanwhile, chairmen of the seventeen local government areas in Enugu state have declared that PDP ward congresses did not take place in the state on November 1, as claimed by Aja.

The position of the local council chairmen was disclosed in a press release issued from the government house.  The local council chairmen, in the statement which they signed, explained that the   congress failed to hold as a result of the non-arrival of the electoral materials and members of the electoral panel form the PDP headquarters, Abuja.

They stated that they and other party officials waited tirelessly form 7:00am to  7:00pm at the state party secretariat  at No 1 Chime lane, GRA, Enugu on the said date, for the arrival of the members of the National ward electoral materials, which they said never left Abuja for Enugu state.

However the special Local Government Congress of the PDP to elect National Delegates for the Presidential primary election was successfully held in the 17 local government areas of the state and Ekweremadu group took the day again.   Aja and the five-man local government congress committee from the PDP national headquarters, Abuja supervised the Local Government congress.

Members of the Committee included Barr Gabe Igboko, who is the chairman, Alhaji Kabiru Bala Maitama, Hon. Lawal  Mammadu, Chief Olumide Olusuyi and Rose Confidence Alozie.

Reports from the 17 local council areas indicated that the exercise was peaceful as the three man delegates elected during the November 1 2014; ward congresses in the 260 electoral wards in the state participated fully at the designed centres and elected one delegate from each of the 17 LGA in line with the party’s guideline.

The party officials conducted the exercise in a very peaceful manner.  Party leaders and supporters who were present at most of the centers, hailed  the officials for the smooth conduct of the exercise, which they described as a   demonstration of the  unity and peace that exist among party members in the state.

Aja, who  is the acting chairman of the  party in the state commended the party Chieftains,  members  and  delegates for the smooth and peaceful conduct of the congress, noting that  the state  was  now ready for the forthcoming party primaries at both the state and national level.

He said: “Enugu state chapter of the PDP is on course to retaining power in the state and produce credible representatives at the National Assembly come 2015.  And as you know, we are determined to contribute to the transformation Agenda of   President Goodluck Jonathan by ensuring that he is re-elected both at the National convention/ Presidential Primary and 2015 general election in line with the position of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP.”

In his speech, chairman of the PDP five-man Local Government Congress Committee, Barr. Gabe Igboko, commended the people of Enugu State for their cooperation towards the successful conduct of the exercise.

Meanwhile anxiety earlier mounted in the state following  alleged attempts by some interest groups  to frustrate  the exercise and break the truce brokered  by President Jonathan, the National Chairman  of the party Adamu Muazu and other stakeholders following the injunction by the Enugu High court  against Aja. As the 2015 general election draws nearer it is left to see who between the deputy senate president and the governor takes over the leadership of the party in the state.

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