THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra State has said that it was yet to get any contrary directive on the recognition the commission accorded the Chief Ejike Oguebego-led faction of the Anambra State chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
This is coming after the leadership of the PDP declared in Abuja on Monday that its candidate in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State was Comrade Tony Nwoye, who won the primary election conducted by the Prince Ken Emeakayi faction of the party in the state.
But the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Anambra State, Professor Chukwuemeka Onukogu, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune in Awka on the issue, said the commission was yet to be furnished with any legal instrument that suggests anything contrary to the recognition it accorded Chief Oguebego’s faction of the party that conducted the primary that was won by Senator Andy Uba.
He said: “We have taken our position and as a person under authority, I am bounded by the decision of the commission. We as a body are guided by the rule of the law. If the PDP does not follow the law guiding the electoral process, they may not present a candidate in Anambra election. They must follow, they have to follow and it’s incumbent on them to follow the electoral law. Once they do that we don’t have any problem with them.”
The Anambra REC added: “The party said their candidate is Nwoye but I wasn’t there. I didn’t monitor it. We didn’t monitor the two primaries for obvious reasons. One, we don’t recognise the Emeakayi faction and I will have nothing to do with it until there is an order from the court of law against what we have. Secondly, for the other one, it should have been the national office of the PDP that should have invited us to attend, not the state.
“The state branch invited us but going by the law guiding the political parties, it should have been the national office in Abuja that would invite us. So we stayed clear. When my chairman tells me what to do, I will know but for now, we are dealing with the Oguebego faction. I have instructions to deal with that faction, we monitored their ward congresses substantially. We didn’t monitor the other one. We respect the law of the land and what my chairman tells me is what I’m going to do. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Onukogu pointed out that “my chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, is very firm on the issue. We don’t want a situation where there will be two candidates campaigning at the same time. When the time comes, they will have to present one candidate and it is that candidate we will deal with. We have not decided which candidate to deal with now.”
Onukogu however noted that “political parties are very cooperative for now. I think that they have confidence that if we maintain the momentum, that we will deliver,” observing that “the fear that characterized the past that INEC was for a particular people or a set of individuals is no longer there. The political parties have realised that they could only win elections only to the extent they would convince the voters, not by manipulating INEC. INEC is beyond manipulation.”
PDP summons Andy Uba, brother, 3 gov aspirants
The leadership of the People’s Democratic Party has summoned Dr Andy Uba, his brother, Dr Chris Uba and three other governorship aspirants for holding unauthorized congress in the just concluded Anambra governorship primaries of the party.
In a statement by its publicity secretary,Ceasar Okeke,the party directed the Ubas alongside Ejike Oguebego, Chief Benji Udeozor and Mrs. Tonia Nwankwu to appear before the National Working Committee to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.
“The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hereby condemns in the strongest possible terms the organization of a parallel primary election to elect a candidate for the November 16, 2013 governorship election in Anambra State other than the one conducted by the Party on August 24, 2013, the statement noted.
The party insisted that the only governorship primary election recognized by the party was the primary election conducted by the electoral panel under the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema which was appointed by the party.
It posited that the organization of another primary election other than the one referred to above is a clear breach of our party’s constitution and is therefore totally unacceptable and cannot be condoned, calling on “the Inspector General of Police to forthwith commence investigations into the illegal procurement of sensitive party materials for the illegal governorship primary election by persons who paraded themselves as working for the PDP.