ENUGU, Nigeria – Aspirants for the February 29 local government election, under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were on Wednesday, stranded as the State chairman of the party, Hon. Augustine Nnamani was nowhere to be found.
The party had in a guideline it released ahead of its primary election, disclosed that the purchase of forms would be on January 15, 2020.
But our correspondent reports that aspirants kept vigil at the Party’s GRA secretarial from morning till night, with no one in sight to address them.
The aspirants, who came with a number of their supporters, stayed un-attended till night.
Speaking to journalists before he left the party’s secretariat, a chairmanship aspirant of the party in Nsukka Local Government Area, Hon. Chineme Onyeke said the action of the state chairman was disappointing.
He pleaded with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the State to call the chairman to order before he plunged the party into avoidable crisis.
Onyeke said, “I am totally disappointed with the PDP Enugu State Chapter. Since they announced their plan to sell one chairmanship nomination form per local government which I promptly challenged through my several protest letters, the state leadership of the party has been playing hide and seek with all the aspirants in the party primaries.
“On January 11, 2020, the local government PDP Chairmen across the state, held party stakeholders’ meetings in their various local government areas. At Nsukka, our local government party chairman announced that the state leadership of our party had directed that today, being Jan 15, 2020, has been set aside for sale of forms to aspirants to various offices at the ward and local government levels.
“Since 8am, I have been here with hundreds of my supporters to purchase the nomination but up till now, 7pm, no party official has been seen or sent to address us. Many of the aspirants from other LGAs have gone home, frustrated.
“I’m left here with Barr. Ogom Ene, an aspirant for the Chairmanship of Udi Local Government Area. He has also been here since morning.
“I don’t understand what is going on and no one is telling us anything. I can’t stay here with my supporters till morning. It’s not safe. We came all the way from Nsukka and we have to go back to Nsukka, today.
“I want to let the world know, especially the National Chairman of our great party, that the purported sale of nomination forms to aspirants, who want to fly the party flag in the forthcoming local government elections is a charade and deceit of the highest level. There was no sale of any form.
“The party leadership absconded with the forms from the National secretariat, Abuja.
“Is this how to run a political party under democracy in this 21st century ? It is this kind of impunity that brought the PDP to its sorry state in Nigeria.
“We have reliable information that the State Chairman has taken the forms to where they are calling their cronies in each local to come and fill the forms there. These are people that are daily criticizing and demonizing President Buhari, alleging that he is tyrant. Are they not now worse than dictators? This is terrible for democracy in Enugu State. It is terrible for internal democracy in the PDP Enugu State Chapter. It is a coup against the Constitution of the PDP.
“I call on the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to call the State Chairman of the party to order and save the PDP from grassroots crisis in Nsukka Local Government Area. They should throw open the democratic landscape and desist from imposition of candidates.”
While toeing the same line, Barr Ogom Eneh said the country’s political process ought to have passed the current situation.
“I have been here since morning to purchase the PDP nomination form for the Chairmanship of Udi Local Government Council.
“On Jan. 15th, 2020, at the PDP stakeholders meeting at Udi Council Hall, the local government party Chairman, Mr Okechukwu Aneke announced the time table for the Party primaries which commenced today for purchase of nomination forms at the State party office.
“Before then, I had declared my intention, in my ward, Umuaga, to contest in the primaries. Then, at the local government, I also declared my intention to contest. I was even asked to make a donation to the party. I donated N50 000. We were then asked to go to the State office of the party to purchase the nomination forms.
“That’s why I have been here with my teaming supporters since morning. But, as you can see, up till this time, 7.14pm, no party official had attended to us. All efforts to locate the state chairman proved abortive. We ought to have passed this stage in our democracy. It’s so sad,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the PDP leadership in the State is yet to react to this development.