Sunday, 9 January 2011

News Report: Nigeria's Ruling Political Party To Loose More Stalwarts

Indications have emerged that Nigeria's ruling political party, the Peoples. Democratic Party(PDP) will loose more of its stalwarts to other political parties.

This development, chidi opara reports learnt will be as a result of the less than transparent ways in which primary elections for the election of delegates to the party's primary elections for governorship and national assembly candidates were conducted.

The timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) stipulates that all parties' primary elections must be concluded in the second week of January, 2011.

The PDP controls 27 of the 36 states in Nigeria. It has 5 states in the South-South Zone, 4 in the South-East, 2 in the South-West, 6 in the North-Central, 4 in the North-East and 6 in the North-West.

chidi opara reports' investigation revealed that in many of these states, governorship and national assmbly primary elections were what a disgruntled PDP member described as "scratch my back, I scratch yours". This was further explained as a system of rewarding governors and national assembly members with second tenure tickets after they have pledged to work for the President's re-election bid.

The primary elections we learnt on good authority were preceded by equally less than transparent party congresses which "elected" handpicked delegates who voted in the primary elections. The party's national leadership was reported to have ignored genuine complaints in this regard. In some cases, automatic tickets were reportedly promised by the national leadership of the party on the directive of the presidency.

In Imo and Abia states for instance, such promises led to the defection of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume and Chief Orji Uzor Kalu and their supporters to other parties. Kalu returned to PDP before the present defection.

In Rivers state, governor Amaechi's cousin, Sir Celestine Omehia withdrew his governorship bid in the party, alleging irregularities in the election of delegates. Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi's campaign organization have already denied the allegation. Omehia, chidi opara reports learnt is on his way out of the party, His destination is not yet known to us.

In Benue state, the emergence of Senate President, rtd. General David Mark as the party's senatorial candidate for Benue South for instance is being viewed by the camp of his opponent, rtd. General Lawrence Onoja, as being influenced by the PDP national leadership on the prompting of the Presidency. Mark is a staunch supporter of the President. There is the likelihood that Onoja and his supporters would leave the party like former governor George Akume did. Akume is presently contesting the Benue North senatorial seat on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN).

chidi opara reports network members in other PDP controlled states reported that as the party's national leadership continues to ignore genuine complaints from aggrieved members, disgruntled stalwarts are daily concluding defection plans with other political parties.

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