Abia PDP on fire over deputy governorship candidate
Chikamnayo, Amah fight dirty
By Steve Oko
With less than one week to the March 11 governorship poll, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, seems to be enmeshed in total confusion over who is the party’s governorship running mate.
Some interest parties in the Big Umbrella are sharply divided between the choice of Hon. Okey Igwe, and Dr Jasper Uche.
Both camps, since Sunday, have been engaged in claims and counter claims over who is the authentic governorship running mate.
While the state leadership of the party has aligned itself with the position of the National Working Committee of PDP which re-affirmed Hon. Okey Igwe as the valid deputy governorship candidate of the party, Commissioner for Information, and the Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council, Eze Chikamnayo, has insisted that Dr Jasper Uche, is the authentic governorship running mate of the party.
Wawa News Global reports that both Igwe and Uche hail from Isuochi in Umunneochi Local Government Area which, Chikamnayo also come from.
PDP Acting Publicity Secretary and Vice Chairman, Abia North, Elder Abraham Amah, had in a press briefing on Sunday, affirmed the letter by the party’s NWC to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, reinstating Igwe as the party’s governorship running mate.
The NWC’s letter jointly signed by the the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, claimed that Uche’s name was submitted to INEC in error.
Amah explained that it was the statutory function of the NWC of the party to transmit names of its candidates to INEC, hence, the state leadership has accepted the party’s position.
But in a swift reaction, Chikamnayo in a counter press briefing on Monday, disagreed with the content of the letter by the NWC, urging members of the public to discountenance it.
The Information Commissioner also disowned Amah, saying he spoke based on his perceived bias against the new governorship running mate.
He explained that the candidacy of Igwe who was nominated by the late governorship candidate, Professor Uche Ikonne, died with the unfortunate demise of the late Vice Chancellor.
Chikamnayo said that Uche who was nominated by the new governorship candidate of the party, Okey Ahiwe, remained the valid deputy governorship candidate of the party.
But shortly after the news of Chikamnayo’s briefing was published, Amah issued another statement countering the claims by the Information Commissioner who he said lacked powers to speak for Abia PDP.
The PDP Spokesman who said he had the authorisation of the party leadership urged members of the public to disregard Chikamnayo and his co-travellers.
Below is the full text of his statement made available to Vanguard:
“The attention of the Abia PDP has been drawn to two press releases emanating from the desk of Eze Chikamnayo, the Abia State Commissioner for Information and Strategy who spoke in his capacity as the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the Abia State PDP Campaign Council, a position that is clearly subservient to the position of the State Publicity Secretary of the Party.
“In the said press releases, Eze Chikamnayo arrogated the powers to speak for the Abia PDP to himself which in every imaginable circumstance is a misnomer. He is not at liberty to speak for the Party unless otherwise instructed and the matter at issue is clearly a Party matter for which he has no authority to delve into.
“The Party will not resort to the exchange of uncouth language that Eze Chikamnayo employed to address an issue that is not just outside the purview of his office but one he should have sought clarifications from the Party before his unauthorised, unguarded outburst and usual descent to abuses.
“Unfortunately, in his desperate attempt to deceive the unsuspecting public he failed to address the issue at stake based on the extant rules but embarked on a journey in futility.
“As a media practitioner which Eze Chikamnayo claims to be, the first professional step he was supposed to take was to state in very clear terms that the letter written by the NWC stating its position on the subject of the running mate was either forged or fake, to have warranted his outright dismissal of the letter. He failed to prove beyond any doubt that the letter duly signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the Party was not authentic but rather took the unprofessional path of descent to abuses on the person of the Party’s spokesperson.
“As a trained lawyer, one would have expected Eze Chikamnayo to cite legal authorities to back up his position but he only made vague references and walked around the matter without any tangible fact to present. That is nothing but an unclothed show of desperation and the Party would not tolerate such inanities from an operative of the government.
“For the purposes of clarity, it has become imperative to put the facts of the matter straight to let the members of the PDP know the true position of the running mate of our guber candidate, Sir Okey Ahiwe.
“It is not the responsibility of the State Working Committee, SWC of the PDP to submit names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC but the responsibility of the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party.
“In this instance, the NWC of the Party in its wisdom wrote a letter stating clearly that it mistakenly submitted the name of Jasper Uche as the running mate to Okey Ahiwe and in the same letter stated that Phillip Okey Igwe remains the authentic running mate to Okey Ahiwe. That is what it is and there’s nothing any level of desperation or arm twisting can do to change the position.
“The Abia PDP State Working Committee, SWC, has had a very cordial working relationship with the NWC of the PDP since its inauguration two years ago and is not about to usurp or attempt to usurp the functions/powers of the NWC.
“For the avoidance of doubts, there is no confusion in Abia PDP as is been insinuated in some quarters and made to flourish by some rumour mongers who probably have scores to settle with anybody within the Party.
“Eze Chikamnayo accused Abraham Amah of delving into a matter that is subjudice but ended up describing the running mate of the PDP guber candidate as a ‘toxic item’ with dual citizenship, without proof from any court of competent jurisdiction.
“To drive home his mischief and desperation, he used the name of a certain unknown media roundtable to sign off one of his press releases where he had nothing to say but project his jealousy and ill-wish for the authentic running mate of the Party’s guber candidate.
“Again, the Abia PDP maintains that there is no confusion in the Abia PDP as regards who is the deputy governorship candidate of the Party in the Saturday March 11, gubernatorial election.
“It is surprising that Eze Chikamnayo who claims to be the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the 2023 Abia PDP Campaign Council has never for once since the inauguration of the Committee made a single press release, press statement or press conference to promote the candidates of the Party only for him to jump into the ship to make unsubstantiated claims that he knows nothing about.
“We call on members of the Abia PDP to disregard the infantile tantrums of Eze Chikamnayo and work to support the victory of our guber candidate Sir Okey Ahiwe and his running mate, Barr. Phillip Okey Igwe in the March 11, governorship election.”
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.
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