Nigeria: Ebonyi PDP Faction Elects Gov Candidate Despite Order for Cancellation By National Leadership

Ifeanyichukwu Odii, an entrepreneur, polled a total of 349 votes to defeat his closest rival, Christian Usolor, who got nine votes.

An entrepreneur, Ifeanyichukwu Odii, has emerged as governorship candidate of a faction of the  Peoples Democratic Party  (PDP) primary in Ebonyi State.

The Electoral Panel Chairman, Olalekan Rotimi, declared the results after the exercise conducted at the party’s state secretariat on Sunday in Abakaliki, the state capital.

Mr Odii polled a total of 349 votes to defeat his closest rival, Christian Usolor, who got nine votes. They were followed by Andrew Sunday who came third with six votes.

Three other contestants, Chukwuma Nwazunku, Augustine Nwazunku, and Emmanuel Ezeh got one vote each.

“I, Olalekan Rotimi, having been conferred with the power to chair this panel, hereby declare Chief Ifeanyichukwu Odii having polled the total highest number of valid votes and having met all the requirements, winner of the primary election.

“The exercise was counted openly and witnessed by agents of the aspirants, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders,” Mr Rotimi said.

Mr Odii, in his acceptance speech, thanked the delegates and the party for electing him to carry the party’s flag and promised to lead PDP to victory in the 2023 governorship election in the state.

He pledged to work with every member of the party to achieve victory.

The factional chairman of the party, Silas Onu, commended the party delegates for peaceful and orderly conduct in the exercise.

But, the faction of the party in the state conducted the governorship primary despite its cancellation by the national leadership of the party.

The national leadership of the party had announced the cancellation of all its primaries in the state. It said a new date would be made known for the primaries.

The National publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday, said the decision was made after extensive consultations and deliberation by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

But in a counter statement shortly after, Mr Onu, denied that the party’s primaries were cancelled.

The factional chairman accused the PDP spokesperson, Mr Ologunagba, of masterminding the statement without authorisation from the party’s NWC, according to a report by Nation newspaper.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that a faction of the party loyal to Tochukwu Okorie, another factional chairman of the party, had earlier, at a news conference in Abakaliki, on Sunday reiterated that the primary elections in the state had been cancelled on the directive of the national leadership of the PDP.

He said his faction of the party would, therefore, not participate in the exercise.

Background

The state chapter of the PDP has been enmeshed in a major leadership crisis lately. The crisis has frustrated efforts to conduct the three-man delegate election across wards in the state.

The crisis has also split the party into factions, resulting in the postponement of congresses in various wards and council areas of the state for about three times.

The postponements followed a myriad of court rulings sacking and reinstating factional leaderships of the party in the state.

Messrs Onu and Okorie have been engaged in supremacy battle over who controlled the soul of the party in the state ahead of the 2023 general elections.

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