Former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Tony Nwoye, has withdrawn from the race for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship ticket for Anambra State.
In a press statement released this morning, ahead of the primary election of PDP holding today, Nwoye instructed his supporters to vote for any aspirant of their choice.
The influential politician, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2017 Anambra State governorship election, said his decision to withdraw from the race was informed by recent developments in the PDP in the last 36 hours.
Nwoye’s statement reads: “We all have been witnesses to the disconcerting flurry of events in our party in the last 36 hours. Developments which should be of grave concern to every true democrat and believer in the inalienability of the rights of true party people to freely choose the party’s flagbearer in the upcoming gubernatorial elections in our beloved state, Anambra.
“On Thursday, I was still actively traversing the hinterland in my last minute consultations/mop-up with the duly elected ad hoc delegates of the party in the 326 electoral wards of Anambra, ahead of the primaries slated for Saturday, 26th June when I was jolted by the news of the party’s National Working Committee’s (NWC) release concerning the party’s primaries.
“In the NWC release, the entire ward level executives of our party, the L.G.A executives and State executives of our party (who, by our edicts are bona fide statutory delegates) and also the elected ad hoc delegates (3 from every ward), who emerged from the duly conducted delegate election of the party that held on 10th June, 2021 will no longer be voting in the primaries election. Instead, only a handful of automatic/super delegates whose names appeared in a made-up list will be deciding who flies the party’s flag at the Nov 6 governorship polls holding in the state.
“For avoidance of doubt, under our Party’s Constitution, Article 25(1) of the said Constitution provides that in the composition of the State Congress for the nomination of governorship candidate, the bulk of the members and delegates that ought to vote at the primary election are the State Executive Working Committee, The Local Government Executive Working Committee, the ward executives from all the electoral wards (all as statutory delegates) and the 3 ad hoc delegates elected in the delegates election for the purposes of the congress are to constitute the electorate at the state congress. What is at play now is that the afore-listed groups have been excluded from voting in today’s Primary Election.
“These excluded statutory and duly elected ad hoc delegates constitute over 94 percent of the total number of expected Delegates to vote at the Primary election! The import is that the primary election as is being purported will only be by a paltry 5 – 6% percent of eligible voters. There can be no doubt that this runs against the grain of the basic tenets of participatory democracy of which I am an uncompromising proponent of.
“Owing to this development, I have consulted with my campaign team, teeming supporters – most of who are the bedrock of our Party at the grassroots level where I belong, and my ever supportive family, and I have come to the inevitable conclusion that the process has been greatly flawed. A process that ignores the very engine room of not just our party
but of democracy itself, which is the participation of the true repository of power, the people in the primary election is against the principles I hold dear in politics. Aborting the rights of the people who represent the kindle to our possible success at the election, cannot have my participation at the Primary election.
“I therefore, in standing with all the teeming excluded 3 elected ad hoc delegates, ward executives, local government, and state delegates that have been so unjustly disenfranchised for the primary.
“For the reasons stated above, I hereby withdraw from participation as an aspirant in the PDP Primary election of 26th June 2021.
“I salute the courage of my dependable team, my fans, teeming supporters and loving family. I enjoin them to understand this painful decision which I have no doubt is the right course of action at this time.
“Our resolute commitment to changing the lot of the common people of our dear state for good through the instrumentality of party politics remains on course as is our personal conviction that whatever happens, power ultimately belongs to God.
“My Supporters and fans who are delegates are at liberty to vote for any aspirant of their choice.”