From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Caretaker Committee inaugurated by factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff, to run the affairs of the party in Edo State, yesterday gave reasons why the party was conducting fresh primaries in the state.
Addressing journalists in Benin, Chairman of the Committee, Ebenezer Alabi, explained that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who was announced winner of the first primary election, emerged through a caretaker committee that is not backed by the constitution of the PDP, adding that the fresh exercise would hold on Wednesday.
Alabi, a former chairman of the PDP in Ondo State, assured that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will monitor the exercise.
He said the court rulings so far on the issue, gave Ali Modu Sheriff the powers to produce the authentic governorship candidate of the PDP in Edo State to avoid fielding somebody who according to him, emerged “through an illegal Caretaker Committee led by Ahmed Makarfi”.
“The leadership of our party under Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, invoked section 31, sub-section 2E of the constitution of PDP by suspending the state Executive members of the PDP in Edo State led by Chief Dan Orbih, for three months and appointed a seven man committee to superintend the affairs of the PDP in Edo State.
“We are holding our governorship primaries on Wednesday and the purpose of the primaries is to conform with the ruling of the court. You are aware that a lot of our members are in court as to who is the authentic leader of PDP in Nigeria because of the aborted convention we had in Port Harcourt. The court has made pronouncements. We are a democratic party and I believe we must follow the law.
“The court made orders that the position of the National Chairman, National Secretary and National Auditor are not vacant and that they have powers to hold such offices until 2018. Apart from that, there is a court ruling in Abuja that actually said the tenure of Modu Sheriff ends in 2017. But despite these rulings, some members of our party went to Port Harcourt and elected a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party.
“Today, we are faced with the problem of who is the authentic person that can sign a valid nomination to INEC; presently, the court ceded that power to Ali Modu Sheriff. So, if we want to have a valid candidate for the election in Edo State, we must do something proper to carry out the order of the court. And that is why we are here to comply with the order of the law and ensure that we have a proper candidate for our party in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State”, Alabi said.
He was flanked by the secretary of the caretaker committee, Chief Edmund Zealiwe and others at the media briefing.
… I’m loyal to PDP, not individual –Iduoriyekemwen
From Tony Osauzo, Benin
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirant, Hon. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, has said that his loyalty is to the party and not individual.
The aspirant who stated this in Benin yesterday while reacting to his suspension from the party, explained that he was standing with Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party because he was on the right side of the law at the moment.
He said his suspension offends Section 57 (6) of the PDP Constitution, adding that he has not been accused of any offence which was communicated to him, nor has he been given fair hearing.
“They have embarked on a journey that leads to nowhere. My suspension is just a show of extreme desperation to ensure that their candidate stands as the governorship candidate”, he said.
Hon. Iduoriyekemwen who earlier rejected the result of the primaries conducted by the Ahmed Markafi faction of the party, is billed to participate in a fresh primary election to be conducted by the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the PDP tomorrow.
He said his grouse with the earlier primaries was that rather than use direct delegates as stipulated by the constitution, a list of consensus delegates used to elect the former Dan Orbih State executives was used for the governorship primaries.
“Orbih is the problem of the party. He should resign. He has not been able to lead the party to any electoral success”, Iduoriyekemwen said.
The former majority Leader of the Edo State House of Assembly confirmed that results of yesterday’s delegates election to be used for Wednesday primaries were ready.
He disclosed that both Chief Anthony Anenih and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu reached out to him, pleading with him to work for the success of the PDP during the election, but that he expressed his pleasure with conduct of the primaries and raised issues.