Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Working Committee (NWC), has said it was not involved in the conduct of the party’s primary by the committee set up for the Cross River North senatorial district by-election.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, gave the clarification at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan said the attention of the NWC had been drawn to misleading comments by one of the aspirants in the primary, Jarigbe-Agom Jarigbe, wherein he made spurious allegations against the committee.
He said ordinarily, the NWC should not honour such a ‘reckless and irresponsible allegation’ with a response.
Ologbondiyan said being a responsive leadership, Uche Secondus-led NWC in the interest of the members and PDP supporters in Cross River State, had decided to put the record straight.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Cross River North election was duly conducted by a five-man electoral panel, with a comprehensive delegates’ list issued by the party.
“At the end of the exercise, a majority report by three members of the electoral panel, signed by the chairman, secretary and a member of the committee was sent to the NWC.
“The report indicates that three aspirants, including Jarigbe and two others, were in attendance along with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials and security agencies at the time of accreditation of delegates,’’ he said.
Ologbondiyan said the report also contained the accreditation of agents of the aspirants, one of whom represented Jarigbe.
“However, according to the report, during voting, Jarigbe and two other aspirants, Lupkata Nicholas and Mary Eru, staged a walk-out, having been part of the exercise from the beginning.
“The majority report indicated that at the end of the exercise, which was abandoned by Jarigbe, an aspirant, Stephen Odey, scored 450 votes to defeat Jarigbe, who scored 90 votes.
“On September 7, the Chief Returning Officer, Taleb Tebite, returned Odey as winner and also submitted to the national secretariat the delegates’ list used for accreditation, ballot papers, (used and unused).
“He also submitted original result sheets, Certified True Copies of INEC report from Cross River State and the police report, as required,’’ he said.
Ologbondiyan said on the other hand, two members of the committee submitted a minority report to the national secretariat in which they presented the name of Jarigbe as winner with 381 votes.
He said the decision of the NWC in accepting the election of Odey was, therefore, completely in compliance with the constitution and the extant guidelines made thereunder.
The NWC, according to Ologbondiyan, cautions Jarigbe to desist from such unwarranted attempt to bring PDP to disrepute, adding that the act was frowned at by the PDP constitution.