Paul Osuyi, Asaba and Judex Okoro, Calabar
The immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State, Hon. Augustine Nnamani, has been re-elected as chairman of the party alongside other 38 members of the State Executives (EXCO) during a peaceful state congress held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, yesterday.
The congress, which was conducted in strict compliance with the COVID-19 protocols and monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had in attendance, the Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; his Deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo; Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Chukwuka Utazi and other members of the National Assembly from the state, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Edward Ubosi and his colleagues, council chairmen and other party bigwigs who were delegates.
Voting commenced immediately after accreditation of 2,808 delegates, which was conducted by the Electoral Committee from the National Secretariat of the Party headed by Dr Ibrahim Umar.
Addressing delegates, Dr Umar commended Governor Ugwuanyi and other party leaders in the state for the peaceful conduct of the congress, which he said was in line with the party’s guidelines.
Speaking on behalf of INEC, Mrs Ginika Uche Nwankwo, expressed satisfaction with the process and outcome of the congress.
In Cross River State, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP postponed the state congress by one week.
In a press statement dated August 8, and signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said it decided to postpone the congress after consultations with critical stakeholders.
But sources close to the state caucus of PDP revealed that the postponement is not unconnected with the uncompromising position of the Governor Ben Ayade and National Assembly members.
Both Ayade and NASS have been locked in a battle over the list of ward and local government executive committee, leading to factionalisation of the party.
And in the build up to the state congress, both factions have fielded their candidates in every position.
Sources close to Government House confided in our correspondent that both warring factions have been locked in a series of meetings since yesterday in a bid to resolve the political imbroglio.
In Delta State, indications emerged yesterday of a major crack in the state chapter of the party when an influential leader of the party and former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, was conspicuously absent during the congress.
Besides Ibori, the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District and former chairman of the party in the state, Peter Nwaoboshi, was not also present at the congress held in Asaba, the state capital.
The tenure of the Kingsley Esiso-led state executive council of the PDP had expired in May, this year, but due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the exercise could not be conducted.
Although no reason has been adduced for their absence, sources claimed that they had lobbied for a different chairmanship candidate to replace Esiso who was gunning for second term.
The party sources said the leaders were not impressed with Esiso’s performance in his first term, adding that his chances for re-election were further dimmed when PDP stakeholders in his Sapele Local Government Area allegedly rejected him.
However, Esiso emerged after consensus arrangement purportedly championed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.