From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has elected its substantive South-East executives with a vow to reclaim all lost grounds starting with Anambra State on November 6.
The election of the new executives, which took place at South-East Zonal Congress held at Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, saw the emergence of Chief Ali Odefa, who ran unopposed, as the National Vice Chairman with 755 votes.
Also elected were Chief Ugwu James with 754 votes as Zonal Secretary; Mr, Emeka Okeke with 750 votes as Treasurer; Uma Ukpai (752 votes) as Legal Adviser and Mary Omeile (754 votes) as Woman leader.
The election, conducted by the electoral committee led by Dr Ibrahim Umah, was described by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as peaceful, orderly and transparent.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner Enugu State, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, who authenticated the election, urged that other elections in the country is held in such decorum and peace.
In his acceptance speech, Odefa assured party faithful of level playing ground adding that with their inauguration, PDP would reclaim all lost grounds.
Stating that the new executive would strive to put the party’s interests before any other interests, Odefa said: ‘We shall provide level playing field for all to participate. Every place we have lost ground in the zone, God will help us to recover starting with Anambra State.’
He stressed that the PDP remained the best choice of the people of the zone, expressing optimism of a better outing in 2023 elections.
Odefa, who recalled how he was assaulted five years ago at the same Okpara square while running for the office of Zonal Vice Chairman, stated that the peaceful election was an indication that his time had come.
He praised the courage of the leaders of the party in the zone in ensuring there was a level playing ground in the party in the zone and commended the leader of the party in the zone, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, describing him as a material for export.
Governor Ugwuanyi said that the party had come to stay in the zone and there was no going back.
Other leaders of the party who spoke and authenticated the election, including Vice Presidential candidate of the party in 2019 elections Mr Peter Obi, former Governor of Ebonyi State, Sen Sam Egwu, Deputy Governor of Abia State Ude Okochukwu; all said that peace had returned to the party in the zone and would henceforth guide the conduct of affairs in the party.
Other dignitaries present at the zonal congress were former Imo Governor Emeka Ihedioha, Sen Enyinnaya Abaribe, Sen Uche Ekwunife, Sen Obinna Ogba, Chief Olisa Metuh, Chief Chris Uba, Hon Edward Ubosi, Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly.