The use of super delegates about 290, who voted in the governorship primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Anambra State, to choose the party’s governorship candidate, has left the party more fragmented.
A former manager of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Valentine Ozigbo emerged winner of the primary, after he polled 62 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Obiora Okonkwo who got 58 votes.
Before the primary election, a faction of the party led by Chief Chukwudi Umeaba had sought and obtained a court judgement, which dissolved the executives led by Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, and the elected ad hoc delegates.
The Umeaba faction, which got the court order has been the one disowned by the National Working Committee, NWC, all along, as the party leadership accorded recognition to the Nwobu led exco.
Analyst says it was now strange, how the NWC of the party, rather than proceed to a higher court to quash the order, choose to obey the order of the Umeaba faction, which also went ahead to hold a parallel primary election.
A source said “Superior legal opinion from INEC may have compelled the PDP leadership to obey the court order. But its baseless, because how can an order sought by a faction not recognized by the party torpedo the party’s laid down process of holding its governorship primary”
With the resolve of the party to obey the court order, this led to the disenfranchisement of over 3,000 delegates who had been elected to choose the governorship flag-bearer and whom the governorship aspirants had scouted for their votes during months of electioneering.
“The aspirants had been wooing the delegates with anything you can think of for a long time, only for the rules of the game to be changed barely few hours to the governorship primary” said a top party leader who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Two governorship aspirants, Tony Nwoye and Emeka Etiaba (SAN) withdrew from the contest over this development.
Nwoye in a statement said he withdrew from the contest following the exclusion of the party’s newly elected ad hoc delegates and executive members from the process. He described it as a mockery of democracy.
He said that with the exclusion of 94% of the delegates, only 6% of the delegates would be allowed to choose the candidate, a decision he said has turned the process into a mockery of democracy.
He further lamented that those excluded were the engine room of the party whom he said he had also counted on to win the primary and the main election.
With the primary over, it is uncertain how the PDP in Anambra State would heal the rancour that trailed the exercise as some aspirants dissatisfied with the process are keen on leaving the party.