Chaos, suspension, cancellation, uncertainty characterise PDP primaries

THE primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for House of Representatives and House of Assembly seats held across the country with candidates emerging amid uncertainty, chaos, suspension, cancellation though it was smoothly conducted in some venues. 

In Imo, legal advisor of the party, Mr Kessinger Ikeokwu, announced an indefinite suspension of its primaries for the House of Assembly and House of Representatives over what he described as an unreconciled delegates list. 

A statement by Ikeokwu on Sunday said the non-conduct of the primaries was due to confusion caused by the National Assembly where over 80 per cent of delegates ordinarily meant to vote at the primaries had been excluded in complying to Section 84 (8) of the Electoral Act. Parallel primaries were held in Edo State with former Speaker of the State Assembly, Mr Kabiru Adjoto, declared the winner in Akoko Edo Federal Constituency. 

The incumbent Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Marcus Onobun also won for the Esan West/Esan Central/Igueben Federal Constituency while the daughter of Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Omosede, emerged victorious for Ovia federal constituency. 

Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, emerged candidate of the party to contest the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency election in 2023. 

However, a third-term member representing Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency, Ossai N. Ossai, lost his bid to clinch the ticket of the PDP. 

The primaries for Ibadan North-East/South-East federal constituency, Ibadan South-East 1 and South-East 2 state constituencies in Oyo State were characterised by chaos, sounds of gunshots with three aspirants for the federal constituency seat, Adesina Abidikugu, Deji Aboderin and Niyi Aborishade chased out of the venue upon the arrival of some party leaders. 

Speaking at Adekile Goodwill Grammar school, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Oluwatomisin Agnes, ruled that nothing democratic happened in the constituency. 

He added that the rancour occurred because some people were trying to resist the apparent plan of some leaders of the party to intimidate and impose certain aspirants on the constituency. 

The incumbent member representing Warri Federal Constituency in the House of Assembly, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, on Saturday defeated his only rival and chairman of Warri North Local Government Area, Smart Asekutu by 96 votes to 06 to emerge victorious. 

Uncertainty trailed the primaries held in Lagos State for the House of Assembly and House of Representatives seats as it was characterised by issues of conflicting venues, late cum non-arrival of electoral umpires. 

The Lagos State chapter of the PDP, led by its chairman, Mr Philips Aivoji, called on the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to cancel the House of Assembly and House of Representatives primaries for the state, positing that the ad hoc delegates’ lists brought by the electoral committee for both primaries were compromised. 

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Assembly primary elections across Osun State were on Sunday characterised by irregularities in some local government areas of the state while some delegates were said to be  abducted but released after the exercise. 

Investigations revealed that many of the delegates said not to be cooperating with some power members in the party were fenced out from participating in the election. As a result of this, many members of the party called for the cancellation of the exercise which they described as fraudulent, undemocratic. 

For instance, an aspirant contesting for Peoples Democratic Party ticket for Boluwaduro/Ifedayo/Ila Federal Constituency, Hon Seyi Bamidele, who condemned the exercise said to be marred with irregularities, described it as charade. 

He explained that “some delegates were abducted in Oke Ila during the primary for Ifedayo State Constituency but were later released after the excercise has been concluded. 

“The whole exercise has been marred with anomalies. Some delegates that were to vote in the House of Assembly primary for an aspirant for Ifedayo State Constituency PDP ticket held at Iya ni o se Hall, Oke Ila were abducted. They were later released after the exercise had been completed. 

“As of 7:20pm in Ila town hall, Ila-Orangun where primary for Ila Federal Constituency will hold, no material nor officials that would conduct the exercise is at the venue. If people could be abducted during the day, a worse thing may happen under the cover of the night. At the appropriate time, we will make a decision.” 

At the Secretariat of the party in Osogbo, election materials did not arrive while officials to preside over the exercise were not also seen despite several hours spent in the office by our reporter till around the evening of the day. 

However, in some local governments, orderliness was followed and the exercise went on peacefully as materials and those to conduct the exercise distributed the election items at the appropriate time while in other areas. 

House of Assembly primaries were concluded before 6:30 p.m. while those of House of Representatives primaries took place after 7pm there.