February 2, 2023

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Controversy trails PDP primaries as winners

THE Lagos State chapter of the PDP urged the National Working Committee (NWC) to cancel the House of Assembly and House of Representatives primaries.

Chairman of the party, Mr. Philips Aivoji, made the call at a briefing.

He was accompanied by other state exco members and governorship aspirants.
Aivoji said the ad-hoc delegates’ lists brought by the electoral committee for both primaries had been compromised.

As of the time of filing this report, the exercise was yet to hold, as party members were stranded while waiting for arrival of officials in charge of the exercise.

Aivoji said: “We are all shocked to see that the lists do not reflect the authentic elected Ad-Hoc delegates as conducted by the organs of the party at the ward level and Supervised by the DSS and INEC.

“Copies of the Ad-Hoc lists that emanated from the state and submitted to INEC are completely different from the one brought by the committee for the purpose of the exercise.
Up till this moment, we cannot reach out to the committee chairman and secretary and their telephones have either been switched off or unreachable.

“As law abiding members of our great party, we collectively reject these lists and we cannot guarantee, free, fair and credible party primaries that we have sworn to conduct.

“The processes have been compromised ab initio and skewed to favor a particular aspirant.

“We, therefore, call for outright cancellation of the election exercise. Doing otherwise would not only jeopardise the chances of the party at the polls.”

In Delta, gunmen numbering over ten invaded the Anglican Girl’s Grammar School, Ozoro, Isoko North Local Government Area, venue of the PDP House of Assembly primary.

They stormed the venue in three Toyota Sienna vans shortly after results had been declared, shooting into the air.

The contest for PDP Ethiope Federal Constituency ended in a tie after the incumbent, Rollands Igbakpa and Erhiatake Suenu-Ibori polled 34 votes each.

The returning officer for the Ethiope Federal Constituency, Mr Eugene Ozum, who declared the contest a tie, said the PDP hierarchy will meet to take a decision.

Orode Uduaghan, daughter to former Delta Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, lost the PDP Warri North Constituency primary to Fred Martins.

Uduaghan, who scored a paltry seven votes, lost to Fred Martins who polled 25 votes.

Former Managing Director, Delta State Oil Producing and Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Askia Ogieh, lost the PDP Isoko Federal Constituency primaries to Jonathan Ukodhiko who polled 33 votes to beat Askia with 21 votes.

In Niger, ten out of 26 constituencies turned in the election results before 8pm.
The LGAs include Rafi, Bida South, Bida North, Bosso, Lavun, Suleja, Gurara, Chachanga, Wushishi and Bosso.

The Niger PDP Director of Special Duties, Rahina Ibrahim, sent a notice to all electoral officers at 8pm that the state party secretariat had closed and that the collation of results would resume at 8am today.

There was the late arrival of electoral officers and the disruption of activities by thugs in many LGAs.

In Akwa Ibom, the primaries produced the PDP candidates for the 26 state constituencies and 10 federal constituencies.

The exercises, which began at about 1pm due to late arrival of materials, was peaceful.

Aggrieved members opposed to the outcome of April 30 ad-hoc delegates election boycotted the primaries.

One of the aggrieved members of the party, who is the Senatorial aspirant for Akwa Ibom South (Eket) district, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, explained that they boycotted the primaries because it was illegal to do so.

An indigene of Ogbia, Bayelsa State, Michael Isaiah, alias Tompolo, was murdered during the primaries in the area.

Many new faces emerged as candidates. A former Deputy Chief of Staff to Seriake Dickson, Mrs Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown was declared winner of the Sagbama Constituency 3.

Pamoh Werinipre emerged winner of the Kolokuma-Opokuma Constituency 1.

In Ogun, late Senator Buruji Kashamu’s son, Rasheed Kashamu, emerged the candidate for Ijebu North State constituency 1 (Ijebu Igbo) in the primary.

Also, Yusuf Daisi, popularly called Legacy, emerged as PDP House of Assembly candidate for Ijebu Ode state constituency.

Late arrival of materials and absence of them in some centres characterised the primaries.

The primaries in Oyo were trailed by criticism and discontentment.

While the intra-party election held peacefully in some centres, the situation was volatile in some others.

At the historic Mapo Hall where the primary for Ibadan South East State Constituency 1 was held, some delegates said they did not sign INEC result to demonstrate their opposition to the way the election went.

It was a similar report at St. John’s Primary School, Alake, Academy, Ibadan, the venue of the election for South East State Constituency 2.

Delegates also accused some party leaders of intimidating and harassing them to ensure that only those who would vote for their candidates were allowed to vote. They accused the party leaders of visiting the venues with uniformed security operatives who allegedly prevented some delegates from voting.

Our reporter, who was at Mapo Hall, sighted the Deputy National Chairman of the party Amb. Taofeek Arapaja who was fully guarded by security operatives including policemen, DSS operatives and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Journalists were barred from the hall where the election was held as security personnel insisted that only delegates were to be allowed in.

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