By Ejiofor Alike
The 22 members of the Anambra Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee have sent a petition to the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, against the Anambra State Chairman and the Secretary of the party, alleging manipulations in the ward congress held on August 21 and the state congress/ gubernatorial primary election held on August 28, 2017.
In the petition signed by 22 members of the state caretaker committee, they alleged that the ward congress and the state congress/primary election were marred by “fraudulent manipulations of the electoral process and the blatant and brazen disregard to the PDP constitution and the electoral guidelines.”
The caretaker committee members alleged that the chairman and secretary are working against the victory of the party in the November 18, 2018 governorship election in the state and urged Makarfi to call them to order, adding that the party’s register were handed over by the chairman and secretary to the agents of APGA and APC for manipulations at the detriment of the PDP.
They further alleged that they were ‘humiliated, rendered dysfunctional, alienated and excluded in all the activities and management of the affairs of the party and in the decision making process leading to the party congress held on August 21 and the subsequent state congress/primary election held on August 28, 2017.
“The chairman and the secretary of the state caretaker committee did compile, approve and published the composite list of local government areas without consultation and any input from members of the state caretaker committee and other stakeholders,” the petitioners said.
“The chairman and the secretary willfully, deliberately and maliciously altered and manipulated the list of membership in four local government areas, namely: Onitsha South, Ekwusigo, and Anaocha, Orumba North and South, thereby causing disaffection among the genuine members of the party in the affected areas,” the petitioners alleged.
The members disclosed that they had planned to open the distribution of membership registers on August 18 but the Chairman and Secretary frustrated the plan to undermine the PDP’s victory in the November 18 election, stressing that the distribution of the said membership registers was done secretly on August 19 without any publicity to reduce the number of PDP members that would be successfully registered and undermine the party’s chances in the forthcoming governorship election.
They also alleged that all the members of the caretaker committee, except the chairman and secretary were excluded and shut out from participation in the ward congress and the primary election.
“It is shocking how the Chairman and Secretary generated the list of delegates which they used to manipulate the state congress/primary election without INEC observation or authentication,” the petitioners added.
According to the petitioners, all the INEC-certified delegates that won in the ward congresses were excluded from participation in the state congress.
They alleged that the activities of the chairman and secretary spell doom for the party in the forthcoming election and urged Makarfi to call them to order.
The petition was signed by Dan Nwabueze (Ogbaru LGA); Gilbert Ifemena (Awka North); HC Nsofor (Ekwusigo LGA); Chibu Oka (Anambra West); Emma Odum (Awka North); Chris Ama (Orumba LGA); Emeka Osaemeka (Onitsha North); Uchennu Oforkansi (Anyamelum LGA) and Chukwudi Umeh (Orumba North LGA) and 13 other members of the Anambra State PDP Caretaker Committee.