PDP Congresses: Faction Accuses Sheriff’s Aide of Imposition

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Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu

A major crisis has engulfed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu State following alleged imposition of candidates in Nkanu West Local Government Area by Uche Nnaji, the Political Adviser to the party’s National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff in the Ward and Local Government Congresses of the party in the state.

Already, a group of party members under the aegis of Enugu PDP Reform Group led by Hon. Henry Chibuzor and Mr. Henry Nwobodo has called for the postponement of the party’s May 10 State Congress and the National Convention until issues arising from the ward and local government congresses were properly addressed.

The group made the accusation at a press conference in Enugu on Saturday.
Nnaji’s brother and a former commissioner in the state, Hon. Nnoli Nnaji has however dismissed the allegation as false, mischievous and a calculated attempt to deceive unsuspecting members of the public.

But the group in their statement observed with dismay the turn of events at the just concluded PDP ward and local government area congresses in Enugu State, with particular reference to Nkanuland.

He said it was disheartening that the results of the PDP congresses at the ward and local government were hijacked, mutilated and completely altered by those who felt that they can change or break the collective decision of the very resilient and loyal party faithful who turned out en masse on 30th April 2016 and 5th May 2016 to exercise their franchise to elect party leaders.

Nwobodo said they discovered that Nnaji who incidentally is the Political Adviser to the Acting National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif, connived with some people in Wadata Plaza Abuja to usurp the collective will of the people because of their unholy desire to destroy the party and make it weak.

“This heinous act was perpetrated by Uche Nnaji in collusion with his brother, Nnali Nnaji who is well known to have left the PDP for another party, the People for Democratic Change (PDC), where he contested and lost House of Representatives election for Nkanu East and West Federal constituency to PDP candidate.

“We are most saddened and very worried that PDP will still succumb to imposition after the colossal loss in the last general election even as we are working assiduously to restore the party to its past glory by instituting internal democracy. The action of Nnaji and his cohorts is condemnable, unacceptable, crude and unjustifiable,” they noted.

The group therefore called on party leaders in the state and National level to condemn, resist, “overthrow this evil and save our dear party from possible destruction that they are planning which may ruin what we all have built in Nkanu land and the state in general”.

But in a swift reaction, Nnoli Nnaji denied colluding with his brother Uche Nnaji to hijack the ward and local government congresses in Nkanu West.
Nnaji, who was Commissioner for Public Utilities in Enugu State, described those complaining about the outcome of the congresses as bad losers.

Nnaji explained that both he and his brother, Uche Nnaji, were not even at home when the congresses were held and therefore could not have hijacked the congresses as claimed by the said PDP Reform Group.

“I was in Bauchi as the Chairman of the Committee handling the congress. But, from what I was told the congress for Nkanu West was held at the local government secretariat. The Chairman of the local government was there. The State Secretary of the party was there and the person who presided over the exercise is a government official. All the outgoing executives were there.

“But, you know that politicians always complain when they lose. It is very difficult for them to accept defeat. Those who are complaining are bad losers who do not want to accept defeat. What happened was that some persons were there before, but the people do not want them anymore and chose new people and those who lost are complaining,” he said.