By Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken steps to come hard on its members who have openly declared their loyalty to Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, who has continued to regard himself as the national chairman of the party.
Three former members of the state House of Assmbly, namely Chidi Nwosu, Emeka Ejiogu and Chukwuemeka Osoagbaka, have constituted themselves as the arrowhead of the pro-Sheriff group and have rejected the May10, 2016, state congress of the party as a “sham.”
But state executive committee of the party is not taking this affront lightly as the issue dominated its emergency meeting during which a seven-point resolution was adopted condemning the action of the three former lawmakers and their supporters, describing them as “a group of political dissidents and rascals.”
The resolution signed by the 15-member executive committee led by the state Chairman, Chief Johnson Onuigbo, said the rejection of the “democratically conducted” state congress of May 10, 2016, smacked of “irresponsibility, gross misconduct and disloyalty of extreme order.”
While pledging their loyalty to the national Caretaker Committee of PDP headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the state executive committee the state PDP declared that the party “is united, intact and has no division whatsoever in its rank and file.”
Meanwhile, after obtaining a certified true copy (CTC) of the Certificate of Return (CoR) which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had issued to Mr. Sampson Uche Ogah, the state PDP at the weekend declared that the electoral body had committed a “horrendous blunder” as the document excluded the supplementary poll held on April 25, 2015.
This anomaly was pointed out by the state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Don Ubani, at a news conference in Umuahia, saying since the election of April 11, 2015, did not produce a winner it meant that Ogah was issued a fake certificate of return.
INEC had declared the April 11, 2015, governorship election in the state inconclusive and went ahead to conduct a supplementary poll on April 25, 2015, after which Dr Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP was declared winner.
In the certificate of return issued to Ikpeazu on April 27, 2015, INEC stated that it was based on election “held on the 11th and 25th day of April11 and 25, 2015.”
But following an order of Abuja high court INEC on June 28, 2016 issued a certificate of return to Ogah based on the election “held on the 11th day of April 2015” without taking cognizance of the supplementary poll of April 25, 2015.”
“It is a horrendous error,” the Abia PDP spokesman said, adding that it was not unexpected because the electoral body “started being mischievous from the word go when it declared the governorship election inconclusive.”
He said there was no way INEC would get things right by allying with “people trying to foment trouble in Abia based on illegality,greed, desperation and conspiracy,” adding that INEC was in a hurry to foster an illegality in Abia hence the blunder.