Protesters Storm PDP Headquarters

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Governor Ben Ayade, inspecting lab facilities at CGAL
  • Demand annulment of Cross River governorship primaries

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Abuja, yesterday demanding the outright cancellation of the primary election held to choose the governorship candidate for Cross River State in the forthcoming 2019 general election.

The protesters demanded that the primary election, which had Governor Ben Ayade of the state, as the sole candidate, be annulled as the second candidate who was cleared and issued a certificate of clearance to run for the primary election, Hon. Emmanuel Ibeshi, was curiously excluded from the exercise 24 hours to the election.

Wielding several placards with inscriptions such as “Who sold PDP mandate to Ayade should step aside,” “Let the people choose their leader through transparent primaries,” “Don’t impose Ayade on Cross River State,” and “Give us Ibeshi or lose Cross River State,” among others, the protesters under the aegis of Cross River State PDP Support Group, in a protest letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, condemned the exclusion of Ibeshi from the primaries.

In the letter, the group described the exclusion of Ibeshi from the primaries as an “unfortunate development”, which they said “has caused a lot of anxiety and disappointment amongst party members, supporters and electorate” in the state, who view the action as a return to “the culture of impunity and imposition,” being “undemocratic tendencies” they advised the party to move away from completely, as according to them:

“This is capable of causing the party to lose a state it has held for 20 years of our current democracy. Whatever the consideration is it worth losing Cross River State? the group asked, in the letter.

The group, in the letter signed by its Coordinator, Mr. Ken Bassey; Publicity Secretary, Efiom Atoe, and Secretary, Cletus Agbor respectively, called on the PDP National Working Committee to order a fresh primary election immediately to correct the “anomaly.”

“We are calling on the NWC to urgently correct this anomaly by cancelling the recently conducted gubernatorial primaries in Cross River State and ordering fresh inclusive primaries as was the case in the just-concluded PDP presidential primaries in Port Harcourt.”