The Abia state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has debunked news making round that the party’s ward congresses never took place in the state ahead of the primary elections.
In a statement signed by the party’s chairman, Hon. Elder Amah Abraham, the PDP clarified that: “The INEC did not say that the Abia State Ward Congress did not hold as being insinuated and it is mischievous to attach such interpretations to a very clear and simple response.”
The statement reads:
“The attention of the Abia chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has been drawn to mischievous reports circulating in the social media including a press release by some governorship and House of Representatives aspirants in Abia State, that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has confirmed through a legal correspondence that the three-man delegates election did not hold.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no such correspondence where the INEC national office admitted that the three-man delegates election did not hold. We have also seen the said correspondence signed by the Secretary to INEC, Rose Oharan-Anthony, and it did not in any way allude to the non-conduct of the Abia State Ward Congresses.
“The said correspondence from INEC is in response to a request by legal practitioners; Dioka Stan & Co of 1 Durban Close, Off Durban Street, Wuse 11, Abuja in which the legal practitioners asked INEC to confirm that it is in receipt of a letter from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP National Chairman and National Secretary that rescheduled the Party’s Abia State Ward Congresses that failed to hold on May 4, 2022.
“The enquiry which is being misinterpreted only said in the second paragraph that the last correspondence it received from the PDP National Headquarters was the one that scheduled the Abia State Ward Congresses to May 4, 2022.
“The INEC did not say that the Abia State Ward Congress did not hold as being insinuated and it is mischievous to attach such interpretations to a very clear and simple response.
“To confirm that the Congresses held on May 6, 2022 as communicated to the State INEC office by the State PDP, a letter from the State Chairman of the PDP, Rt. Hon. Alwell Asiforo dated May 4, 2022 stated that the National Working Committee, NWC of the PDP has appointed members of the Abia Ward Congresses Electoral Committee. The said letter detailed the composition of the Abia State Ward Congresses Electoral Committee and is available as proof that the election was actually held.
“Abia State INEC has since acknowledged receipt of the letter with a duly stamped copy dated May 5, 2022 and returned to the Abia State Party Secretariat.
“In the said letter, the following were named as Chairman and Members of the Electoral Committee
1) Rt. Hon. Kenneth Okon Chairman
2) Hon. Nsikak Udoh C. Member
3) Chief Gaius Anyanwu Member
4) Hon. Damian Ozurumba Member
5) Mr. Remmanuel Okure Secretary
“To be very clear, there is no law that says that all communications between the Party and the election umpire, INEC must come from the national level. The National Headquarters of the Party communicates with the National Headquarters of INEC while the State Party office communicates with the State INEC office. The State Chairman by writing to the Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC did not in any way usurp the powers of the National Working Committee, NWC of the Party.
“As a Party, we have in the past had several horizontal communications with INEC at the State level. Recall that in the lead up to the bye-election that took place in Aba North and South federal constituency last year, all the correspondence was between the State Party office and the State INEC office.
“In times like this when well meaning Nigerians are making best efforts to ensure we practise true federalism through the devolution of powers, it is surprising that the very people that should uphold the principle of true federalism are the ones kicking against it for selfish ends.
“The Party is using this medium to inform the good people of Abia State that the members of the Abia State Ward Congresses Electoral Committee conducted the free and fair elections peacefully under the supervision of INEC officials in the 184 Wards in Abia State and have since returned the results to the Party Headquarters in Abuja.
“We ask the general public to discountenance the incorrect and false information making the rounds that the Ward Congresses did not hold.
“We ask all Party faithful to trust the ability of the State leadership to steer our Party’s affairs and maintain its lead in the State, especially as it concerns the 2023 general elections.”