(By: The Nation)
With a lot of drama, clashes and upsets, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday held primaries across the states to pick candidates for House of Representatives and House of Assembly elections.
There were upsets in Bayelsa and Ondo states, where the daughter of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Orode, lost the PDP Warri North Constituency ticket to Fred Martins, and Minority leader of Ondo State House of Assembly Rasheed Elegbeleye, lost out at the primary to Akintola Olarenwaju.
Orode Uduaghan polled seven to Martins’ 25. Elegbeleye lost his bid to retain the ticket by polling 18 to Olarenwaju’s 22 votes at the shadow poll in Ikare-Akoko.
In Edo State, factions loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki and PDP Vice Chairman (Southsouth) Dan Orbih held parallel primaries.
The Orbih faction claimed its primary was the authentic and that it was witnessed by officials from the Abuja National Secretariat.
The processes were stalled in Imo and Plateau states, forcing officials to shift the exercise till today.
In Akwa Ibom, aggrieved party members kicked over alleged manipulation of the ad-hoc delegate congress.
One of the aggrieved members, who is the senatorial aspirant for Akwa Ibom South (Eket) District, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, explained that they boycotted the primaries because they were illegal.
Inyang-Eyen, former chief of staff to the governor, said there is a subsisting matter in court challenging credibility of the adhoc delegates’ election, which comes up for hearing on Wednesday.
It was drama in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, where some delegates were allegedly abducted by gunmen.
The Nation gathered that the delegates were abducted in Ora-Igbomina, Ila, Ikire, Otan, Igbajo and Akesin communities.
They were released after the shadow poll.
The delegates alleged that those behind their ordeal did so to block them from voting for their preferred candidates
It was, however, a different ball game in Sokoto, Enugu and Jigawa states, where candidates into the Green Chamber and Houses of Assembly got their tickets through consensus arrangements.
Former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose’s son, Joju, was elected the candidate for Ekiti Central Constituency I.
He polled 69 votes, defeating his rival, Deji Adeosun.
The executive committee (exco) of the party in Lagos, under the chairman of Philips Aivoji, called on the National Working Committee (NWC) to cancel the primaries in the Centre of Excellence.
He alleged compromising in the names on the list of delegates.
Aivoji spoke at a news conference attended by governorship aspirants, including Dr. Ade Dosunmu, Mr. Adedeji Doherty, Mr. Jimi Jamal and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
According to a statement by its National Organising Secretary, Umar Bature, the senatorial primary to elect senatorial candidates will hold today.
Bature said in a statement: “The National Working Committee has approved that in the event of unforeseen logistic situations, activities of the senatorial primary may extend to Tuesday, May 24, 2022.”
Yesterday’s primaries were marred by irregularities, complaints and outright cancellation in some states, where members of the party alleged manipulation of the lists given to the national officials drafted to oversee the primaries.