By Cecilia Ijuo
Sen. Stella Oduah, an aspirant in the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra, has threatened withdrawal from the race, alleging irregularities in Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) build-up to the primary election.
Oduah made this known while briefing newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
She said that the Ward congress of the party held on Wednesday to elect three delegates per ward was fraught with “irregularities and sabotage’’.
According to her, as if the case of hijacking was not enough, the ultimate result of the ward congress which was submitted by the Secretary of the panel was switched for a doctored result.
“The exercise violated all known principles of democratic practice. Several complaints have continued to trail the exercise as most party faithful are disgruntled and agitated,’’ Oduah said.
She disclosed that she had petitioned the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, over the matter, and threatened to withdraw from the primary if the party failed to address the problem.
“Based on the above, I wrote to notify the chairman of my protest and intention to withdraw from the 2017 gubernatorial primaries in Anambra if the party fails to address the issues presented.
“This is because the approach employed for the party primary is not aimed at winning election.
“The implication of this is to subject loyal party faithful to stressful and rancorous primary to weaken and sap the strength of candidate that will emerge from the exercise.
“It should be recalled that this has been the reason our party has been losing gubernatorial elections in Anambra,’’ she said.
The lawmaker claimed that only her and few other members of the party in state remained faithful during the turbulence in the party that led to litigations at the national level.
“There is no doubt that our party has undergone a torturous battle. Along the line, some wavered and many of our members dropped and a lot others left the mainstream party.
“To the glory of God, some faithful members remained loyal and determined to see to the end of the crisis.
“While some states were hard hit, the impact on others was light. In many states, members of the party were abandoned to their fate like orphans.
“This is particularly so where we have governors at the hem of affairs who are in the opposition.
“In such case, the burden of managing the state chapter of our party fell on few elders and some parliamentarians elected on the platform of the party,’’ she said.
According to her, in Anambra, I was among the few party members who remained faithful, and it was a challenging period for the few members of the party who kept fate.
“At some point, I became the only senator elected on the platform of our great party in state, but myself and a few elders kept the flag flying until today that the party regained its glory.
“It was in view of this that the elders of the party in my state encouraged me to step forward to lead the party in the upcoming gubernatorial election of Nov. 18,’’ she said.
Oduah warned that the approach being adopted in the state would not reward party loyalists or guarantee election victory.
The aspirants on PDP platform are Dr Alex Obiogbolu, Sen. Stella Oduah, Mr Oseloka Obaze, Mr John Emeka, Dr Patrick Ubah, Mr Akolisa Ufodike and Ms Lynda Ikpeazu.