Abia Speaker, lawmakers, others shun inauguration of PDP exco

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There are indications in Abia that all is still not well with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, even with the change of baton to new state executives.

This was evident last Friday in Umuahia on the occasion of the inauguration of the new party managers by the state governor, when the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike and all other PDP members of the House did not attend the important occasion.

However, in her usual humility and disposition, the latest in the House and member representing Aba South, Hon. Blessing Nwagba was the only member out of the 14 PDP members in the House who attended the occasion.

Other state functionaries, including commissioners and government aides were not fully in attendance during the occasion where the Deputy Governor represented the Governor, who was “unavoidably absent”, due to pressing official assignment outside the state.

When contacted, a top aide of the Speaker said that he was attending to “important personal engagement”, but was unable to give the position of the rest 12 PDP members who did not attend the function.

Daily Times learnt that the anger that trailed the 2014 election primaries in the state was yet to abate as the current executives of the party might  have been handpicked as stated by the Abia State 2016 congress chairman, Sen. Saidu Kumu, informing that delegates would only cast “yes” or “no” votes to affirm their acceptance or otherwise.

He had said that the peaceful conduct of the ward and local government congresses that climaxed to the state congress was “a big surprise”, given that the rancour that characterised the same exercise in some states.

However, there were two candidates who felt aggrieved, with one of them, stating that the state and national congress committee did not inform them about the consensus arrangements, and that the PDP executives at the state had allowed them to buy forms, but the Congress Committee chairman, Kumu, told newsmen that though he was happy with the way it went in Abia, he did not expect a 100% support, pointing out that there was time for appeals.

The current anger might have to do with the neglect and non-consultation of the House of Assembly functionaries in the said “harmonisation” of congress positions in the state executive of PDP, as well as other stakeholders including state functionaries.

A party faithful said after the occasion, “There is still anger in the party. People were not given the chance to make their choice during the congress and the harmonisation was without consultation with stakeholders”.

The party faithful said that if nothing was done to correct the situation, the party was doomed to fail like it did at the centre, stating that the party’s dream of recapturing the presidency in 2019 would be unrealistic.

A high-ranking functionary of the new state executive of the party told Daily Times that he was surprised that all PDP state lawmakers, except one,was not at the inauguration, pointing out that if there were any grievances on the part of any lawmaker, it should be channelled to the leader of the party in state – the state governor.

It would be recalled that even at the party’s zonal convention, a fight had disrupted the occasion for hours as security men were called in to help the situation.

Prominent past functionaries of the party who were from the zone were noted to have been absent at the Enugu zonal congress held by the party and they included former Vice-President of the country, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, two former National Chairmen of the party, Prince Vin Ogbulafor and Okwesilieze Nwodo, a former Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim.

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