'Desperation, Imposition Killed PDP In Ebonyi'

'Desperation, Imposition Killed PDP In Ebonyi'

Monday, March 16, 2015 3:00 pm

Chuks Oko, Deputy Director, Media and Publicity of Labour Party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Edward Nkwegu, in this interview with JETHRO IBILEKE blames PDP’s desperation and imposition for the mass exodus of its members to Labour Party in Ebonyi state

What led to the pulling out of your faction from the PDP to Labour Party?

This is one of the states PDP will claim to be their hotbeds. No way will PDP be contesting this place with any other party under normal circumstances. But during the build-up to the primaries, there was a problem. There was a delegate election in which I contested and had 354 votes against the nearest candidate to me who scored 121 votes in my ward, only for us to hear that the results were falsified at the PDP headquarters in Abuja. Naturally, people were not happy. The governor went to Abuja severally where he met with President Goodluck Jonathan, came back and told us that the President said primary elections would be conducted. But to the chagrin of everybody, these primaries were held by one faction and they were upheld by PDP in Abuja. So it became clear that a written script was playing out and nobody wanted to be caught on the wrong side of the political situation here, so naturally, there was a mass movement out of PDP.

The governor consulted very widely, I said very widely because I am aware of several meetings that took place, and people were saying they wanted power to go to the south. And because we didn’t want acrimony to come up, we said, let us settle for a consensus candidate. If you look at Ebonyi, we have one of the lowest money coming from Abuja. There are no industries here. We are an agrarian people. It will need a sound and level headed somebody to plan what to do with these resources to work for the people.

•Chuks Oko

•Chuks Oko

If you try the kind of jamboree that goes on in other places, the whole place will crumble. So the people consulted with the governor, and in the governor in his own wisdom, saw a young man who fits into that.

Are you therefore accusing the national leadership of PDP of imposing candidates on the people which eventually backfired?

Of course. That has been their problem and they know it. Let’s also look at this scenario; if I am going to election, am sure I have a list that is uptight for the election. But how come election was conducted on Saturday and by Monday morning, you have gone to a Federal High Court in Abuja to obtain an injunction that is your one list that must be recognised for election in Ebonyi? That shows fraud from day one. If there was no fraud, why did they go to court?

Can you substantiate that claim with facts?

When this thing happened, I said the governor severally went to Abuja and at one of those meetings with the party chairman, two other governors and the President were at the meeting, and the President told the party chairman that there would be no election in Ebonyi. But that day we heard that the party chairman was saying that there was something involving one of his children in Saudi Arabia and his phone was incommunicado.

It was Alhaji Shehu Babayo-led Committee that conducted the first ward congress on October 1. And the governor clearly stated it during a media briefing that the result of the ward congress of which he himself was elected which was supposed to be published, he was surprised that the PDP leadership went ahead to recognise the result drafted in a hotel by some PDP candidates.

That was the beginning of this crisis and why the governor was now insisting that we must go back to the Shehu Babayo-led delegate list if any other election must hold, which was what made the governor to ask his supporters to stay clear of any other primary election, especially relying on the assurance of the President on the 28 of November, 2014 that the state assembly primary was supposed to be on Saturday 29 November, will not hold in Ebonyi. He addressed the press in the Exco chamber of the government house where he said the President has assured him and said that there will be no election in Ebonyi, Taraba, Ondo and Adamawa states.

He told the people to disregard any information concerning election. We didn’t know that Muazu and the rest were out to destroy whatever is left of the PDP in Ebonyi. They went ahead and published results and even suspended party leaders in the state.

When party elders in the state went on a peaceful protest with a petition, that is those on the side of the governor, the national party chairman of PDP was said to have held the petition in one hand and told them that this is rubbish. Among them were a serving senator, house of representatives member and others. But the national chairman of PDP said their petition was rubbish, which means they were not ready to entertain it and started making jest of them about how his grand mother loves Abakaliki rice. That is sheer unseriousness. They went to Tony Anenih, he was hiding. So how can anybody have any kind of hope in that situation? They were simply rubbishing our people from home. That is why we said to governor Elechi, Oga, it’s time to go oh, but the governor will say please let us be patient. But you know how we the young ones, the younger generation behave. So we the younger ones left. That is what happened.

Is it true that governor Elechi broughthis inlaw, Dr. Nkwegu, to Labour Party to run against the candidate of his own party and is funding his campaign with government’s money?

It’s absolute rubbish. In the first instance, you need to know what happened here. How can he? The governor is still in PDP and it is not in doubt, he has never been visible anywhere near Labour Party function and he has not been funding the party as alleged. The young man contesting under Labour Party is a billionaire in his own right. Even if you are looking for what makes him a billionaire, you know that one of the biggest hotels owned by a private individual in Abuja is owned by him and he is not owing any bank in the building of that hotel.

We have a saying Ebonyi that PDP has a vehicle but no human beings in it, but Labour Party has human beings but no vehicle. But to God be the glory, if you see the train of the Labour Party moving, you will know that a political movement is on.

Are you insinuating that PDP is the architect of its own problems in Ebonyi?

Of course yes! Did we know anything about Labour Party? That is why I say Labour Party in Ebonyi State is the fastest growing political movement I’ve seen anywhere. It was just existing as one of the political parties. The relevance it has now is the splinter group that moved over from the PDP.

There was a report in national daily newspapers that the president has said, leave them alone oh, don’t go and try any impeachment, but when he turns back, his minions, those he appointed, said, continue with what you are doing, and he (the President) does nothing about it. Will anybody try that if Obasanjo were the president? If you are president, you must be president, it’s as simple as that.

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  • wandebabs says:

    Edward Nkwegu a “billionaire in his own right”? Biggest hotel by an individual in Abuja without credit finance? This is a man who prominently featured in most of the asserted impeachable offences of Gov. Elechi, and is his in-law no less. You sir betray your own ignorance and definitely do not mean well for Ebonyi State.

  • Chineze Onuaguluchi says:

    until there is party democracy there will be issues of this sort in all parties

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