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Violence Mar Enugu PDP Parallel Primaries As Ugwuanyi, Ekweremadu Groups Clash During Exercise


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The ongoing political war between Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, and Senator Ike Ekweremadu over the People’s Democratic Party, PDP election of 3-man delegates has affected the peaceful conduct of the State Assembly and House of Representatives primaries held weekend, as the camps of the two political bigwigs conducted parallel primaries.

African Examiner reports that both camps have pending cases before different courts seeking the legitimization of the parallel three-man delegates’ congresses which commenced the process of the party’s primary elections.

However, none of the cases before the courts has been decided, even though the governor’s group had claimed that it secured an interim injunction in support of their factional congresses.

The Ex- Deputy Senate president’s faction is insisting that it adhered with the party’s guidelines for the conduct of the ward congresses held in various wards in the state on the scheduled date.

They accused the governor’s faction of merely compiling the delegates’ list and handed it over to the congress panel without conducting the exercise in the wards.
But the Electoral Committees sent by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to conduct State Assembly and Federal House of Representatives Primary Elections in Enugu State on Sunday had expressed satisfaction with the exercises, which they described as peaceful, transparent and orderly.

But Our Correspondent observed that the exercise was characterized by protest in most Centres over the delegates’ list as the electorate were divided over which list of delegates to use for the conduct of the election.

There were also alleged manipulations, intimidation, and heavy presence of Soldiers , police, as well as other Security Operatives , who in most Centers did not allow the recording of the primary election, which resulted in the conduct of parallel primaries in most places.

Meanwhile, results from the Ekweremadu faction so far indicated that ,for State House of Assembly, Hon. Chinedu Okwu was declared winner of the Aninri State Constituency PDP primary election while Hon. Sunday Okafor and Egwuonwu Obasi were declared winners of Awgu North and South State Constituencies, respectively. Sunday Umeha was returned for Udi/Ezeagu Federal Constituency.

In Uzo Uwani State Constituency, Dr. Bath Nwankwo was elected, while Engr. Jude Asogwa was elected the flag-bearer for Nsukka/Igboeze South Federal Constituency.
In Enugu East Urban State Constituency, Hon. Osita Okoh was also declared winner.



In Enugu West senatorial zone which Ekweremadu represents, the primary elections for Awgu North and Awgu South State constituencies as well as the Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency were characterized by heavy violence, including sporadic shootings, and tear gassing of delegates.

The identification of delegates was marred by allegations of impersonation, while delegates were at a point driven out and tear-gassed out of the hall by policemen allegedly working for the governor’s camp.

Also, whereas the PDP chairmen for Oji River and Aninri were allowed to identify their authentic delegates, the Chairman of the party in Awgu, Hon. Okey Udeh, was not allowed to do so for Awgu despite several protests.

There were allegations that unauthentic delegates were smuggled into the venue. For instance, it was alleged that a lady was smuggled in to stand in for Mrs. Sopulibe, wife of the Deputy Chairman Oji River LGA.

Reacting to the violence experienced during the exercise, the Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives and an aspirant for the PDP in Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, described the exercise as “a comedy of errors”.

According to him, observing principles of democracy in the process was more important than the outcome, stressing that “when something as basic as delegates identification is flawed and skewed, and when an exercise as important as a primary election is marred by violence, then we cannot accept it.”

As at the time of filing this reports, both the governor and Ekweremadu camps have produced their respective lists of winners in the various state constituencies, for onward transmission to the PDP national headquarters.

Some of the party members who spoke under condition of anonymity on the violence described it as “shameful”, saying only the court will decide who are the authentic winners of the primary elections in Enugu state.


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