The factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Silas Onu, yesterday stated that the issue of who is the authentic governorship flag bearer of the party in Ebonyi state has been put to rest following the decision of the Party’s NEC to work with the primary elections of 28 and 29 of May, 2022 which saw the emergence of Chukwuma Ifeanyi Odii as the governorship candidate of the party.
Onu, who was the chairman of the party in the state when the May 28 and 29 elections were held, in a statement reiterated that according to Section 31 (3) of the PDP constitution, 2017 (as amended), the decision of the National Executive Committee shall be binding on all organs and members of the Party.
He noted that the the NEC approval of the names submitted by the Party to INEC as candidates contesting for the various offices in the shall be binding on all members of the party.
Onu noted, “the National Executive Committee of our great party, the Official Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Nigeria, unequivocally stamped its approval of the names submitted by the Party to INEC as candidates for the various offices ranging from Houses of Assemblies, House of Representatives, Senate, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections come 2023.
“For us in Ebonyi State, this is in line with the recent Court of Appeals decision in the Appeal by Senator Joseph Obinna Ogba, where the Court emphatically held that it is the political party that has the option of who it intend to sponsor as candidate for election and where there are two primaries, the party can decide which of the two it intend to rely on. By the decision of NEC yesterday the 8th of September, 2022 and especially at paragraph 6 of the communique released afterwards, it is abundantly clear that the party has decided to work with the primary elections of 28 and 29 of May, 2022. For the avoidance of doubt, the particular resolution in the published communique reads “NEC unanimously ratified the list of candidates of the PDP as submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the NWC.
“Needless to state that the names submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the NWC are those of the primaries conducted on 28th and 29th of May, 2022. For the purpose of further emphasis, May I, once again, refer to a holding in the court of appeal decision in the appeal by Sen. Joseph Obinna Ogba delivered on 1st September, 2022 to the effect that neither the Court nor INEC can decide a candidate for the political party. So, the PDP has decided and very clearly too.
“The implication of the decision of NEC is to ratify the decisions and actions of the NWC regarding the names sent to INEC. It is important to mention here that pursuant to Section 31 (3) of the PDP constitution, 2017 (as amended), the decision of the National Executive Committee SHALL be binding on all organs and members of the Party.
“As earlier held by my humble self, the window is already firmly closed against any political party to substitute the names already submitted to INEC for the 2023 elections and only a specific Order by a Court of competent jurisdiction acting on an action duly filed within the constitutional timeframe of 14 days after the cause of action arose, can alter the state of the names already submitted and such an order must be directed at INEC, not PDP – PDP is already functus officio on this matter.
“Finally, it is my earnest expectation that all those who participated in the unlawful primaries of 4th and 5th June, 2022 will, by now, realize that the ship has sailed and find a new path to pursue, politically. This issue is already over and it is in the interest of their mental and physical health for each of them to face reality and quit acts of self deception.
“I cannot conclude without profoundly congratulating all our candidates for Houses of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and especially our Gubernatorial Candidate – Chief Dr. Chukwuma Ifeanyi Odii.