ABUJA — CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Senator Andy Uba, yesterday shunned the national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as he failed to appear before the party’s disciplinary committee.
A PDP stalwart in Anambra State and brother to Andy, Chief Chris Uba, a factional chairman, Ejike Oguebego; Chief Benji Udeozor and Mrs. Tonia Nwankwu were also not at the party’s secretariat to honour the summon by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.
The national leadership of PDP had last Tuesday, through the acting National Publicity Secretary, Tony Okeke, summoned the winner of party primary election conducted by one of the factions, Senator Andy Uba, his brother, Chris Uba and three others.
According to the party, Andy Uba and others were alleged to have conducted a parallel congress contrary to the one carried out by the national secretariat, with Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State as chairman of the electoral panel.
It also stressed that Kenneth Emeakayi was the recognised state chairman and not Ejike Oguebego, who conducted the congress where Andy Uba emerged.
But when Vanguard contacted Andy on phone, he simply said he was not available.
Meanwhile, the recognised candidate of PDP, Comrade Tony Nwoye, yesterday, stormed the party’s secretariat where he was presented with his certificate of return by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and vowed not to go to the tribunal should the November 16 Anambra election be adjudged by Civil Society Organisations, CS0, international and local observers as well as the media to be free and fair.
Nwoye, who described his emergence as the work of God, said he was surprised that the party could conduct a transparent primary election.
He, however, said that the baton given to him was to mobilize the people of Anambra State, reconcile them and win the election, and extended the olive branch to other contestants as Andy Uba, Nicholas Ukachukwu, and others for PDP to win the election.
Nwoye added that reconciliation had become imperative because wounds must be healed for the party to face opposition such as All Progressive Congress, APC, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and others.
The former students’ leader who hailed Tukur and other members of the NWC for conducting a transparent primary election, said before now, he had not had a face-to-face contact with the PDP national chairman, adding that he would be a fisher of men and women for the November 16 Anambra gubernatorial election.
Okeke said in the statement: “In view of their participation in the breach of our constitution referred to above, the following persons are hereby invited to appear before the National Working Committee for a preliminary hearing at the. PDP national secretariat, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 10 am prompt to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them.”
Also yesterday, aspirants for positions to be occupied at tomorrow’s convention, who appeared at Rockview Hotel, Wuse, for the screening, left grumbling and disappointed.
The aspirants had travelled from across the country for the screening by the Senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba’s screening committee, following advertisement, only to be sent back to their zones to resolve their problems.
Some of the aspirants complained of wasting money, risking their lives, only to be told of the present situation.
The PDP, however, postponed the screening of the aspirants to tomorrow.
The screening earlier scheduled for yesterday at 10 am in Abuja was postponed to Friday at the same time and venue.
But some aspirants who spoke to newsmen raised eyebrows over the postponement, saying they would resist any attempts to scheme them out of actively participating at the national convention.
Explaining why the screening was postponed, chairman of the screening panel, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, explained that the committee resolved to postpone it because some aspirants complained that the notice for screening was short.
Senator Ndoma-Egba said: “Some members complained that the notice was too short and then two, we want to see if the zones can reach common grounds on positions zoned to them. I know some zones have already agreed and others are still in the process of achieving it and you know that if you are able to reach a common position, it would facilitate the conference.
“So, that is why the party in its wisdom decided to give the zone some time so that they can fine tune their positions.”
The senator, who noted that the postponement would not affect the timing for appeal by aspirants as they will work 24 hours, said: “An appeal panel has been set up and in politics we work 24 hours and there’s no break and I believe all these issues will be addressed.”
One of the aspirants seeking to be national publicity secretary of the party, said “we are not comfortable with the reasons given for the postponement of the screening.
“We are watching and we hope they do not repeat the mistake that led to the sacking of some officials earlier this year.
“We don’t agree with any zone cornering any position. Positions were zoned to the region and every party member who meets the criteria to contest in those zones are eligible to contest.”