From Nnamdi Ofonye, Owerri
The ward congresses of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Imo state which took place over the weekend was a huge success devoid of rancour and violence in some wards while in others; it was a game of clashes.
The congress which was carried out to elect delegates to the party’s primaries ahead of the 2015 elections took place in all the electoral wards across the state. But apart from the late arrival of the party’s electoral and presiding officers which forced the congresses into late evening in some wards, party faithfuls armed with the party’s membership cards conducted themselves in orderly manner as stipulated in the party’s guideline for the congresses.
In some of the wards visited by HOMELAND NEWS which included Eyiogugu, Umbutu and Ovuru 2, all in Abor Mbaise local government area of the state, the deputy speaker of the federal house of representatives, Emeka Ihedioha who also took part in the exercise in his ward of Umbutu told journalists that he was satisfied with the conduct of the congress. He explained that the method of directly queuing behind their preferred candidate is aimed at checkmating violence and betrayal that comes with secret balloting.
But as is always the case in our polity, there is always a dissenting voice in every election. Such voice was that of the Senator representing Owerri zone, Chris Anyanwu whose supporters were crying foul over the whole process. They accused Emeka Ihedioha of colluding with the electoral officers to hijack the congress.
A close confidant of the senator who does not want his name in print frowned and queried why the deputy speaker will arrive the various centers in company of the electoral officers. He said that Ihedioha and his co conspirators had already written the names of their preferred candidates having heavily paid the party electoral officers.
“if you see what happened there yesterday, you will agree with me that the people of Mbaise are ready to go for the Senator instead of Emeka. it was clear from the onset and having seen the hand writings on the wall, Emeka resorted to using his money and position in the national assembly to gag everybody.”
Although HOMELAND NEWS could not go round the whole state for the congresses, feelers from some other areas within the state had similar occurrences. A source told us that two of the governorship front runners from the Okigwe zone almost entangled themselves in a physical combat.
But while all the aspirants are hell bent on undoing each other at least for now, some political analysts argue that the table in the primaries could at the end turn against any one irrespective of the number of delegates he or she might have secured through the congresses with recourse to the way and manner the PDP candidates always emerge.