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Labour Partys gains in Afikpo

Published by The Nation on Sun, 01 Feb 2015

The recent primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have further alienated the people from the party. Ogochukwu Anioke in Abakaliki takes a look at the Afikpo North/South Federal Constituency and reports that the battle is shaping up for another landslide victory for the Labour Party candidateTHE Peoples DemocraticParty has never been as unpopular in Ebonyi State, a state it has ruled since the inception of the present democratic dissension in the country in 1999, as it is right now, less than a month to the elections.The reason for this is not far-fetched. The recent acrimonious primaries of the party which led to mass defection of major stakeholders from the party has turned the party from one of the most formidable state branches of the party to the least cohesive.The party before the primaries was used as a reference point by national leaders of the party as a model to be emulated by other state branches of the party. But a few weeks after the charade of a primary, which produced allegedly unpopular candidates in virtually all the positions, the party is now in total chaos which was precipitated by the exodus of aggrieved supporters of Governor Martin Elechi to the Labour Party.The primaries were marred by lots of irregularities starting with the delegates congress down to the House of Assembly and National Assembly primaries and up to the gubernatorial primary.A Second Republic Senator, Offiah Nwali, aptly captures the mood of the electorates and the stakeholders in a protest letter to the National Chairman of the party, Adamu Muazu. Nwali in the petitioned expressed dismay and condemnation for the primaries of the party in the state.He described the delegates election congress in the state as just a delegate selection congress wherein all the contestants of the party delegates who are not candidates of the Deputy Governor, Engr. Dave Umahi, were removed as delegates.May we inform you that the deputy governor connived and conspired with the delegates committee to fill the names of their selected delegates.He expressed concern, saying, Imagine a situation where the names of delegates were recruited by one man who claimed to have won primaries, not to talk of the said primaries that were openly rigged through over voting and none voting at all.We therefore call on the NWC of the PDP, led by Alhaji Adamu Muazu, to cancel the gubernatorial primaries in Ebonyi State, Nwali added.Similar sentiments were also expressed by other stakeholders, many of whom have since left PDP to team up with the Labour Party.Even many of those still left in the party, it was gathered, are not favourably disposed to supporting the candidates of the party.If fillers from Afikpo North and Afikpo South Federal constituencies are anything to go by, then the PDP may have to kiss the positions which it has held since 1999 till date goodbye, that is if the votes count. This is also based on the popularity rating of the PDP candidate for the constituency, Idu Igariwe, and the Labour Party candidate, Hon Eni Uduma Chima.Born on March 23, 1977, Eni Uduma Chima, a lawyer, hails from Eziukwu Amogbu, Ekoli Edda.On April 14, 2007, he was elected into Ebonyi State House of Assembly to represent Afikpo South-West (Upper Edda) Constituency. He was re-elected on April 2011. Hon.Eni uduma Chima has participated in several leadership trainings and programmes at home and abroad like the Peoples Democratic Party Policy Retreats, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conferences in Tanzania, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, etc and has been on working visit to Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Island of Malta etc.As a lawmaker, his admirers adore him for reportedly attracting the reconstruction and asphalting of Ebunwana /Ekoli/ Nguzu Edda roads; Actualisation of the creation of Afikpo South Development Centre and citing of the headquarters in Ekoli Edda, actualisation of the creation of Amaiyi/Ebiri ward from Nguzu ward by Ebonyi State House of Assembly; the creation of Owuu ward from Ebunwana ward, among other projects.Another factor in favour of Eni is his alleged control of the structure of both local government areas backing him, from the two council chairmen, to the development centre coordinators and many other stakeholders who defected to the LP, including the current holder of the position, Hon Omo Isu.Unlike Eni however, Igariweys opponents in Afikpo North are harping on his alleged betrayal of Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, accusing him also of poor performance as the Chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area for the two terms he was chairman.The post Labour Partys gains in Afikpo appeared first on The Nation.]]>
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