By Musa Adamu
The People Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants in the forthcoming bye-election in Cross River North Senatorial District have objected to the procedure for the polls.
The aggrieved aspirants are Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, representing Ogoja/Yala federal constituency, Mrs. Martina Odom, Dr. Mrs. Mary Eru Iji and Barr Ogana N. Lukpata.
The aspirants in a letter to the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, protested the alleged skewed selection of ad hoc delegates and injections of unqualified names as statutory delegates and removal of qualified persons from the delegate list.
They decried the exclusion of already-ratified and legitimately inaugurated ward and chapter executives from participating in the forthcoming exercise.
They said that such a move was intended to give undue advantage to a favoured aspirant over and above the rest of them and commended the NWC for the successful conduct of and eventual ratification of the ward and chapter executive congresses.
The aggrieved aspirants expressed worry at the attempt to deliberately manipulate the other remaining critical processes leading to the primary election.
According to them, the purported list of ad hoc and statutory delegates said to have been handpicked and displayed by the state exco, is totally against the provisions of the party constitution as stated in S.25 (1) (a-r) and S.25(7), as amended in 2017, as well as against S.8 (i-xix) and S.9 (iii) of the guidelines.
Pointing out that the primary election and appeal panels are all constituted of nominees of the sponsor of a favoured aspirant, they stated that the primary election cannot be free and fair as they cannot get justice if such is allowed to stand.
The aggrieved aspirants said they were not against a consensus candidate but maintained that it cannot go on without bringing the aspirants into the picture as it amounts to shaving a person’s head in his absence, adding that all processes should be inclusive, peaceful and transparent.
The aspirants have, therefore, demanded that the NWC reconstitute both the primary election and appeal panels and give them equal opportunity to make inputs to create a level playing ground.
They also want the NWC to include the already ratified and inaugurated ward, chapter and other delegates as required by the party’s constitution just as the consensus-building should accommodate all aspirants and their interests. They equally insisted that the defective list of statutory delegates already published be purged of its alleged numerous irregularities.