Group laments PDP primaries in Cross River

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Eme Offiong, Calabar

A group under the aegis, Movement for Restoration of Cross River PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) has raised concern on the inability of the party to conduct primaries for the forthcoming council elections.

The group, at a briefing with newsmen in Calabar, Cross River State, southern Nigeria, accused the leadership of the party of shrouding the processes, including the sales of nomination forms in secrecy.

The co-ordinator of the group, Raymond Takon insisted that the party’s leadership was in a state of comatose as their functions to conduct and screen candidates have been usurped by the governor and his new team.

“The party is not allowed to sell forms to aspirants for chairmanship and councillorship elections. He (the governor) has promised to pay for all the candidates to be selected by him,” Takon stated.

Eroding Democracy
The secretary of the group, Emmanuel Agba noted that without conducting primaries, the party’s internal democracy would be eroded.

Agba further alleged that names of candidates for the 18 LG chairmen and 196 councillors have been compiled without due consultations with other relevant stakeholders.

“The founding members of PDP are being treated like slaves and we state that if the governor does not allow internal democracy to thrive in the party, we shall have no other option than to rationalise the party, the group averred.
The group stated, we call on national secretariat of the party to look into our complaints and ensure that proper processes are followed with regard to election of candidates for the pending local government elections,” he said.

Baseless Allegations
Reacting to the allegations, the State Chairman of PDP, Edim Inok Edim described the accusations as unfounded.

Edim noted that the party reserved the right to adopt any option as approved by its constitution to conduct its primaries.

“The party has the right to select whoever it wants. Nobody should force the party to go to the field to conduct primaries. We have other options than to go for direct primaries. The constitutions allows for affirmation. Anyway, any aggrieved party member should complain to the party rather than going outsiders,” the chairman argued.

He adds that those complaining are playing anti-party politics and anybody found protesting would be disciplined by the party.

Lateefah Ibrahim