Thirteen aggrieved aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have demanded the cancellation of the party primary held in Cross River State, Southern Nigeria.
The aspirants made their demand in a 24 page petition to the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, to cancel the entire process, which produced a list of 18 chairmanship candidates, submitted to the Cross River Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC.
According to the aspirants, who described the party primary as a sham, argued that on January 29th, the State chapter published a list of 18 candidates to the surprise of those with intent to contest.
The aggrieved, drawn from the three senatorial districts in Cross River, stated, “what happened in the state was a meeting of a few people, who wrote names and forwarded same to CROSIEC as candidates of the party. We, therefore, respectfully urge you to admonish the leadership of the party in Cross River to cancel the entire process, which was a sham and conduct a fresh primary.
“We foresee danger ahead for the party if the Cross River State Government does not do the right thing. Otherwise, the danger of losing Cross River as a PDP state is looming by this act of outright imposition and impunity,” .
The aspirants lamented that despite the published timetable, the leadership did not observe the activities nor the timelines as no forms were made available to persons with intent regardless of payments made to the party’s account.
They accused the state party leadership of employing armed men on the 30th of January, 2020 and affirmed persons hitherto published as candidates in contravention of the date for submission of lists by political parties.
However, in an earlier interaction with some journalists in Calabar, the State party chairman, Edim Inok Edim had affirmed the right to conduct its primaries using methods approved by the PDP constitution.
“The party has a right to adopt any constitutionally approved methods in the conducts of primaries. Any aggrieved person can do so using the appropriate channel,” Edim stated.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Sir John Ochala, said that the party was set for the March 28 local government elections in Cross River.
Ochala said, “we are fully prepared for March 28, 2020 local government election in Cross River State. We have submitted the names of our candidate to CROSIEC. We conducted our primaries and candidates emerged”.
Speaking on the credibility of CROSIEC to conduct the elections, Ochala stated, “we do not have confidence in the commission’s ability to conduct credible election in the Cross River. We are taking CROSIEC to task to do the right thing”.