Ahead of primary elections scheduled to begin on Saturday, indications emerged yesterday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) risked losing all state elections in Abia State.

This was revealed in a letter by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which stated that the commission had no record of Ward Delegate Congresses for the state.

Persons elected from Ward  Congresses are the ones allowed by law to vote during primary elections at all levels.
At stake are primary elections for State Assembly, House of Representatives, Senatorial, Governorship and Presidential.

The letter from INEC, dated May 13, 2022 and signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, stated that the Abia Ward Congresses initially scheduled by the PDP national leadership for May 4, failed to hold.

The INEC scribe further stated explicitly, that the commission did not receive any other notice from the PDP national leadership notifying it of any dates for rescheduled Ward Congresses in Abia.

“This is to inform that the last notice received from the PDP national headquarters was the one that scheduled the Abia State Ward Congresses for 4th May, 2022”, the letter stated in part.

However, the Abia State chapter of the PDP claimed to have conducted another Ward Congresses to elect three-member ad hoc delegates on May 6, 2022.

ing the delegates list produced by the state chapter.

The report stated in part: “There are fundamental defect in the ad hoc delegates election conducted on the 6th of May, 2022.

The defect is predicted on two grounds: there was no notice given to INEC from the national level for the said ad hoc delegates election of 6th May, 2022 which renders same invalid under Section 82(5) of the Electoral Act 2022.

“The notice for the ad hoc election of 6th May, 2022 was given to the Abia State Resident Electoral Commissioner by the Abia State Chairman of the party.

“In the said notice, he stated the composition of the members of the committee that conducted the ad hoc delegates election.

“By implication, he was the one that gave the notice and set up the committee that conducted the ad hoc delegates election. This did not meet the requirements of the law.

“It is therefore in the interest of the party not to use the three ad hoc delegates that emerged from the congress conducted on the 6th of May, 2022 in the conduct of any primary election in Abia State.

“The party risks the entire primaries being nullified if they are allowed to participate”.

The matter is said to have split the national leadership of the PDP with one faction bent on using the controversial three man ad hoc delegates list prepared by the Abia chapter.

But an opposing faction, led by the legal department is reported to have reminded the leadership of the electoral misfortune suffered by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara and Rivers states during the 2019 election, as a result of similar illegality.

The latter group has argued in favour of using only statutory delegates for the primaries.

Recall that while the Rivers APC was barred from participating in all state elections, the Supreme Court had nullified the victory of the APC in all state elections in Zamfara and awarded victory in same to the PDP.

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