A Nigerian senator, Stella Oduah and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Anambra State, Chief Chris Uba, have been fingered in the manipulation of the delegates’ list of the party from the state in a clandestine attempt to insert their associates and cronies.
SaharaReporters learnt from witnesses that Uba, who was earlier in April 2022 suspended by the party leadership in Anambra and Oduah allegedly attempted to write results of Anambra PDP ad hoc delegates’ lists in the 326 wards of the state.
The manipulation was reportedly carried out in Chief Uba’s Asokoro, Abuja residence – a plot which was foiled by some vigilant Anambra PDP stakeholders and members.
Oduah who had been in the All Progressives Congress has secretly returned to the PDP and kept her return unofficial in order not to incur the wrath of the ruling party, APC.
A witness said, “Today Sunday is a watershed in the history of PDP Anambra State and internal democracy in Nigeria, because of how over 2,000 stakeholders and members of the PDP sitting at the PDP secretariat at Awka foiled attempts to criminally and fraudulently write results of the three man ad hoc delegates in the 326 wards of Anambra State.
“It started when the National Secretariat of the party via the National Organising Secretary, Bature Usman, set up a 5-member panel handpicked by Chris Uba and Senator Stella Oduah, purely for the duo to go and write names in Abuja whereas the exercise ought to hold in 326 wards in Anambra State,” he explained.
“The Chris Uba and Stella Oduah syndicate handpicked one Ahmed Jibrin as Chairman and Engr Ogbonna Victor Okorie as Secretary. The Chairman of the panel collected the original results sheets in Abuja yesterday (Saturday) and handed it over to Chris Uba and Stella Oduah, the entire results of the 326 wards in the state. He now flew to the east with the photocopies of the result sheets.
“When they arrived in Awka, Anambra State with other members of the panel, they decided to hide themselves in an undisclosed hotel. Party stakeholders and members waited patiently from Saturday morning till 6pm in their respective wards and also state party headquarters without seeing any of the members of the 5-man panel from the national headquarters of the party.
“The same fate befell the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials whose staff went to 326 wards in the state to monitor the exercise, but none of the members that will conduct it showed up. It was on 6pm on Saturday that Ahmed Jibrin, Chairman of the panel put a call to Anambra State PDP administration secretary in Awka and security agencies that the exercise had been postponed to 11am; Sunday,1st of May 2022.
“As earlier as 10am on Sunday morning (today) over 2,000 members and stalwarts of Anambra PDP stormed the state headquarters and waited calmly and received the 5-man panel. It was in the course of argument and discussions on the modalities that the stalwarts demanded the original results for the conduct of the exercise in the 326 wards.
“The Chairman of the panel, Ahmed Jibrin, lied to the stalwarts that he left the original results in his hotel room and that he came only with the photocopies. He demanded to go to his hotel to collect the original copies, but the party stalwarts refused. He appealed for police and one of his aides to be allowed to go to bring them at his hotel, this request was granted. It was after the stalwarts waited for 2 hours that he confessed that Chris Uba and Senator Stella Oduah had collected the original result sheets in Abuja,” another source said.
“Stakeholders insisted that he must write it as a report before they will allow the members of the panel to go. This is the usual antics of Chris Uba and Stella Oduah, always trying to subvert the people’s wish,” a victim lamented.
Recently, there were media reports that the crisis rocking the Anambra State chapter of the PDP had got messier after the faction loyal to Chief Chris Uba suspended the acting Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Okey Asolo.
Chairman of Ndubisi Nwobu-led faction of PDP, Mr Okey Asolo, had on April 2, 2022, suspended Chief Chris Uba and Chief Linus Ukachukwu from the PDP for anti-party activities.
In a communiqué after a recent meeting, Mr Alex Anah and Mr Chigbo Onyia, its chairman and secretary, said that Mr Okey Asolo had no ground to be the PDP state chairman.
According to the communique, Asolo had been suspended from his Ward (13) PDP, Onitsha North Local Government Area, of Anambra for violation of the party’s constitution.
The party said the suspension of Asolo was anchored on the provisions of Article 58 (1) and 59 (1) and (2) of the PDP Constitution 2017 as amended.