By Linus Aleke
The battle of who controls the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP), machinery and structure in Enugu State, ahead of the 2023 general elections led to a parallel ward congresses in the state over the weekend.
The loyalists of the incumbent Governor of the state, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and that of the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu converged in different venues for the ward congresses.
The fierce battle of was not unconnected with the subterranean battle of supremacy on who decide the person that will control the liver of power in the state, when Ugwuanyi concludes his tenure in 2023.
To this end, confusion trailed the ward congresses of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to elect the three man delegates for the primary elections in Enugu State.
The Ike Ekweremadu group and the other group loyal to the governor of the state, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi held their primaries simultaneously at the 260 wards of the state.
In some of the wards visited, party faithful were seen in groups waiting for INEC officials to come and conduct the elections.
Investigation by ThisNigeria revealed that in most of the wards no congresses took place instead names were compiled and money shared to those who allegedly conducted the congresses.
Speaking on the conduct of the ward congresses,
Director General of Ekweremadu campaign organisation, Mr. Ogbonna Asogwa, said there was no parallel congresses.
He alleged that the Ugwuanyi group were not prepared for the Congress but instead relied on the old way of rigging elections.
He further alleged that the Nsukka Local government Chairman, Walter Ozioko sent men of the vigilante services to intimidate his supporters by shooting sporadically in front of his house.
Asogwa queried the rationale for shooting in front of his house when there was no congresses taking place in his compound.
The DG said none of the alleged delegates from the opposing camp paid the five thousand naira fee for the form as stipulated in the party’s guidelines.
He expressed optimism that their delegates will emerge victorious as they had met all the requirements as stipulated by the party’s guidelines for the conduct of ward primaries.
At Igbo-Etiti local government party office, party members were seen as the compilation of the delegates lists were going on
However, efforts to speak with the Chairman of the party in the council area Emeka Ezeodoko proved abortive as he said he was busy and couldn’t talk to the press.
This is however, not the first time the state is holding parallel congress ahead of party primary election.
Recall that party faithful loyal to former Governor Sulivan Chime held a parallel party primaries with those loyal to the federal legislators from the state. The Governor’s faction elected Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as the party’s flag bearer while those of the federal law makers elected former Senate spokesperson, Senator Ayogu Eze.
Ayogu however dumped the party for the All Progressive Congress (APC), where he contested with Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and lost. Even, his legal battle to win through the court did not also yield positive results.
Ekweremadu’s ambition is however, against the zoning in the state.
Nevertheless, he has continued to dismiss the zoning arrangement in the state as a rouse and elite conspiracy aimed at scuttling his ambition to govern the state in 2023.