Date Published: 03/18/11
PDP S.E Caucus at war over Chairmanship Slot...Why Maduekwe, Anyim shunned the Prof. Anya Screening Committee
With few weeks to the Presidential election, confusion still rages within the south east flank of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), over who becomes the next party chairman from that zone.
Leader of the Eastern Leaders Forum( ELF), Chukwuemeka Ezeife, had warned that some opponents of President Goodluck Jonathan were already working hard to exploit the discontent in the South-east to turn the table against him.
According to him, “the inability of the PDP and the president to return to them what was theirs was now a subject of worry to Ndigbo and some opponents of the president were working hard to exploit the situation.”
As the confusion persists, two chieftains of the party from the zone had already dragged PDP to court to challenge the continued stay in office by Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed as acting national chairman.
The plaintiffs in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/283/2011,Onyinyeche Amalu and Nnaemeka Umeh, were asking the court to declare the office of the acting national chairman, Dr. Harilu Mohammed Bello, as illegal because it was alien to the party’s constitution.
But those loyal to Mohammed are urging the south east to put its house in order. A source said “ what is all these noise about. While you are fighting each other over the position that is leaglly yours, do you expect the acting chairman to step down?...for who?”
Pointblanknews.com learnt that this development has also thrown members of the Board of Trustees (BOT), who meet tomorrow at the Presidential Villa, into a head scratching situation. The issue of the national chairman will be on the front burners at the BOT meeting and the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting which comes up later this month.
It was learnt that some stakeholders mostly south east members of the National Assembly, may have rejected the two names presented to Jonathan, by the Eastern Leaders Forum led by Ezeife in Akwa ibom State.
Aside from the fact that the two aspirants are from Anambra, those opposed to the Ezeife arrangement contend that the ELF cannot decide on who mounts the saddle because a large slice of them are not card carrying members of the PDP or elected officers, and therefore cannot speak for the south east zone of the PDP.
According to a source “ Some don’t want Dan Ulasi and Agunwan Anekwe, but some members of the National Assembly prefer Anyim while another bloc within the caucus are rooting for ojo, but this two have baggages. Anyim is not very close to his Governor, Elechi, of Ebonyin, while Ojo is seen as too corky, and a stooge of Ex President Olusegun Obasanjo,.On the other hand, Some believe Anakwe and Ulasi have no clout, and are both from Anambra”
The ELF had put in place a screening committee led by Prof. Anya Anya, which picked second Republic Speaker, Agunwa Anekwe, and former chairman of the PDP in Anambra, Dan Ulasi.
Curiously, former Foreign minister, Ojo Maduekwe, and Ex Senate President, Pius Anyim , shunned the Anya committee, even though they had showed interest in the PDP top spot. It was learnt that both men believe the Anya committee lacks clout and mandate of all stakeholders on the issue of who continues from where Nwodo stopped.
Said our source “why would Anyim and Ojo Maduekwe attend such screening. The process is much more than that, but the group doing all that has value to the extent that they are bringing out the injustice against the igbos in the PDP. They will not be allowed to bring a new PDP chairman, I am very sure”
However, Pointblanknews.com learnt that Nwodo may be scheming to return. According to our source, since he was not indicted for any major breach, he may capitalize of the confusion to return, even though some observers see this as far fetched.
Sid the source “ The way Nwodo is moving, it is like some are pushing that he returns. If you look at the whole drama that led to his exit, it is clear the party wanted to pacify the north with the emergence of Bello Mohammed as acting chairman, so they eased out Nwodo at the flimsiest of excuses”
The summary of the screening committee headed by Anya showed that Anaekwe scored 71 points. He was closely followed by the former chairman of PDP in Anambra State, Ulasi, who scored 70 points and Chief Okey Muo Aroh came third with 65 points.
Others were Chief Rex Onyeabo (62 points); Prof. Ihechukwu Madubuike (61); Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu (60); former governor of Anamba State, Dr. Chinweoke Mbadinuju (53); and Chief Emeka Kanu (42 ).
Pointblanknews.com sources hinted that while by President Jonathan is comfortable with Anyim , his state Governor, Martins Elechi thinks otherwise. Considering the way Ex chairman, Okwesileze Nwodo pushed Enugu Governor, Sylvian Chime around, Elechi is wary of conceding the enormous powers of chairman to Anyim.
A source close to the south east caucus, who preferred anonymity because he does not have the mandate to speak told Pointblanknews.com “The group championing this list are not the real stakeholders in PDP from the east. if you look at them, they are former this and that and the incumbent office holders will not allow these men to nominate such a big office for them. Maybe they saw the president, it is out of courtesy not for any serious value, and it populated by too many Anambra people. When the election is over, the real struggle will begin”