Senate Minority Leader and a frontline governorship aspirant of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has formally withdrawn from the PDP governorship primaries scheduled for today (Wednesday).
Abaribe who disclosed his withdrawal from the exercise in a press statement cited use of “imaginary delegates list and lack of transparency” as reasons for his action.
Similarly, another leading governorship aspirant from Abia North, and former State Chairman of PDP, Senator Nwaka, has also said he would not participate in the primaries which he dismissed as a charade.
Nwaka expressed disappointment over non compliance with due process and the extant laws in the conduct of the three-man delegate congress which he insisted never held.
Senator Abaribe also said there was no three-man delegate election anywhere in the state by PDP, alleging that the list being bandied about was cooked up by those who want to impose their candidate on the party.
The Senate Minority Leader in a strongly-worded statement personally signed by him, said his next political move would soon be made public.
Below is a full text of the statement made available to Vanguard in Umuahia:
“Notice of Non-Participation in the Abia PDP Gubernatorial Primaries
“The last couple of weeks has been tortuous as we battled hard to navigate our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) away from a self destructive path.
“The essence was to create an unfettered democratic space and a level playing field for all aspirants vying for all elective offices in the state, to participate equally in the primary elections.
“That was not the case and of course what we are witnessing is a shambolic process driven by a procured court injunction.
“To make matters worse, the use of only an imaginary 3-man Adhoc delegates to the exclusion of the party’s statutory delegates in the primary elections to elect our candidates even when INEC the nation’s electoral umpire, has unequivocally stated that no congress held in Abia State for that purpose, has no doubt put the party and her candidates in a quagmire.
“The implication for our party is grave and as such has put all ongoing primary exercises on quick sand.
“I am known for standing firm in defence of my convictions for the right of all people to a free and fair democratic process. That was why my campaign set sail on a democratic journey that took us to all the nooks and crannies of our dear state. We covered all the local governments and we could see the enthusiasm on the faces of our people who are desirous of change to a progressive government with a human face.
“We committed human and material resources, preaching the “Rise Up Abia” message for the total emancipation of our State from the drudgery of imposition and godfatherism, which has seen the state at the lowest wrung of infrastructural, human and material development index among the states of the federation.
“Our people were and are indeed fired up for a new lease of life that will be brought about by a people’s government.
“There was no doubt that Abians are tired of being subjected to being the butt of jokes and ridicle from their peers, particularly those from the contiguous states that were hitherto far behind Abia State in the development index in the time past.
“That was the narrative we sought to change when the campaign took off.
“Unfortunately, the ugly developments ignited by a rapacious ambition to maintain the wicked governance status quo of imposition and godfatherism have aborted this quest in PDP.
“Accordingly, I Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe will not be part of this charade.
“I am therefore withdrawing from the exercise, which means that I will not be part of the PDP governorship primary election that holds in Abia State on Wednesday 25th of May, 2022 as doing so would have amounted to endorsement of an illegality that is already being challenged in the courts.
“I therefore, ask all our people, our teeming supporters and Ndigbo to remain calm, keep the faith and wait for the new direction, which will be announced very soon.
“What is important is that the campaign to liberate Abia State would surely assume a new dimension. The time is now.
“Thank you for always being there for me and the campaign. Together we shall triumph.