The crisis in the Imo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be sinking the party further and putting it at risk of losing the opportunity to be on the ballot for the 2023 general elections.
This comes as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) voided the 3-man Ward Ad hoc Delegates Congress of the party conducted on the 30th April, 2022 at the 305 Wards in the State.
Speaking in an eight page Report on the Ward Delegate Congress held on the 30th of April, 2022 signed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Imo state Prof. Francis Ezeonu, the Commission said that “the PDP Imo State Congress will not be said to have substantially complied with the relevant laws and guidelines guiding the conduct of ward congress for the election of delegates.”
Although some party officials in some of the Local Government Areas claimed to have done consensus or affirmation or harmonization, the Commission rejected that on the basis that the process adopted by the Party violated the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The report states “It is pertinent to state that consensus/affirmation is one of the methods approved for the selection of candidates or delegates. However, even when parties have agreed to adopt consensus method, proper Congresses should be held to affirm the chosen candidates or delegates in a free, fair and credible process. This was observed in the breach in this instance.”
The report also confirmed earlier reports that there were no original result sheets brought to the Congress venues and also corroborated that the result sheets for Ideato North and Ideato South were missing and where not seen by any person and also were not among the twenty five result sheets deposited with the State Command of the SSS by the PDP.
“In almost all the instances the monitors claimed that no original result was brought to the venues. The absence of materials including the sensitive ones (result sheets) as reported by all the electoral officers in all the ward venues where the congress was to hold cast a lot of doubts on the exercise” the report concluded.
By this development, the PDP can only conduct its primary elections in the State for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate with the list of Statutory Delegates as any primary election conducted with any list of ad hoc delegates is bound to be nullified and the party at the risk of not having any candidates at all in the State.
Some PDP leaders have hailed the report from INEC just as there was jubilation in the State Secretariat of the Party that the plot by the National Secretary of the Party to smuggle in a doctored list of 3-man delegates has effectively failed. The Ideato leaders said that the INEC report is justice served in time as it had nullified all the illegal actions which led to the stealing of the result sheets for the two Local Government Areas.