As the Cross River State Northern Senatorial By-election draws close, some aspirants and members of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) have expressed concerned over alleged plot by some powerful individuals in the Cross River State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to frustrate their effort and impose candidate of their choice in the upcoming senatorial primary byelection slated for 5th September, 2020.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Ogana Lukpata, said the party had concluded plans to hold a “sham” primary election, adding that, by this, they are afraid of not having justice in the process.
“From the beginning, we know that we have one vacant seat and we have convinced ourselves that at the end of the exercise, one person would emerge. But we also convinced ourselves before we took part of this process that there would be a free and fair exercise, leaving to the emergence of the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party, but with the way the situation is going, we have lost trust in processes”.
“For example, on the 28th of August, 2020, a list of delegates, called “Statutory Delegates” was published. Who are the statutory delegates? Party excos, members of the state exco of the party, members of the State House of Assembly who are from the North because it is a senatorial election and not a statewide election.
“Former principal officers of the State House of Assembly which I am one of them, but I scanned through the whole list, my name is not there. This is a clear bias against me and those who are close to me, very close to me who are supposed to be, but their names are not there”.
“And I feel pained that someone who has sacrificed so much for this state, for this party, two-term House of Assembly member, member of the state caucus of PDP, but my name was not in the list”.
“In that list also, we have appointees who are not supposed to be there, but their names are found there.
“We are all aware that the list is concocted, their plans is to use it against all of us. But we think that if they are politicians and they are in the field, they can achieve their purpose without rigging the election”.
“Secondly, we have the issue of exclusion following the controversies involving the Local Government and Ward Excos of our party, the matter was taken to court, but before then the party has affirmed and reaffirmed that the present ward and chapter executives remains the authentic list”. But why are these people excluded? We are aware that they want to use the statutory delegates because they know our support base is there and their planned is to rig the election in favour of their candidate”.
“We also have the issue of the 29th August, 2020, delegates election. There was supposed to be a congress in every Ward, three delegates each to participate in the congress but the three of us seated here, none of us was aware of any delegates election”. We are from various council wards, no such congress was held to elect those delegates, rather some people sat here in Calabar and handpicked those delegates favourable to them because they have an agenda to execute”.
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