From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Screening Panel for the Anambra gubernatorial primary election has cleared six aspirants to participate in the primary election scheduled for August 19.
The chairman of the panel and former Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri disclosed this yesterday in Abuja while briefing journalists on the outcome of the screening exercise at the PDP National headquarters.
Waziri said those cleared include Dr Alex Obiogbolu, the Senator representing Anambra North senatorial zone, Stella Oduah, former Minister of State for Transport, Prince John Emeka and member of the House of Representatives representing Onitsha North /Onitsha South Federal constituency, Hon Lynda Ikpeazu.
He said while embattled chairman of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Ubah “barely got” cleared, former Secretary of Anambra State Government (SSG), Oseloka Obaze got a conditional clearance pending the approval of his waiver application by the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC).
The former Police Affairs Minister, who explained that the panel relied on the constitution of Nigeria, the PDP constitution and the party guidelines for the Anambra primaries, said the seventh aspirant, Mr Akolisa Ufodike was disqualified for having dual citizenship.
According to him, Ufodike though a Nigerian by birth, also have a Canadian citizenship. He said clearing the aspirant would have contravened section 182(1) of the Nigerian constitution, which bars people with dual citizenship from holding the office of president and governor.
Waziri said any of the aspirants, who does not agree with its verdict can appeal to the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).
Meanwhile, a political pressure group in the party, Anambra PDP Progressives Forum has described news making the rounds that the party’s ticket has been zoned to Anambra North as political propaganda.
The chairman of the group, Chief Ben Ukachukwu stated this in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday.
Ukachukwu said there is no basis for zoning the PDP gubernatorial ticket to Anambra North, as that would be against natural justice, equity and good conscience.
According to him, by November 2017, Anambra North and Anambra South would have served one term each counting from 1999.
He stated that prior to the inception of the present democratic dispensation, the equation was tilted heavily in favour of the North zone in holding political offices meant for the entire state.
“This argument is also a patented insult to majority of Anambra State political actors, especially those from the south senatorial zone who supported and voted for a candidate from the central zone even when Anambra South zone was yet to serve out their second four year tenure during the Chinwoke Mbadinuju regime.
“In 2003, there was no clamour by Anambra South zone to complete their second term in office. In 2007, there was no such argument by Anambra Central zone that it is their desire to continue in office.
“In 2010, there was no blackmail and propaganda by Mr Peter Obi to continue in office as of right, personal or zonal.