A group, the Elections Transparency Group (ETG) has cautioned the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of the danger of not fielding a governorship and other candidates in the 2023 general elections in Ebonyi State.
The group said gone are the days when political parties can conduct primary election, cancel it to conduct fresh one just to satisfy vested interests.
The ETG said in a release issued on Thursday and signed by its convener, Dr. Kazeem Adekunle, that the best option before the PDP was to have accepted the result of May 29, 2022 primary election of the party in Ebonyi State that produced Dr. Ifeanyi-Chukwuma Odii as the governorship candidate.
The group said unless the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) has a motive of making sure that the party does not participate in the 2023 general elections in the State, there should be no reason anyone will contemplate jettisoning a primary election duly monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
ETG said with the position of INEC affirming that its report of the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election, as submitted to INEC headquarters in Abuja, was final, it should be clear enough that no one can upturn the results of the May 29, 2022 primary election of the PDP in Ebonyi State.
“The same way APC cancelled already conducted primary in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District was the way PDP said it cancelled the primary election in Ebonyi State.
“Also, the same way INEC in its report validated the APC primary for Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District was the same way INEC affirmed that of Ebonyi State.
“Therefore, if INEC is insisting that it will not recognise Senator Godswill Akpabio, who emerged from the APC fresh primary in Akwa Ibom, it is certain that INEC will also not recognize Senator Obinna Ogba as PDP governorship candidate as well as others who emerged from the party’s rescheduled exercise of June 4 and 5, 2022 because the primaries were not monitored by INEC.
“Most importantly, Federal High Court, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has nullified the June 4 and 5, 2022 exercise and declared Dr. Odii as the authentic governorship candidate of the party.
“It therefore behoves on the PDP to put its house in order and act in accordance with the Electoral Act 2022, else, the party risks not having candidates in Ebonyi State,” the group stated.