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ANAMBRA PDP PRIMARIES | Emergence of Obaze as PDP candidate faulted

As the People’s Democrat­ic Party (PDP) Nation­al Working Committee (NWC) meets today to hear ap­peals arising from its gubernato­rial primary election held on Au­gust 28, there are indications that the party is treading on a dangerous ground over the forthcoming An­ambra State governorship poll. This is because the party’s flagbearer, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, was not properly cleared by the PDP national leaders.

Sources said that the “provi­sional clearance” granted by both the screening and the appeal com­mittees is doubtful, as there was no record of waiver for the candi­date either in the National Working Committee (NWC) or in the Na­tional Executive Committee (NEC) minutes.

One of the competent sourc­es in the PDP said that if the party does not do anything quick to address this ab­erration, it may affect the party on the long run.

Obaze who defected from the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to the PDP was Secretary to the State Government (SSG) during the administration of Peter Obi in Anambra State.

The source added that field­ing Obaze as the candidate of PDP will not speak well of the party, as a case of perjury which is a crimi­nal charge, could be made by any­body against him even if he emerg­es victorious in the governorship election should the party insist on submitting his name to Independ­ent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The source said: “Mr. Obaze was not cleared as at the close of nomination. Mr. Obaze was grant­ed ‘provisional clearance’ both by the screening committee and the appeal committee. This approval or provisional clearance is subject to the National Caretaker Commit­tee recommendation of his waiver to NEC.

“Till date, no meeting of NWC or NEC was held where Mr. Obaze’s waiver application is reflected in the minutes. The implication of this scenario is that Mr. Obaze as at the date he filled and submitted his nomination forms was not qual­ified to contest the election.

“It does not matter if the care­taker committee or NEC grants him waiver today or even back date it to the day of screening as eve­ry material facts confirmed even by his own admission in various press releases did not have waiver as at when he filled and submitted his forms.

“By the way, the use of the word ‘provisional’ connotes not full, not permanent or obsolete but tem­porary subject to certain perfor­mance. What is this performance? When will the said performance be carried out? A cursory glance at the clearance certificate will re­veal that it has only two provisions viz: Cleared/Not Cleared. Where did they manufacture Provisional Clearance?

“The danger of our party nom­inating a defective candidate is too grave for us to contemplate. A stich in time saves nine! Furthermore, if indeed Mr. Obaze at the time of fill­ing his form knew that he did not have a waiver or that his waiver was still being processed, why did he in­dicate that he had a waiver in the form? A case of perjury which is a criminal offence could be made by anybody against him even if he emerges victorious in the governor­ship election should the party insist on submitting his name to INEC,” the source said.

Documents made available showed that the party national leaders had been pe­titioned by obe Obiagulu Chukwu­rah, over the provisional clearance granted to Obaze, with the alle­gation that the candidate has not attained the statutory two years’ membership period nor secure the required waiver to make him eligi­ble and be cleared.

According to the documents, the screening committee, which had scrutinised them, recommend­ed that “the provisional clearance granted the aspirant should be up­held and that the process of grant­ing waiver be hasten by National Caretaker Committee to prevent any future legal problems.”

But, Chukwurah pointed out that granting Obaze waiver, which, has not be properly documented, would cause a chain of legal battles for the party on the long run, as the development is an abuse of the par­ty’s constitution.


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