By Cecilia Ijuo
Sen. Stella Oduah, one of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) governorship aspirants in Anambra, said she abstained from the party’s primary election on Monday because candidates were imposed on the party.
The lawmaker made this known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
She described the development as unacceptable, particularly for a party that was just trying to get its footing after undergoing a major leadership crisis.
She said party members that were not part of the struggle during the crisis period were suddenly imposed on the party members.
“There must be incentive for loyalty. Party loyalists must have a say.
“When you deny their participation, you deny them that incentive they get from being the torchbearers of the party. So, I think it’s morally wrong for this to happen.
“Secondly, we are just coming out from `godfatherism’ that pervades the politics of Anambra PDP.
“Thank God for court judgment but with what is happening, they are bringing us back to that era where we will be subjected to one man imposing a candidate on us.
“The fundamental process that led to the three-man delegates was so chaotic and the default was so fundamental.
“My people were disenfranchised and I don’t want to be part of that process because it is injustice.
“When you have imposition, you have blocked that hope for them.
“You have made it difficult and impossible for them to aspire to be anything within the party because you are telling them that you can bring somebody from anywhere to impose on them.
“Also, bringing somebody from outside the party and who has not stayed for long, it means that you are saying that you lack capacity within party members.
“But I don’t think we lack capacity, I think PDP has enough capacity to run for that election,’’ she said.
The lawmaker said she was concerned that the development could lead to the party’s defeat in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Oduah, representing Anambra North, had threatened to withdraw from Monday’s PDP governorship primaries on grounds that the party’s ward congresses was fraught with “irregularities and sabotage’’.
She disclosed that she had petitioned the Chairman, PDP National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, for a review of the delegates’ list, failure of which would make her withdraw from the exercise.