Ahead of the 2015 governorship election in Enugu State, the caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state has adopted the member representing Igboeze North/Udenu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the consensus candidate of the party.
The Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Dr Okey Eze, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday.
However, the statement also explained that the Enugu State Chapter of the PDP has not closed the door against other party members, who may be interested in challenging Ugwuanyi for the party’s ticket.
Ugwuanyi had earlier received the blessing of Governor Sullivan Chime, who ensured his endorsement as the consensus candidate at a stakeholders meeting on September 26.
Eze, in the statement, explained that the Enugu State PDP caucus followed the lead of the stakeholders by also adopting Ugwuanyi as the consensus candidate of the party at a meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, in Enugu, on Saturday.
According to Eze, “The Caucus reviewed the series of endorsements of the member representing Igbo Eze North/ Udenu Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, by the three Senatorial District caucuses of the party and unanimously adopted him as the consensus governorship candidate of the party in Enugu State”.
According to the statement, the motion for Uwuanyi’s adoption was moved by another member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, and seconded by a former national secretary of the party, and member of the Board of Trustees, Chief Rex Onyeabor.
“The Caucus also wished Hon. Ugwuanyi well in his new endeavour and assured him of its support to secure victory for the party in 2015”, the statement said.
Although the federal lawmaker has been endorsed and adopted by the stakeholders, the statement said the state chapter of PDP has not shut the door against other aspirants who have governorship ambitions.
“The party through the process of the endorsements has not barred any aspirant who has a contrary position on the matter and still insists on participating in the party primary election from presenting him or herself for the exercise”, Eze stressed in the statement.
Apparently referring to Senator Ayogu Eze, who has opposed Ugwuanyi’s selection while insisting on pursuing his gubernatorial ambition, Eze explained that “the clarification has become necessary in view of the erroneous impression being created in some section of the media by an aggrieved aspirant from the state to the effect that he has been denied the right to participate in the party’s governorship primary election”.
He noted that “the PDP Family in Enugu State” has since the inception of the present administration adopted a systematic approach of peacefully dealing with the issues concerning its primaries through dialogue and consultations with the people.
According to him, the approach, which he said “has always worked for the party”, has never posed a stumbling block to other aspirants who insist on participating in the primaries from doing so.
He wondered “why one of the major beneficiaries of the process should raise such false alarm against the party in order to whip negative sentiment”.
The Enugu State PDP scribe stressed that the choice of Ugwuanyi does not in any form foreclose the forthcoming governorship primary election or the possibility of other aspirants with contrary views from participating.
“Ugwuanyi will still go through the party primary election to be voted for by the delegates, alongside other aspirants who insist on contesting”, he added.
But Eze also expressed hopes that those who are still opposing Ugwuanyi’s endorsement “will eventually see the wisdom behind the party’s decision and support the popular view of our party members”.
Those who attended the state caucus meeting include Governor Sullivan Chime, the Deputy Governor, Rev Ralph Nwoye, the State Party Chairman, Vita Abba, Senator Gil Emeka Nnaji, the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon Eugene Odo, the Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, all members of the House of Representatives, and members of the Board of Trustees among others.
The statement added that “it was noted at the meeting that Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, earlier took permission that he was out of the country and will abide by the outcome of the meeting”.
Ugwuanyi is expected to be presented to the State Executive Committee of the party this week for final endorsement before the governorship primary election.