By Obinna Amaobi
The Chairman of Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Phillip Aivoji, on Sunday, called for an outright cancellation of the State Assembly and House of Representatives primary elections conducted in the state.
Avoji, who made the call while briefing journalists in Lagos in company of members of the state executives of the party and four out of the six PDP gubernatorial aspirants in the state, said the cancellation became necessary because the list of adhoc delegates the committee which supervised the primaries came with was different from the list of adhoc delegates that emerged at the state congresses.
He said the cancellation was important to avoid unnecessary litigations if the committee should go ahead with the primaries, adding that in line with the party’s rules, members of the committee are supposed to report to the state exco when visiting the state and the state exco would fix the venue for primaries.
According to him, the committee boycotted the state exco and fixed venue of the primaries by themselves, adding that when he reported the development to the chairman of the committee, he was told that a member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) told the chairman of the committee not to relate with the state chairman of the party or the executive committee because their position is still a subject of litigation.
“The committee chairman said somebody in Abuja said they should not relate with the state chairman because there is litigation, I want to know who gave the order?” he queried.
Aivoji said after the congress to elect adhoc delegates, the list of the delegates was forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but he was surprised to see different lists being circulated on the social media.
“It is imperative to state that copies of the ad-hoc list that emanated from the state and submitted to INEC are completely different from the one brought by the committee for the purpose of the exercise.
“We realised that contrary to the provision of our great party and the electoral guidelines of the party, the election committee came to the state with a list of venues and already chosen electoral officers. This is the responsibility of the state executive committee (State Exco) of our party and therefore totally unacceptable.
“Also the committee chairman and the secretary of the election committee meant to conduct the State House of Assembly primary election have not reported to the state chairman or state organ of the party. Up till this moment, we cannot reach out to the committee chairman and secretary, their telephone lines have either been switched off or unreachable,” Aivoji said.
The state’s PDP chairman, however, added that he and the state exco cannot guarantee the safety of members of the committee, adding that, “as law abiding members of our great party, we collectively reject this list and we cannot guarantee, free, fair and credible party primaries that we have sworn to conduct.
“The process has been compromised ab-initio and skewed to favour a particular aspirant, we therefore, call for outright cancellation of the election exercise, doing otherwise would not only jeopardise the chances of the party at the polls. It will also lead to a plethora of endless litigation afterwards.”
Some of the aspirants in the race who stormed the venue of the press briefing, urged the leadership of the party in the state to put their house in order because they are at the receiving end of the power game being played by the leaders of the party.
Governorship aspirants in attendanceat the briefing included Dr. Ade Dosunmu, Engineer Deji Doherty, Jimi Kamal and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.