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South-east PDP to NWC: Respect our decision, recognise Udeh-Okoye as national secretary

South-east PDP to NWC: Respect our decision, recognise Udeh-Okoye as national secretary
February 21
10:20 2024

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the south-east has asked the national working committee (NWC) to recognise Sunday Udeh-Okoye as the national secretary of the party.

The south-east PDP position is contained in a communique issued at the end of a meeting in Enugu.

The PDP in the south-east said they are being disrespected by the NWC for not recognising their nominated candidate for the position of national secretary.

BACKGROUND

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In April, Sam Anyanwu, the PDP national secretary, became the party’s gubernatorial candidate for the November 11, 2023 election in Imo.

Some party stakeholders called for his resignation as national secretary of the PDP — a demand he ignored.

Adolphus Wabara, acting chairman of the PDP board of trustees (BoT), had asked Anyanwu to resign from his position after he became the governorship candidate of the party in Imo. 

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Wabara’s call was countered by Nyesom Wike, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

The former governor of Rivers said Wabara did not have the authority to declare who can occupy the office of national secretary of the party.

On October 20, 2023, the south-east zonal executive committee of the PDP nominated Sunday Udeh-Okoye to replace Anyanwu as the party’s national secretary.

Days later, a high court in Enugu granted an interim order directing the party to recognise Udeh-Okoye within 24 hours.

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But the PDP filed a motion seeking to set aside the order recognising Udeh-Okoye as the party’s national secretary.

In January 2024, a federal high court in Abuja declared Anyanwu as the valid national secretary of the PDP.

Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, also restrained the national leadership of the PDP from appointing any person as acting national secretary until the completion of Anyanwu’s four-year tenure on December 9, 2025, as enshrined in the party’s constitution.

RESOLUTIONS OF THE SOUTH-EAST PDP

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In his address at the meeting on Tuesday, Peter Mbah, governor of Enugu, said when party members in a geopolitical zone decide what affects them, the NWC ought to respect that decision.

“We have carried the banner of PDP in the south-east with great pride,” Mbah said. 

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“So, when we have come together as a people on a matter that affects us as PDP members in the south-east and a decision is taken in line with our party’s constitution and the electoral guidelines, I think it would be a mistake if that position is disrespected.”

Also speaking, Wabara, chairman of the PDP board of trustees (BoT), claimed that the NWC is “mistreating” the PDP in the south-east.

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“I believe that we are here to decide whether we, the south-east, will continue to be slaves in this party. I feel pained that the Igbo are being mistreated. We are being treated like slaves,” he said.

In the communique issued after the meeting, the party members said Anyanwu must stop acting as the PDP national secretary.

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The party said since the Enugu and Abuja high courts are of the same jurisdiction, the judgment of the former should hold sway.

“The meeting reiterated and reconfirmed its decisions in its earlier meeting held on 20th October, 2023, which asked Senator Samuel Anyanwu to stop parading himself as the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as he has relinquished the office by virtue of the Constitution of the PDP, which has been upheld by a court of competent jurisdiction,” the communique reads.

“The meeting affirmed the nomination of S.K.E. Udeh-Okoye as his replacement for the National Secretary of the Party to serve out the remainder of his term, in accordance with the Party’s Constitution.

“Finally, we enjoin the National Working Committee of the Party, the PDP Governors’ Forum, the PDP Board of Trustees, the PDP National Assembly Caucus and all organs and stakeholders of the Party, to recognise S.K.E Udeh-Okoye as the authentic National Secretary of the PDP.

“We strongly believe as loyal Party members that it is in the interest of the Party to uphold the nomination of the Zone to forestall external forces cashing in to destabilise the Party,” the communique concluded.

Those who attended the meeting include Ali Odefa, PDP national vice chairman (south-east); Emeka Ihedioha, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Achike Udenwa, Sam Egwu, and Josephine Anenih.

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