After the abduction of eight electoral officers during Sunday’s ward delegate Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party has opted to nullify the election in the affected Etsako Central local government area.
The cancellation of the results was announced by the State Chairman of the party, Mr. Tony Aziegbemi, following the decision made by the Governor of Enugu, Peter Mbah-led five-man ward delegates congress committee.
He noted that the party can do without the 31 delegates from the affected area out of the 594 delegates in the state as it would not substantially affect the outcome of the party’s Congress coming up on 22 February.
He said: “We had one ugly incident during the Sunday ward delegates congress in the state. Eight electoral officials deployed to Etsako Central local government area were abducted by gunmen at Jattu in Etsako West local government area.
“In spite of the incident, the exercise went on smoothly in the other 17 local government areas.
“Meanwhile, the ward delegates congress committee led by the Governor of Enugu State, Barrister Peter Mbah, has cancelled the result of the ward congress in Etsako central local government as a result of the kidnapping incident.
In their own wisdom, they decided to cancel the outcome because the result in the locality will not affect the result of the other 17 local governments.”
While noting that the kidnapped electoral officers have not been released, he said the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki had reported the incident to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), zone 5 and the Inspector-General of Police.
Speaking on the protest by the nine aggrieved governorship aspirants of the party, Aziegbemi acknowledged that they have a right to protest.
He, however, urged them to take their protest to the Bayelsa State Governor’s Seriake Dickson-led Appeal panel set up by the National Working Committee of the party.
While noting that the processes put in place for the exercise were transparent, credible and robust, Aziegbemi also urged the aggrieved governorship aspirants to be mindful of what they said in public, especially to the press, noting that their utterances and actions can undermine the integrity of the party.
He, however, assured that the party will do everything possible to carry members of the party along, adding that the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, is ever ready to listen to complaints of aggrieved members of the party.