Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Abia State, Senator Emma Nwaka, has advocated the exemption of former aspirants from the purchase of new forms and screening in the proposed fresh governorship primary in the state.
Nwaka who was one of the aspirants also canvased consensus candidate for the fresh primary to avoid exposing the party to further bickering following the dust raised by the previous primary which almost set the party on collision course.
PDP had scheduled fresh governorship primary for February 5 following the death of the party’s former candidate, Professor Uche Ikonne.
Ikonne died at the National Hospital Abuja on January 25 after being out of circulation for close to two months.
In a letter to the National Chairman of PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Nwaka warned the leadership of the party against any action capable of imploding the party.
He strongly argued that consensus candidate would save the PDP from avoidable crisis and implosion.
Nwaka who regretted the exit of key chieftains of the party including governorship aspirants who were aggrieved by the way the previous primary was held, warned the party leadership against any action that might cause the exit of more members.
He, however, said that should the party insist on conducting fresh primary, former aspirants should not be subjected to purchase new forms or be subjected to fresh screening.
Senator Nwaka advised the PDP to learn from its past mistakes and cash in on the opportunity provided by the demise of its former governorship candidate to correct its past error.
A copy of the letter he sent to Ayu, which was made available to Ikengaonline read in part: “Permit me sir to make some observations in regard to that (sic) Abia PDP has been in a turmoil on account of the last controversial primaries.
“Some of our eminent members have had to leave the party. What we have now is a great opportunity to heal the party and establish amity amongst its members in the run up to the general election.
“Instead of an “open” primary election which may further divide the party, I’d humbly suggest that you use your good offices to encourage respected elders of our party from our state to work towards the emergence of a consensus candidate.
“If we continue along the line already advertised, our fortunes in the general election may not be palatable. I believe we are in this business to win.
“If on the other hand my advice doesn’t receive favourable consideration, may I point out that it seems wrong to me that we should expect those who purchased forms for the last primaries to buy forms again.
“They should be exempted both from purchasing forms and undergoing another interview.”