The Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Eze Chikamnayo, of arrogance and desperation.
This is even as the party has confirmed that Barr Okey Philip Igwe is the authentic running mate to Sir Okey Ahaiwe, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, as directed by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP.
In a statement signed by Elder Ama Abraham, the Vice Chairman for Abia North and the Acting Publicity Secretary, and made available to Daily Post, it was alleged that the Information Commissioner was using abusive language in addressing some issues in the Abia PDP, especially as they concerned the running mate to Sir Okey Ahaiwe, the Abia PDP's gubernatorial candidate.
Abraham’s statement was in reaction to the controversy generated by the dropping of Dr. Jasper Uche, who, until the current development, was Sir Okey Ahaiwe’s running mate.
A group known as the Abia PDP Media Roundtable had insisted that Uche remained the authentic Deputy Governorship candidate of the PDP for the March 11 gubernatorial contest in Abia.
The statement by the group, which was titled "Dr. Jasper Uche Still On The Ballot," urged the general public to disregard the press statement issued by Amah Abraham, as according to it, the statement was a personal opinion of the Vice Chairman and Publicity Secretary.
The message read in part, “Please, the general public is urged to disrespect the rumor making the rounds that Dr. Jasper Uche, the PDP Deputy Governorship candidate in Abia State, has been replaced.
“The unauthorised press interview by Ama Abraham was the handiwork of a hireling that went beyond his brief. His views in this case do not represent the position of the party leadership in the state.
“The PDP in Abia cannot swallow its vomit by involving someone with a "toxic item" of dual citizenship on its ballot; the case of Bayelsa is very illustrative.”
But the Abia PDP warned Chikamnayo against arrogating to himself the powers he did not have in the state PDP.
The release by Amah Abraham read:
“The attention of the Abia PDP has been drawn to two press releases emanating from the desk of Eze Chikamnayo, the Abia State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, who spoke in his capacity as the Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the Abia State PDP Campaign Council, a position that is clearly subservient to the position of the State Publicity Secretary of the Party.
“In the said press releases, Eze Chikamnayo arrogated the powers to speak for the Abia PDP to himself, which in every imaginable circumstance is a misnomer. He is not at liberty to speak for the party unless otherwise instructed, and the matter at issue is clearly a party matter for which he has no authority to delve into.
“The Party will not resort to the exchange of uncouth language that Eze Chikamnayo employed to address an issue that is not just outside the purview of his office but one he should have sought clarifications from the Party before his unauthorised, unguarded outburst and usual descent to abuses."
“Unfortunately, in his desperate attempt to deceive the unsuspecting public, he failed to address the issue at stake based on the existing rules but embarked on a journey in futility.
“As a media practitioner, which Eze Chikamnayo claims to be, the first professional step he was supposed to take was to state in very clear terms that the letter written by the NWC stating its position on the subject of the running mate was either forged or fake, which would have warranted his outright dismissal of the letter. He failed to prove beyond any doubt that the letter duly signed by the National Chairman and the National Secretary of the Party was not authentic but rather took the unprofessional path of descent into abuses against the person of the Party’s spokesperson.
“As a trained lawyer, one would have expected Eze Chikamnayo to cite legal authorities to back up his position, but he only made vague references and walked around the matter without presenting any tangible facts. That is nothing but an unclothed show of desperation, and the Party would not tolerate such inanities from an operative of the government.
“For the purposes of clarity, it has become imperative to put the facts of the matter straight to let the members of the PDP know the true position of the running mate of our gubernatorial candidate, Sir Okey Ahiwe.
“It is not the responsibility of the State Working Committee, SWC, of the PDP to submit names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, but the responsibility of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the Party.
“In this instance, the NWC of the Party, in its wisdom, wrote a letter stating clearly that it mistakenly submitted the name of Jasper Uche as the running mate to Okey Ahiwe and, in the same letter, stated that Phillip Okey Igwe remains the authentic running mate to Okey Ahiwe. That is what it is, and there’s nothing any level of desperation or arm-twisting can do to change the position.
“The Abia PDP State Working Committee, SWC, has had a very cordial working relationship with the NWC of the PDP since its inauguration two years ago and is not about to usurp or attempt to usurp the functions or powers of the NWC.
“For the avoidance of doubts, there is no confusion in the Abia PDP as being insinuated in some quarters and made to flourish by some rumour mongers who probably have scores to settle with anybody within the Party.
“Eze Chikamnayo accused Abraham Amah of delving into a matter that is subjudice but ended up describing the running mate of the PDP governor candidate as a ‘toxic item’ with dual citizenship, without proof from any court of competent jurisdiction.
“To drive home his mischief and desperation, he used the name of a certain unknown media roundtable to sign off one of his press releases, where he had nothing to say but project his jealousy and ill-wish for the authentic running mate of the Party’s governor candidate.”
The statement went on:
“Again, the Abia PDP maintains that there is no confusion in the Abia PDP as regards who is the deputy governorship candidate of the party in the Saturday, March 11, gubernatorial election.
“It is surprising that Eze Chikamnayo, who claims to be the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the 2023 Abia PDP Campaign Council, has never, for once since the inauguration of the Committee, made a single press release, press statement, or press conference to promote the candidates of the Party, only for him to jump into the ship to make unsubstantiated claims that he knows nothing about.
“We call on members of the Abia PDP to disregard the infantile tantrums of Eze Chikamnayo and work to support the victory of our governor's candidate, Sir Okey Ahiwe, and his running mate, Barr. Phillip Okey Igwe, in the March 11 governorship election.”
The Daily Post reports that before the directive of the PDP NWC, Barr Okey Philip Igwe, the running mate to late Prof. Uche Ikonne, had dragged the Abia State chapter of the PDP to court, challenging his replacement as the running mate to Okey Ahaiwe.
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