As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commences series of primary elections this week to elect flag bearers in the 2023 general election, former Deputy President of the Senate and the foremost governorship candidate in Enugu State, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on all party leaders, stakeholders, party faithful, and security agencies in the state to ensure a transparent and peaceful process.
Senator Ekweremadu said that only a transparent and peaceful process could deliver popular candidates that would lead the party to victory in all the various elections in the State, assuring that he had been holding meetings with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who assured he had been working out security arrangements with relevant agencies to that effect.
The lawmaker stated this in a statement issued by the Director-General of Ikeoha Campaign Organisation, Hon. Charles Ogbo Asogwa, in Enugu on Sunday.
“As the primaries begin, I reiterate the call for a transparent and peaceful process, as anything to the contrary will be counterproductive for both our great party and Enugu State.
“To this end, I have held meetings with the Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to work out steps to douse tension ahead of the primaries. He has equally given assurances that arrangements are being worked out with the security agencies and relevant authorities to ensure primary elections devoid of any manner of intimidation, thuggery, and violence.
“In the same vein, I strongly suggest that every aspirant to every office should be given the opportunity to test his or her popularity at the primary and no attempt should be made to stop anybody”, he stated.
On alleged plans to suspend and exclude some party official cum statutory delegates, Ekweremadu said: “Meanwhile, I prefer to believe that the information filtering in about plans to suspend and exclude some party officers at various levels, who are statutory delegates from the primary elections on account of their political associations is a political rumour taken too far.
“Nevertheless, it is imperative to call on any person or interest group nursing such an idea to drop it forthwith, as it will not augur well for the PDP.
“Anybody unlawfully excluded may go to court and the outcome may nullify any primary conducted without such statutory delegates.
“Although we all have our respective interests as politicians, we must see the PDP as one big family and eschew anything that could hurt the party’s collective and overall interest”, he asserted.
Ekweremadu, therefore, further tasked the Chief Augustine Nnamani-led state executive of the PDP and all heads of the security agencies to work hand-in-hand with Governor Ugwuanyi, all party leaders, stakeholders, and party faithful to ensure peaceful and credible primary elections in the state.