The United Progressive Party (UPP) yesterday reaffirmed that two-time House of Representatives member, Chudi Offodile and former Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Osita Chidoka are members of the party and the only two cleared aspirants for the party’s primary election.
This is coming just as Offodile has called on the party to follow due process and ensure the observance of the party’s constitution in the process of electing its governorship candidate for the November 18 Anambra state governorship election.
Offodile who said he received notification of his indefinite suspension by the party in the state on Tuesday stated that “Whoever came up with the idea to suspend the only two governorship aspirants in the UPP, four days to a scheduled primaries due on the 19th of August 2017, does not wish the party well and has a lot of explanation to make.
“The national headquarters of the party responded swiftly by dissolving the state executive committee with immediate effect. This terminology you may recall was popularized by the military regimes of yore and should not be part of our democratic lexicon. And the action even if well intentioned is not in the interest of the party and the national headquarters may have acted ultra vires its powers.
“If the action of the state chapter was curious, equally curious was the reaction of the national headquarters. Why dissolve the state executive committee four days to a primary election in which the state executive committee has crucial roles to play?”
But addressing newsmen on the present situation of the party in Anambra state in Awka, the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Ogbuehi Dike said the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party was not going back in the dissolution of the Acting State Working Committee (SWC) in Anambra State, describing it as unfortunate and senseless rebellion.
He said, “It is a common knowledge that the- national working committee (NWC) of our great party in an extraordinary meeting in Abuja on Tuesday the 15th of August 2017 at the National secretariat Wuse Abuja considered the report of an unfortunate and senseless rebellion by some misguided members of the Acting State Working Committee (SWC) of our party in Anambra State which was carried out through a press conference addressed by Dr. Seyivester Igwilo, the former acting state chairman of our party.
“…The rebellious acting state working committee (SWC) of our party lead by Dr. Sylvester Igwilo was dissolved and a caretaker committee shall be constituted immediately to take control of the (SWC).
“The UPP Governorship primary election scheduled to August, 2017 at Emmaus House complex 47, Arthur Eze Avenue Awka as was communicated to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), via a letter signed by the National Chairman of our great party Chief Chekwas Okorie and received on the 10th of July, 2017 shall proceed unhindered.
“The two aspirants who have met all the requirements set down in the UPP guideline for the Anambra Governorship primary election has been screened and cleared to stand for the election of Saturday 19th August, 2017. For the avoidance of doubt the two aspirants that have been cleared by the (NWC) of our great party are: 1. Hon. Chudi Ofordile . 2. Chief Osita Chidoka.
We wish to assure loyal members of our Party in Anambra State that no member of the party who is innocent of this rebellion will suffer any sanction.”
Also Offodile said, “On the issue of my suspension from the party, I have since forwarded to the state secretariat all relevant documents submitted during the screening exercise and the mode of payment of the nomination fee, Guarantee Trust Bank draft dated 27/7/17 in the sum of five million Naira and five hundred thousand Naira in favor of UPP. I did not make any payment to the personal account of the national chairman of UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie or any other person. The allegations are false and I expect a retraction from the state chapter of the party.”