The Minority leader of the Nigerian Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has withdrawn from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primaries in Abia State, less than 24 hours to the exercise.
Mr Abaribe disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
He accused some persons of planning to use “imaginary three-man ad-hoc delegates” in the primaries to the exclusion of the party’s statutory delegates despite the fact that the Independent National Electoral Commission has stated that the party had yet to conduct its ad-hoc delegate election in the state.
Mr Abaribe regretted that his attempts to emancipate the state from what he termed “the drudgery of imposition and godfatherism” have been frustrated by the selfish ambition of unnamed persons to maintain “wicked governance” in the state.
“Accordingly, I, Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe, will not be part of this charade. I am therefore withdrawing from the exercise, which means that I will not be part of the PDP governorship election that holds in Abia State,” he said.
The lawmaker explained that going ahead to participate in the primaries would amount to “endorsement of an illegality that is already being challenged in the courts.”
The senate minority leader, who described the implication of the party’s position as grave, however, urged his supporters to be calm in the face of the development.
“I therefore, ask all our people, our teeming supporters and Ndigbo to remain calm, keep the faith and wait for the new direction, which will be announced soon,’ Mr Abaribe added.
Mr Abaribe has been in a lingering battle with the leadership of PDP in the state.
The party had zoned its governorship ticket to Abia Central and Abia North Senatorial Districts in the state.
The current governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, who is completing his second term in office, i 2023, hails from Abia South, as Mr Abaribe.
The PDP is the ruling party in the state.
Mr Abaribe was zoned out in the new party arrangement. The senator swiftly condemned the decision, describing it as an attempt to engage in “imposition” of a candidate in the state.
The senate minority leader is from Abia South, the senatorial district ignored by the party.
Also, the lawmaker, alongside six other aspirants, have been challenging the purported election of three-man delegates for the primaries which the party claimed took place on May 6.
The aspirants had protested the list reportedly submitted to the National Working Committee of the party by the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, describing it as “a nullity.”
It is unclear the political party the lawmaker would be joining in order to continue his governorship ambition although PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr Abaribe was holding talks with the All Progressive Grand Alliance over a possible switch to the party from PDP, in the state.
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