Chuma Offodile, who lost the United Progressives Party, UPP, governorship candidature after the primary in Anambra has resigned his membership of the party.
Mr. Offodile, who withdrew from the party’s primaries on August 19, announced his resignation at a news conference in Awka on Monday.
He said he was resigning from the party because the party allowed the primary to go on in spite of complaints of alleged infractions and manipulations of the delegates’ list.
He also said he was taking the position because a human life was lost on the day of the primaries due to confusion caused by the party leadership.
“In spite of all entreaties, including court order that the UPP should adhere to the provisions of its own constitution in the conduct of the Anambra Governorship primary, the party did just the opposite.
“After a hotly contested ward and local government congresses of the UPP Constitution, a delegates’ list comprised of local government chairmen and secretaries, treasurers, youth and women leaders were complied.
“To the surprise of party members, a delegates’ list copiously at variance with list of elected delegates was uploaded on the UPP website on July 2017.
“The website list contained strange names with no phone numbers unlike the authentic list,’’ Offodile said.
“When accreditation commenced on Saturday, August 19, I got information that only those whose names were on the website were allowed.
“I drove down and hand over my letter of protest to the Chairman of the Committee, Chief Chris Uche and state Chairman, Dr Sylvester Igwilo that I would withdraw if they insist on using the illegal list.
“A couple of minutes later, I received a call that the disenfranchised delegates were becoming uncontrollable and that armed policemen were firing teargas to scare them and that one delegates had been taken to the Teaching Hospital in Awka.’’
He noted that by the time he got to the hospital, this delegate had given up the ghost, but his name was both on the authentic and illegal website list.
“It is the display of gross insensitivity to the life of a member that made me to reconsider my membership of the UPP.
“I hereby resign my membership with effect from today, Aug. 21, 2017.
“I urge all my supporters and all those who believe in the Biafran ideology of equity, freedom and justice to do same and await further directives,” Mr. Offodile said.
Osita Chidoka, former minister of aviation and ex-corps marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, emerged as the gubernatorial candidate of UPP from the primary, conducted at Emmaus House, Awka, on Saturday.
Mr. Chidoka had in his acceptance speech on Saturday called on every member of the party to eschew bitterness and join hands with him in the task of electioneering.
“I am extending hands of fellowship to everybody, including those that pulled out in the last minute; I am calling on them to join hands in the task of election.’’
Reacting to Mr. Offodile’s resignation, Mr. Igwilo said it was both a surprise and a hasty decision, noting that he had the right to do so.
The state chairman said though the party had yet to be officially notified of the resignation, the national secretariat would react appropriately in due course.
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