Ebonyi 2023: Ogba, Odii Bicker Over PDP Governorship
The lingering crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State has continued as two of the governorship aspirants traded words at the weekend.
Senator Obinna Ogba and Ifeanyi Odii emerged candidates from two different governorship primaries held by two factions.
While Odii won the May 28 and 29 primaries, Ogba, who represents Ebonyi Central, won the May 4 and 5 election.
Ogba was given the Certificate of Return last week, same day a Federal High Court in Abakaliki declared Odii the authentic party candidate.
Ogba was however welcomed by a crowd of supporters at the weekend with the certificate of return, and he insisted that he remained the authentic governorship candidate.
He assured his rival, Odii, that he would defeat him in court against all odds.
But in a quick reaction, Director of Media and Publicity of the Odii AnyiChuks Campaign Organisation, Abia Onyike, urged Ogba to stop misleading the public as to his current status after party’s primary election.
Onyike claimed that the party leadership, on June 10, obeyed a court order by forwarding the names of all candidates elected during the legitimate primaries of May 28 and 29 to INEC and the processing of their forms has started.
In a statement titled ‘The time for Truth and Reconciliation has come’, Onyike described the June 4 and 5 parallel primaries as ‘anti-democratic intervention by some powerful forces who were hell-bent on reversing the popular will of the people’.
According to him, the ruling of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, on June 7, which restored the authenticity of the first primaries which elected Odii, was a historic confirmation of the democratic will of Ebonyi PDP cadres, as against the dictatorship and imposition by a few godfathers.
Ogba however countered Onyike’s claim, saying the certificate of return has been given to him, and results of the June 4 and 5 primary have been accepted by the party. He added that he has appealed the court case and filed for Stay of Execution.
He also said submission of governorship candidates to INEC by political parties has not starred.
“Nigeria is not a banana Republic. Court doesn’t belong to anyone but to everybody. They will look at it and know who is at fault. Nobody can take the mandate of our people from the backyard. I am happy with the PDP delegates who expressed their choice of my person.
“The way I defeated him in practical terms is the same way I will defeat him in court. I don’t belong to hearsay or gossip. Ebonyi people shouldn’t be fooled.
“I’m going to serve him. I am the candidate of PDP for Ebonyi State governorship in the 2023 general election. The case in court is a pre-election matter. It will get to the Supreme court,” Ogba added.