PDP Delta Assembly Primaries: Uduaghan Gathers Electoral Panel Members In Secret Meeting In Abuja Over Results

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Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Monday night discretely met with Hon. Bernard Ochepe, the electoral panel Chairman and some members of panel sent by the National headquarters of Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) to conduct the Delta State House of Assembly primaries held across the state last Saturday.

At the meeting held inside the Delta State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, were member representing Bomadi/Burutu/Patani Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Nicholas Mutu, who we gathered was the linkman between the governor and the panel members, Mr. Duro Meseko, Mrs. Sera Adetugbogbo, Chief Pere Egbe Ajatobuo (all members of the panel), and Hon. Charles Menegbo, Secretary of the panel.

Also present were immediate past chairman of the party in Delta State, Mr. Peter Nwaoboshi, who is seeking the party’s senatorial ticket for Delta North District, the Acting chairman of the party in the state, Mr. Edwin Uzor, and the Director of Protocol (DOP) at the lodge.

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The meeting lasted over 4 hours.

THEWILL gathered from multiple sources privy to their discussions that the governor, who has since been left in the cold by the National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Adamu Muazu, National Vice Chairman, Chief Uche Sekondus and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, tried to broker a deal to save his loyalists that won at the widely followed elections on Saturday.

There have been complaints by some aggrieved party members nationwide that most PDP electoral panel members are often induced with bribes to manipulate the outcome of primary elections. In some cases fictitious votes are awarded to aspirants in places where elections were not conducted. The bribes can go as high as N300 million depending on what is at state, a knowledgeable source told us.

THEWILL has not been able to independently confirm whether Dr. Uduaghan offered the panel members bribes, though they had dinner together before their departure, one of our sources confirmed.

However another source said the panel members were divided over Uduaghan’s overtures insisting on sticking to their original plan to return only aspirants backed by former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori, who has so far leveraged on his long lasting relations with National Party Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Adamu Mua’zu and Deputy National Chairman, Mr. Uche Sekondus, to take full control of affairs concerning Delta State PDP at the national level.

Authoritative sources close to the PDP leadership disclosed that the panel, whose composition was hugely influenced by Chief Ibori and Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, a governorship aspirant of the party, arrived Delta State from Abuja a day before the primaries without the approved result papers with a plan to return to Abuja and manipulate the outcome of the election in the official result papers.

The panel left Asaba, the Delta State capital abruptly early Sunday morning in a chattered private jet arranged by Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu, an Abuja based businessman who has aligned with Senator Okowa, Chief Ibori’s preferred candidate for the governorship ticket of the PDP in the party’s forthcoming primary slated for Monday, December 8, 2014.

The panel members, according to one of our sources later converged at the Abuja residence of Mr. Kachikwu on Monday to determine the fate of the House of Assembly aspirants.

Authoritative sources at the Wadata national headquarters of the party confirmed that the panel is yet to submit the results for the elections even though the elections had been concluded and all results collated as at mid day on Sunday.

Mua’zu, a former Governor of Bauchi State (1999-2007), has repeatedly told close associates about his preference in working with his former Governor friends that served during his tenure, giving Ibori the leverage over Uduaghan, to influence the composition of primary electoral and appeal panels for Delta State.

Uduaghan’s choice of Mr. Anthony Obuh as his preferred successor had pitched him against Ibori and Okowa in a bitter political battle for the control of delegates and the PDP structure ahead of the polls.

In Cross River Mua’zu opted to work with former Governor, Mr. Donald Duke over incumbent, Mr. Liyel Imoke in the now cancelled ward delegates election until Imoke fought back and successfully got President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse the trend.

Uduaghan, who is aspiring to represent Delta South Senatorial District at the Senate in 2015 on the platform of the PDP, is also locked in a bitter fight for the PDP ticket with incumbent senator, James Manager.Source of story:thewillnigeria.com