From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
The Peoples democratic Party (PDP) has declared Emmanuel Okewulonu as its flag bearer for the October 31Imo North (Okigwe) Senatorial bye election, even as his close rival, Patrick Ndubueze, has rejected the result of the primary election, which was conducted at the weekend
According to Chuba Oramisi, the Chairman of the bye election primary committee, Okewulonu got 609 votes against his main contender Chief Ndubueze who got 27 votes.
The chairman said the number of accredited voters were 659 votes, void votes were 23 while valid votes stood at 639 and thus declared
Ndubueze, had raised an alarm before the primary, alleging that a “small cabal” in the present State leadership of the party is bent on stopping his aspiration on false claims that he does not have the financial muscle to prosecute the election.
He told newsmen in Owerri that the Charles Ugwu led state executive had a clandestine plan to impose another candidate on the party in a bid to displace him.
According to him “My expectation and the expectation of all well-meaning members of the PDP was that I should have been given the ticket to reclaim a mandate that was freely given to me by the good people of Okigwe zone.
“In 2018, amid idle talks by my detractors that I had been completely skinned down financially by the 2014 primaries and therefore lacked the capacity to run, I won convincingly at the primaries and went ahead to win the main election in 2019 against a Senator who lost to me even in his ward. Unfortunately, the mandate was stolen on account of internal sabotage.
“Now that another opportunity has presented itself for me to reclaim my stolen mandate, why would the party decide to throw me out to impose a neophyte who is neither popular nor acceptable to members of the zone?”queried Ndubueze, who was the PDP candidate for the senatorial election in the 2019.