Former member of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, has denied reports alleging that he is bent on imposing a councilorship candidate on the executives of his ward in Aniocha north local government area of Delta state.
A group of persons, led by Pius Nwabuisi, had protested to the Delta state PDP secretariat, alleging that Elumelu had imposed a councilorship candidate on his ward, stressing that he disregareded the agreement on zoning which accorded them the right to produce the councilorship for the January 6, 2018 local government elections.
Speaking to emeraldng.com through Okolie Kaikenechukwu, Elumelu gave details of the events that took place in the ward, leading to the emergence of Uche Chiejine as the ward’s PDP flagbearer for the January 6, 2018 local government elections.
According to him, Chiejine emerged through party primaries which was conducted with representatives of the three communities that make up the ward, Ugboba, Onicha Uku and Idumuogo, the community which alleged denial of right to produce the councilorship candidate.
Okolie, who said he was the one the party sent to conduct the primaries, revealed that there was no zoning arrangement, noting that when he got to the ward for the primaries, he demanded to know whether there was zoning, but he was told there was no zoning.
In his words: “I was the one sent to the ward to conduct the primaries. They were supposed to be 32 delegates for the primaries but only 25 people came. And they voted and the Chiejine of Onicha uku won. Two persons from Idumuogo were part of the primaries. Ugboba and Onicha uku were part of the primaries.
“We are talking of democacy, yes people have preferential candidates. So, it is your duty to lobby people to like you more than the other person. You should have programmes that will be convicning so that when you are elected, you will be a good people’s representative.
“But the way Idumuogo people are going about it, that is not how to go about it. Most of these things are done through discussions not violent, not protest.
“There is a primary election result that was sent to the local government signed by those who were present at the venue of the election. It was held at the townhall, not even in somebody’s house. So, Uche Chiejine, was duly elected by the party delegates.
“My name is Hon. Okolie Kaikenechukwu. I was the person the party sent to the ward to conduct the primary election.
“I am not from that ward. I was not briefed about agreement on zoning. The party constitution does not recognise zoning. It is a gentleman’s agreement, that is understanding. An incumbent cannot be told not to run in an election. Constitutionally, he has right to vie for the office. If there were zoning, in the primaries, he would have lost.
“The Ugboba people are not talking of zoning. Onicha Uku people are not talking of zoning, why is it only Idumuogo people that are talking of zoning. In as much as I have been in the council for almost 20 years in politics, I have not really heard about that. Like my own community, I am from Ukwunzu. It’s a one town ward, there is nothing like zoning there.
“You can’t sacrifice good leadership on the altar of zoning. Say, na una e reach, so you bring one tout to represent us, no. So, to my understanding and knowledge, there is no zoning. I asked questions before I started the primaries, everybody said there is no zoning, including the two people from Idumuogo.
“I know the faces of people who were present in that primaries. They were supposed to be 32, they have 17 ward exco members, they have chapter chairmen. When I was doing the acreditation, the whole Onicha Uku were present, the whole Ugboba was present, then two from Idumuogo were present. Alex Kannoyen was one of those present from idumuogo community for the primaries.”
In a report by Celebrity Showcase, Ndudi Elumelu said he cannot impose candidate on his ward.
Elumelu said that the nomination of Uche Chiejina followed due process in the primaries conducted by the party in the ward, adding that as a responsible leader, he was among the leaders of the ward comprising Onicha-Uku, Idumuogo and Ugboba communities, who insisted that primaries should be conducted among the aspirants who indicated interest to run for the councillorship position in the ward.
He said he cannot be a party to disenfranchise anyone from participating in elections, noting that they were given chance to prove their acceptability and popularity at the primaries.
He said that before the primaries, one of the candidates from Idumuogo, Ebele Mercy Sedenu stepped down for Chiejina, while another boycotted leaving three aspirants that participated in the primaries.
“Four of them indicated interest for the position and one of them, Ebele Mercy Sedenu from Idumuogo agreed to step down for Uche Chiejina, while others disagreed and insisted on the party conducting the primaries for them.
“One of them insisted that Uche Chiejina should not be a part of the primaries and the leaders of the ward which included Hon. Nwabuisi , called in the party to conduct the primary election in line with the policy directives of the part, that where there are disagreements, the aspirants should be subjected to primaries.”
The former federal law maker further disclosed that at the primary election which was held on Saturday 30th September, 2017 at the headquarters of the ward at Onicha Uku, the leaders and all other delegates voted at the election where Hon Uche Chiejina was declared the winner by the returning officer, Mr. Kaikenechukwu Okolie having polled 23 votes out of 31 where Bar. Kelly Nwabueze gained 5 votes and Kaformdi Ozowai 3 votes.