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Samdaddy Fights SE PDP, Insists He Is Still National Secretary, Goes To Court


Samdaddy Fights SE PDP, Insists He Is Still National Secretary, Goes To Court

Less than one month to the Imo State Governorship Election scheduled for November 11, 2023, the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, popular as Samdaddy, is embroiled in a fight with the leadership of the South-east Zone of the Party.

The very active fight which is already before the Court, and could affect the performance of the Party on November 11, is  over who occupies the office of the National Secretary of the Party.

The Governorship Candidate of the Party in Imo, Senator Anyanwu, was on Friday, removed from office by the Leadership of the Party in the South-East Zone. In his place, the Zone, at a Press briefing on Friday, held in Enugu, which was addressed by the National Vice Chairman, South East Zone, Chief Ali Odefa, picked Hon. Sunday Udeh-Okoye to succeed Anyanwu as the National Secretary.

The office is zoned to the South-east by the PDP.

Giving reasons for  Anyanwu’s replacement, Odefa who urged all PDP members in the Zone, and especially, Imo State, to put all hands on deck in order to install Anyanwu as the next Governor of Imo State, said it was to enable Anyanwu to concentrate on his campaign for the Governorship Election.

“We have resolved that as South-east members of the PDP, we must all do our utmost best to support our Candidate in the November 11 Gubernatorial Election in the person of Senator Samuel Anyanwu to win. All Party members in Imo State are encouraged to put in their best”, Odefa said.

But he said Anyanwu should now concentrate on his campaign and relinquish the office of the National Secretary. In that wise, Odefa said the Zone has taken a decision to replace him with Udeh-Okoye.

Odefa: “The position of the National Secretary will be a kind of distraction to his electioneering campaign and victory at the polls.Therefore, the South-east Zone, having met and brainstormed, we have come up with a nomination from Enugu State in the person of Rt. Hon. S.K. Udeh-Okoye to replace Senator Samuel Anyanwu as the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party. We shall send our resolutions in writing to the National Working Committee of our great Party for ratification on behalf of the National Executive Committee as provided by our Party Constitution.”

A Kick from BoT

Days before Samdaddy’s replacement by the South-east PDP Zone, the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Party, in a statement by its Acting Chairman, Dr Adolphus Wabara, had asked Anyanwu to quit the office of the National Secretary and face his Governorship Campaign. In same way not a few members of the faction of the crisis-ridden Imo PDP, had, on a number of times, asked Anyanwu to quit the office, and concentrate on his Campaign. But to all, Anyanwu turned a deaf ear.

Support from National Leadership

Within the period the BoT asked for his stand-down, and while the story of his imminent removal raged, especially among PDP members in Imo, the National Leadership of the Party backed Anyanwu.

In a statement, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba said the news of Anyanwu’s removal should be ignored and that Anyanwu “remains the National Secretary of the PDP.” But the call for him to quit persisted by, in particular, “a faction” of the Party in Imo State.

Anyanwu Goes To Court

On October 20, 2023, Anyanwu raised the ante on his decision to hold on to both his schedule as the National Secretary and his Campaign for Governorship.

Just before the meeting of the SE Zone of the Party in Enugu,  Anyanwu, who was absent at the meeting, asked his Lawyer to write to Odefa and warn him against holding the meeting, and trying to replace him in office, citing a suit in Court which he instituted.

His Lawyer informed informed that Anyanwu would be absent at the meeting, and advised Odefa and Co. to keep off out of respect for the Court case.

The letter written by Emmanuel Ukweni Esq of Emmanuel Ukweni and Associates, and addressed to Odefa, was titled: Notice of pending suit No HUK/42/2023, in respect of ZEC Meeting of PDP, South-east fixed for today the 20th of October, 2023

It reads: “Our services have been retained  by Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu,  the 10th defendant in the above cited case at the High Court of Abia State, in the Ukwa Judicial Division, holden at Obehie.

“In the light of the nature of claims sought in the above suit, we have advised our client not to take any step that will render the suit nugatory.

“Accordingly, our Client will neither be at ZEC meeting holding today, (Friday), or be bound  by the decision/s of the meeting.

“Finally, if we are to render gratuitous advice as ministers in the Temple of Justice,  we would urge you to take the same civilised path as our client has.

“We do hope wise counsel prevail.”

PDP Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation Reacts

And, in a long statement issued on October 21, 2023, the  Imo State PDP 2023 Gubernatorial Campaign Organisation, dismissed   Anyanwu’s removal by the PDP SE Zone as null and void.

Titled Samuel Anyanwu Is Still The National Secretary Of PDP, and signed by Barrister Gozie Nwachukwu, Director of Administration and Spokesperson for the Campaign, it reads:

“Our campaign Organization and by extension our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP seize this opportunity to set the records straight and rightly inform our supporters, the good people of Imo state and the general public on certain stories making the rounds that,

our candidate and the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sen Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu has been replaced by the Zonal Executive Committee of our party and that his continued stay in office as National Secretary has nullified the PDP votes in the upcoming election.

“Ordinarily, our campaign wouldn’t have given any thought to these materials of propaganda being orchestrated and hatched by persons who abdicated a responsibility to confront  the monstrous and inept government we have in Imo state today and their cohorts, but we wish to dutifully and with full legal responsibility inform the general public that there’s no legal standing or any possibility of the realization of any of these mere wishes of the detractors of good governance that the PDP represents to the Imo people.

“Firstly, the office of the National Secretary Of PDP, other offices and organs of the party are all creations of the PDP constitution and therefore their election, nomination, operations and removal from office can only be guided by the provisions of the constitution of the Party and nothing more.

“Notably, section 47 (1) of the PDP constitution clearly states that the tenure of elected officers of the PDP is four years (4), Senator Anyanwu was elected as national Secetary in November 2021 PDP National Convention and so his tenure has not expired.

“Secondly, the PDP constitution in section 47(5) provides for resignation of officers of the party but clearly says that if an officer of the party wants to run for public office, his mode of resignation will be as stipulated in the guidelines for that election as made by the national executive committee of the party.

The guidelines for the 2023 elections made by the National Executive Committee of the party, did not provide for resignation of officers of the party as a condition to vie for an elective office, that’s why, the current governor of Zamfara state His Excellency, Dauda Lawal Phd ran for the Governorship of Zamfara State while stilll serving as the state chairman of Zamfara state PDP and only resigned after being elected.

Also, the candidate of the PDP in the Delta Central  Senatorial election in the 2023 National Assembly elections, Senator Amori Ighoyota, ran same election while still in office as the Deputy National Organising Secretary of the party, this is in line with the Peoples Democratic Party’s Constitution, therefore Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu has not in any way contravened the Constitution or guidelines of the party or any electoral law in force in Nigeria.

“Thirdly, section 47(6) of the PDP constitution provides that  if and when a vacancy occurs at any executive committee of the party,that it is the particular executive committee where there is a vacancy that will nominate a replacement. Now the begging questions are, is their a vacancy in the office of the National Secetary Of PDP, offcourse no, also is the south east Zonal Committee the appropriate committee to nominate a replacement for the office of the National Secretary of the PDP, the answer is No.  It’s the duty of the National Working Committee when vacancy exist.

“So what is the fuss all about, unfortunately it seems that some persons are actively working with the rejected and underperforming Hope Uzodinmma to derail the fortunes of our Party in the November 11 elections.

We further state that the comical story of PDP votes being voided by Our Candidates continued stay in office as National Secretary and candidate of our party, is laughable as Gov Dauda Lawal of Zamfara state who won his election had no such issues with the PDP votes in Zamfara.

“So the question is, why all these attacks on Senator Anyanwu and the PDP in Imo state.

“Or is it as a result of the overwhelming support our candidate, Sen Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu enjoys by the day and has been adjudged as the man to beat in the forthcoming Governorship election. Unfortunately, some persons who believe that if anybody will be governor of Imo state from Owerri Zone extraction, such person must be them or receive their blessings.

“We are surprised how suddenly these desperate persons are now in bed with the same Man who hijacked the governorship victory of our party in 2020,  truly men of honour are better known in times of adversity.

“We hereby, in line with the earlier position of the National Working Committee as stated in a release by the erudite National Publicity Secretary of our Great Party, Hon. Barr. Debo Ologunagba  clearly stating that there’s no vacancy in the office of the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, and hereby call on our teeming Party faithfuls, supporters and the great and anxious people of Imo state who have demonstrated so much enthusiasm  for the return of our party to power, not to be dismayed or deceived by these machinations of men of easy virtue, they have failed and cannot stop the match of Senator Samuel Anyanwu, the PDP and the Imo masses to restore safety and prosperity in Imo  come November 11 2023.

“We also want to use this opportunity, on behalf of our candidates Distinguished Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu and Rt. Hon. Jones Chukwudi Onyereri PhD, to thank the good people of Imo state for coming out enmass in solidarity with our vision for a safer and better Imo State on the day of our campaign Flagoff, we will not let you down.

“Please our dear Imolites don’t be distracted by rumours and propaganda, continue to spread the message that our candidate and party are coming to make our dear Imo safe and Prosperous Again, encourage everybody to come out and vote without fear of Intimidation as the Egyptians you saw during  the last general elections in Imo state, you shall see them no more.”

No doubt, the PDP and Anyanwu go into the November 11 Governorship Election divided and distracted. This order day when he flagged off his Campaign in Owerri, Anyanwu found himself literally abandoned by a number of who-is-who in the Imo PDP, including Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, still seen by not a few as the face of the PDP in the State, BoT member/former Governor, Achike Udenwa and the most ridiculous, Anyanwu’s Campaign Director General, Ikenga Ugochinyere, recently  sacked from the Federal House of Representatives by the Imo Election Tribunal.

Many hold Anyanwu responsible for Ugochinyere’s fate.

Prophet Without Honour At Home

For the records, the Imo PDP   has been battling internal crisis since the emergence of Anyanwu as the National Secretary. He was not embraced by the State Working Committee, and his office was not accorded the recognition and respect it deserved.

Anyanwu’s sin is allegedly his non-support of Ihedioha in 2019. Ihedioha was the PDP Candidate in 2019 after he won the Party Primaries in which Anyanwu also participated. But Anyanwu never accepted Ihedioha’s victory, and went to Court. Even when Ihedioha was declared winner of the Governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,  Anyanwu shunned appeals to him to let go, and pursued his case against Ihedioha to the Supreme Court. He lost.

When Ihedioha was removed from office by the Supreme Court in favour of Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Anyanwu, allegedly, celebrated as PDP mourned.

He was never forgiven by most PDP members in the State. “We are paying him back in his coin said a PDP chieftain in the State.”

In the run-up to the November 11 Imo Governorship election, not a few people believe a divided  PDP is not likely to be a challenge to the incumbent Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma. Said another PDP chieftain in the State to this magazine “Anyanwu and PDP will likely make no impact. We lost it when Ihedioha withdrew from the race. It was a big opportunity we lost.”

However, as the saying goes, time will tell.

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