Odii, an intruder, not known in Ebonyi PDP – Party leader

The Vice Chairman (Ebonyi South) of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Godwin Udeakaji, speaks with EDWARD NNACHI, about the crisis rocking the party in Ebonyi State, following the primaries held on May 28 and 29

what will you say led to the current crisis in Ebonyi PDP?

The lingering crisis in Ebonyi PDP started when my brother, Chief Ifeanyi Odii, in defiance of the party’s micro-zoning arrangement, insisted he must contest the governorship ticket of the party knowing full well that the state chairmanship position was zoned to the Ebonyi South zone. And according to that agreement by the PDP, nobody from the Ebonyi South zone, which has the position of the state chairman, should contest the governorship position of the party for the 2023 elections, because the governorship slot was zoned to the Abakaliki bloc (Ebonyi Central and Ebonyi North). So, it was not only immoral but also repugnant to the law of natural justice, equity, and conscience for anybody from the Ebonyi South zone, which is where Ifeanyi Odii comes from, to say they are contesting for the party’s governorship ticket again because the zone already had the state chairmanship position of the party. That was how the crisis started. But he said he must contest against the party instruction. That’s where we are now.

 What happened at the party’s primaries?

 I must tell you with every bit of assurance that the exercise was a total waste of money and time because a lot of issues went on with the primaries of May 28 and 29, 2022. Chief Odii and his group were aware that the primary was cancelled, but as disobedient party members, they still went ahead and held that jamboree exercise called a primary. In so far as am concerned, that exercise was an Illegal one and in law, illegality cannot enforce legality.

 Did the national secretariat of the PDP take any steps to resolve the crisis?

 As a party chieftain, I was aware of the letter from the National Working Committee of the PDP that cancelled the purported primary election organised by Odii and his cohorts. They were very much aware of the letter, but as I said, they have never been loyal party members. And so, you cannot give out what you don’t have. Obedience, humility, and respect for constituted authority are not in them.

 It was observed that your preferred candidate for the Ebonyi PDP governorship ticket, Senator Obinna Ogba, boycotted the said primary that produced Odii as ‘flag bearer’. Why did he shun the exercise?

 In this question, I would have preferred you to use the phrase, ‘stayed away’ or ‘did not participate’ in the purported primary election. However, Senator Ogba was very much aware that the said primary was cancelled by the National Working Committee of our great party and as a loyal, obedient, and humble party man, he couldn’t have been a party to a futile exercise that would warrant a sanction from the party. This was why Senator Ogba stayed away from that jamboree called a primary which they ignorantly said threw up Chief Ifeanyi Odii as governorship candidate of the PDP in Ebonyi State.

There were also claims that some other governorship aspirants of the party stormed out of the said primary that produced Odii as flagbearer. What did you make of that?

 The reason is simple. They got the information that the primary had been cancelled and they felt there was no wisdom in embarking on a futile and baseless exercise, like my brother, Chief Ifeanyi Odii, did. Those that stormed out of the party were loyal and humble party men and a women. They understand and will always abide by the constitution of the party and couldn’t have been involved in the frivolous exercise.

 There are insinuations that the powers that be in the state are sponsoring Odii solely to destabilise the PDP in Ebonyi State ahead of the 2023 general elections. Is that true?

We are all very much aware that some people in the All Progressives Congress’ government, in Ebonyi State, are sponsoring the crisis in our party to destabilise it and prevent it from winning the 2023 governorship election but they are wasting their precious time. The PDP is like a religion in Ebonyi State and no other party can defeat us here. If they like, let them go to Abuja, Lagos, or overseas and congregate just to destroy and destabilise our party; they are wasting their time. We are wiser now and can’t be fooled anymore.

The man (Odii) is an intruder into the PDP, as a party. He has never been our member. This is why he is so hell-bent on destroying the party. Hence, his insistence that the baby must be shared into two like one of the women who stood before King Solomon in the biblical story said. The crisis in the party, as we speak, is caused by him and this is because he feels he loses nothing if the PDP in Ebonyi is destabilised and destroyed. But God, who knows what the founding fathers and members of this great party suffered and went through to bring it to its current height, is watching and won’t allow that to happen.

 Some people believe that the APC in Ebonyi State is confident that the crisis rocking the PDP would eventually lead to the opposition party’s defeat in 2023. Don’t you think your party’s current predicament will reduce its chances of winning the governorship election?

Let me very quickly respond to this question by saying that failure is what the APC’s paid agents are wishing for our party, the PDP. But don’t forget that Ebonyi State is the traditional home of the PDP and nothing can stop the PDP from winning the 2023 governorship election in the state. This is because we will get over the crisis and become more united, more determined, and more focused to deliver the state from the present inhuman and sadistic administration of the APC-led government. We will win; just watch and see.

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