By Chimezie Anaso
Awka – Chief Chudi Offodile, a gubernatorial aspirant in the Nov. 18 governorship poll in Anambra on United Progressive Party’s (UPP) platform, has decried the party’s crisis ahead of Saturday’s primary election.
Offodile said at a news conference in Awka on Thursday that suspension of the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party by the National Working Committee (NWC), four days to the primary, was unfortunate.
He also condemned the alleged suspension of himself and Chief Osita Chidoka, both aspirants, as action of those against the progress of the party.
The SWC headed by Dr Sylvester Igwilo as Chairman, had on Tuesday suspended Offodile and Chidoka for alleged anti-party activities.
And, the NWC led by Chief Chekwas Okorie also suspended the SWC same day, for its action on the aspirants.
Offodile said that lack of adherence to the letters of UPP’s Constitution was the reason the two layers of the party leadership were assuming powers and authority they did not have.
“I received notification of my indefinite suspension pending the determination of ‘my case’ by the state chapter of UPP; another aspirant, Chief Osita Chidoka, was similarly suspended.
“Whoever came up with the idea to suspend the only two governorship aspirants in the UPP four days to a scheduled primary due on Aug. 19, does not wish the party well and has a lot of explaining to make.
“The NWC responded swiftly by dissolving the SWC with immediate effect and even if well intentioned, it is not in the interest of the party and national headquarters may have acted ultra-vires of its powers.
“Why dissolve the SWC four days to a primary election that it has crucial roles to play in?” he said.
Offodile attributed the crisis in the party to the disagreement between the SWC and NWC over the list of delegates which was amended to suit some interest.
“Obviously, someone stands to gain from the alteration of the delegates’ list but it would not have mattered if it was legally done.
“No one or organ of the party can unilaterally remove a ward chairman or secretary or indeed, any officer duly elected and engage in whimsical replacement,” he said.
In another development, the National Publicity of the UPP, Chief Ogbuehi Dike, told newsmen that the action of the SWC was an act of rebellion.
Dike, who is leading the national leadership of the party to Anambra for the primary election, insisted that the exercise would hold as scheduled.
He said that the party would adhere to the guideline of the primary, using the authentic delegates’ list on its website.
He called on the party faithful in the state to come out en masse and make the primary successful. (NAN)