… Orji Ward Chairman, Secretary suspended.
… Onyewuchi fingered
… Members threatening to go on rampage if suspension is not revoked.
Uneasy calm is said to have enveloped the Peoples’ Democratic Party in Orji ward of Owerri North LGA over the purported suspension of ward chairman and secretary.
According to reliable information, the chairman of Orji ward Mr Henry Akor and the secretary Mr Arthur Osuji were purportedly suspended over the weekend by few PDP LGA Officers who were said to be loyal to Senator Ezenwa Onyewuchi for allegedly working against the re-election bid of the Senator. There are strong suspicions that the ward chairman Henry Akor and the secretary Mr Arthur Osuji are supporting Onyeagucha for senate against the interest of Senator Onyewuchi who is from the same ward.
Investigation reveals that there has been a running battle between Senator Onyewuchi and members of his ward executive over the 3-man ad-hoc delegate list of his ward which was believed was not in favour of Senator Onyewuchi before a federal high court restrained PDP from using the 3-man ad-hoc delegates in the forthcoming primary elections in the state.
Meanwhile, Senator Onyewuchi has been accused of sponsoring the purported suspension using the PDP chairman in the LGA Mr Osondu Odunze and few other executive members loyal to him. According to one of the PDP leaders from Orji ward who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity “The problem started when Senator Onyewuchi discovered that he has lost out on the harmonization of the 3-man ad-hoc delegate list of our ward and also when he started suspecting that the delegates from the ward are not with him. He resorted to intimidation and threatening the delegates with suspension. He wrote a petition to the LGA executives against the ward Chairman and the secretary accusing them of anti-party activities. When they were invited on Friday last week by the LGA chairman, Mr Osondu Odunze who is working for Senator Onyewuchi, they were not given any opportunity to be heard or defend themselves only to be issued with a two months suspension notice. No disciplinary committee was set up, no indictment, no opportunity to defend themselves. All these happened within two days. We are aware that the purported suspension was designed to threaten those suspected to be working against the Senator’s interest. This is against the constitution of our party and we cannot allow the interest of one man to destroy PDP”
However, there are strong indications that Senator Onyewuchi has lost grip of the Support of his Orji ward and Local government as Onyeagucha is seen as having upper hand in majority of the wards in Owerri North including Onyewuchi’s Orji ward.
According to a grapevine source, fear of being defeated in his ward and LGA by Onyeagucha, may be the reason why Onyewuchi is sponsoring the suspension of those he suspects that are supporting Onyeagucha in the forthcoming PDP Senatorial primaries.
Since after the news of the purported suspension of chairman and secretary of PDP Orji ward, there has been tension and fear in PDP Owerri North as party members in the ward are threatening to go on rampage if the suspension is not revoked.
It can be recalled that earlier before now a similar suspension order was also issued on one of the ward chairmen from Owerri North who is also suspected to be supporting Onyeagucha even though the suspension order was later revoked after stern resistance from PDP executives in the ward.
Meanwhile, all efforts made to reach the PDP state secretary, Nze Ray Emeanaa proved abortive as he was unable to pick his calls after several calls were put across to him as at press time.