Seven members of the state Working Committee (SWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State have announced their resignations from their positions and their memberships from the party.
Addressing a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Owerri, the state capital, Collins Opurozor, who was the state publicity secretary until his resignation, said that the candidate of the party for the November 11 governorship election, Samuel Anyanwu, doesn’t have what it takes to govern the state.
He said himself; the state secretary of the party, Ray Emeana; youth leader, Greg Nwadike, deputy state chairman, Martin Ejiogu; state woman leader, Maria Mbakwe; state treasurer, Josiah Eze; and state vice chairman, Orlu Zone, Chibuisi Obido, have resigned from their positions and equally dumped the party.
All of them who were present at the press conference spoke separately and concurred with Opurozor’s assertion.
They, however, refused to announce the party they were joining, adding that the next party they would join would be made known in the days to come.
“Since 2020 when this working committee took over the administrative cockpit of the PDP in Imo State, we have evolved a tradition of being upfront with you as members of the fourth estate of the realm about all issues that trouble our dear state.
“We have, through such interactions, inspired faith in a better Imo realised through good governance and democratic norms.
“Today, unfortunately, is not for such engagements. In unequivocal terms, we announce to you that the PDP in Imo State has now been damaged beyond redemption by the National Secretary, Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu (Samdadday), and the party is, at last, moving irreversibly to its terminus.
“It is necessary we remind you that in the last three years, this working committee has built a very strong, formidable and enviable PDP in Imo State. To enable the party to realise its promise of being a truly democratic entity, we envisioned the need to expand the internal democratic space by forming nearly five thousand chapters across all the polling units in the state. We took the party to the people, and that made us the darling of the Imo people. We accomplished this task despite our lean resources as an opposition. No other political party has attained this feat in Nigeria.
“More so, we institutionalised the culture of accountability in party administration and demonstrated a readiness to govern and reform Imo.
“But, since Senator Anyanwu became the National Secretary of the Party, he has never relented in deploying the powers of his office to fight members of this working committee and intimidate even ordinary members of the party. Endless strife, mindless wars and erosion of all democratic values and principles have now defined and defiled Imo PDP.
“Day after day, Senator Anyanwu still sponsors his very few loyalists to cook up puerile petitions against us and flood the National Secretariat of the party with such inanities. On the basis of those contrivances, he has continued to threaten to dissolve the party in Imo State, even after we have defeated him at the Supreme Court. Samdadday has remained unrelenting and unrepentant in his destructive agenda.
“It is heartbreaking to inform you that some of us in the State Working Committee have severally escaped assassination attempts because of the wicked lies which our National Secretary sold to his violent supporters, that we misappropriated party funds
“Yet, it was he, Senator Anyanwu, that sent his aides from Abuja to steal the materials for last year’s congresses of the party, thereby creating a stalemate that gulped all our resources through multiple and controversial exercises and the appeasement of multiple stakeholders so as to save the party from not fielding candidates for the 2023 elections,” Opurozor said.
He continued: “When Senator Anyanwu eventually succeeded at crowning himself the governorship candidate of the party, he convened a meeting of all the LGA Youth Leaders at his residence in Owerri and confessed openly that he had lied to them about financial mismanagement in the party by the State Working Committee.
“He also apologised to the State Youth Leader for the attacks and elimination attempts he had passed through because of the falsehoods which he (Samdadday) had propagated. He also recanted the lies and repeated the apologies during the only meeting he has had with us as members of the SWC since his emergence as a governorship candidate. He said all the falsehoods peddled against us by him were a result of his fight for survival.
“All of us in the State Working Committee are reputable people who have made their marks in their various areas of endeavour.
“How could Senator Anyanwu destroy our reputation, and also destroy the party we have built, simply because of his fight for individual survival? The implication is that if by mistake he is allowed to govern Imo State, he will further destroy our dear state if only that would guarantee his individual survival!
“Last Saturday, armed thugs sponsored by Senator Anyanwu invaded the party secretariat and unleashed violence on us. They vandalised our building, smashed all the glasses, beat our security men to a pulp, broke into our offices, and looted everything they could find. This latest attack was the most brazen and audacious attempt to eliminate us. It is curious that the so-called function which Senator Anyanwu claims to have brought him and his thugs to the party secretariat was totally unknown to us as SWC members.
“When the state chairman, Charles Ugwuh, made efforts to bring the police to investigate the attack, Senator Anyanwu stood against it. Is that not shocking? How can a man who says he wants to make Imo safe again be caught aiding and abetting acts of violence and insecurity even against his own party members? There is clear danger! There is fire on the mountain! Run! Run!! Run!!! We must now run to stay alive!
“Despite the electoral vigour, creativity and resources which our party had put into the 2023 general elections, we made a very poor showing simply because Senator Anyanwu directed his loyalists to mobilise and work against the party and our candidates at all levels in the State.
“As a responsible Working Committee, we had overlooked all these provocations and proceeded to set up a reconciliation committee ahead of the governorship election. But our teeming members across the state who felt deeply hurt by the actions of Senator Anyanwu have appeared before the reconciliation committee and declared their position, that allowing Senator Anyanwu to hold the flag of the party is a reward for impunity and remorseless anti-party activities.
“This is the reason that, in the aftermath of Senator Anyanwu’s emergence as governorship candidate, hundreds of senior members of the party have dumped the PDP. Four serving federal lawmakers also dumped the party along with thousands of their supporters in a single day. Those who stayed back have completely lost morale, only looking up to us for direction. And the moment has come.
“How do we explain to generations yet unborn that it was under our watch that one man became the National Secretary and governorship candidate, and also single-handedly chose a deputy governorship candidate for himself? Collegiality, stakeholding and consultations have all taken flight from Imo PDP.
“When the Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha held sway as leader of the party, we saw a robust, vibrant, inclusive and functional political party system. Every success recorded by Imo PDP is owed to the ingenuity, resources and outstanding leadership of former Governor Ihedioha.
“Conversely, all the maladies that have lately befallen us are squarely the making of Samdadday. And the unjust imposition of Samdadday on us as a governorship candidate by the Ayu-led National Working Committee is the second most cruel occurrence in history after Cain murdered Abel.
“To be very clear, Senator Anyanwu is not running for governorship in November. If he claims to be running, it is not to our knowledge as members of the State Working Committee. The party does not know what his programmes looks like. That is if he has any. Governorship campaigns have started, yet the party does not also know if there is anything like a campaign council.
“The rent for the party secretariat has since expired, and the landlord has kept harassing us. Party staff have gone without salaries since Senator Anyanwu emerged as the candidate of the party. The party cannot afford to fuel our power generating set and even purchase stationeries for our offices. Yet, someone is parading himself as our governorship candidate. This deceit cannot be allowed to continue, and we cannot lend ourselves as tools for the deception of the Imo people. Never!
“In view of the foregoing and many other shocking discoveries which will soon be made public, we, the undersigned members of the Imo State Working Committee of the PDP, have resolved to resign from our various positions in the party and dump the party en masse.
“We have today opened the floodgate of resignations and defections, and in the next couple of weeks, there will be only Senator Anyanwu left in the party.”