Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State have chided a chieftain, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, over his alleged imposition of Senator Samuel Anyanwu, popularly known as Samdaddy, on the party following his open endorsement of the lawmaker’s governorship aspiration.
The PDP stalwarts said that Iwuanyanwu’s description of Senator Anyanwu as the most qualified aspirant who would eventually become the next governor of Imo State, was least expected of a national leader, who was supposed to be guided, exercise caution and restraint in making comments in public.
Reacting to Iwuanyanwu’s comment in Owerri, one of the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Chief Peter Mgbenwelu, who is also the current Secretary of the Imo State PDP Elders’ Council, a paramount decision making organ in the party, described the party leader’s statement as “most unfortunate, most unguided and most regrettable pronouncement that can come out from the lips of a man so highly revered.”
According to him, “As we are now talking, I even doubt if indeed he made that statement because since the publication came out, last night, I barely slept because I was getting calls from everywhere and mostly from the elders, expressing disappointment, disgust and surprise.
“And that was why I was very happy when I got calls from the media concerning this very issue. I still maintain that that statement is regrettable as it is unfortunate.”
He noted that though Iwuanyanwu happened to be the chairman of the Imo PDP Elders’ Council, he shouldn’t have uttered such a statement.
Mgbenwelu said the Imo State PDP Elders’ Council had “very robustly” disassociated itself from that endorsement of the governorship aspirant by Iwuanyanwu.
“We view it as his personal opinion or a figment of his imagination and I don’t know how healthy that opinion is,” he said.
When asked how bright Samdaddy’s chances were in emerging the PDP governorship flag bearer in the 2019 election, he said, “No, no, I won’t say that. I refuse to answer that question, otherwise, I will be as guilty as Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu.”
He said that since the 2019 election is fast approaching, it would “be advisable to wait until the party primaries are held and then after the primaries, any aspirant who wins the primaries, all of us will rally round and support that particular person.
“But for now, let the normal political party process take its course. Let aspirants come out and campaign and not to seek solace in an abnormal way. Let everybody be careful about his pronouncement, lest we damage all the efforts the party and so many of us have put in to achieve success for the party come
“And anything that will cause disaffection, disunity and hinder the progress of our great party, PDP, I as a person, will not be part of it neither will the Imo PDP Elders’ Council subscribe to it.”
Speaking in the same vein, a former Vice Chancellor of the Madonna University and leader of PDP in Okigwe, Prof. Obioma Iheduru, described Iwuanyanwu’s statement as most unfortunate utterances by an elder statesman in the calibre of Iwuanyanwu, who is also a member of the PDP Board of Trustees.
Iheduru said, “For Chief Iwuanyanwu to descend so low means he has conducted the primaries, he has conducted the general elections and now playing the role of INEC by declaring Anyanwu winner, when he has not won the primaries. It simply implies that he has aborted the electoral process made by
“I’m not a member of PDP Elders Council but as a leader of PDP in Okigwe, I feel he has made nonsense of his position and that of the teeming supporters of PDP in the state. He lacks the capacity to make Samdaddy a governor himself, alone. That is the role of the electorate.”