A former gubernatorial hopeful of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu state, Chijioke Edeoga, has become the gubernatorial candidate of the Labor Party (LP) for the 2023 elections.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr. Edeoga left the PDP in July and would later be adopted as the LP’s gubernatorial candidate in the state.
The president of the LP in the state, Casmir Agbo, previously chosen as the standard-bearer for the governorship of the party in the state, had confirmed to this newspaper that he would “withdraw” from the race to make way for Edeoga.
Edeoga, who was the state environment commissioner, emerged as the winner of the party’s gubernatorial primary held in Enugu on Thursday.
He was the only candidate in the exercise and obtained 81 votes.
Eighty-five delegates participated in the primary, which was held after Agbo announced his withdrawal from the gubernatorial race.
Deputy National Party Secretary and Chairman of the Enugu State Governorate Election Committee Chigozie Ahanudu declared the result of the primaries, according to a report from the Punch.
“By the powers vested in me as Chairman of the Enugu State Governorate Electoral Committee, I, Kennedy Chigozie Ahanudu, hereby declare H.E. Chijoke Edeoga, having obtained the highest number of votes cast, the winner of the Enugu State Labor Party gubernatorial primary election,” he stated.
Mr. Ahanudu explained that although there was only one challenger, the primary was held to avoid an accusation of imposing candidates on the delegates.
‘Dismantling the PDP’
In his acceptance speech, an elated Edeoga thanked the party for providing him with the platform to contest the 2023 elections.
“I am determined to put the Labor Party in all the districts of Enugu state. I will systematically and carefully dismantle the People’s Democratic Party in Enugu State. If there is anyone in Enugu State to do that, it is me. I have the knowledge and the ability to do it,” said the gubernatorial candidate.
“I was a founding member of the PDP and we are going to help the PDP dismantle all its structures in Enugu state,” Edeoga added.
Mr. Edeoga participated in the PDP gubernatorial primary, but lost the exercise after collecting nine votes to come second behind the eventual winner, Peter Mbah, who received 790 votes.
The former commissioner was previously chosen by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as his preferred successor.
But the governor, in a last minute decision, changed his mind and opted for Mr. Mbah, just 24 hours before the DPP gubernatorial election.
Many believe that the governor’s decision resulted in Mr. Edeoga failing to win the nomination despite coming from the Isi-Uzo Council Area, which is in Enugu East District, where the party had zoned his candidacy. to the governorship.
Mr. Edeoga has been campaigning for a change of power to the council area on the grounds that the area has long been shortchanged in the state power-sharing formula.
The turmoil had led to the hashtag “Ka Isi Uzo Jee,” which means rule by Isi-Uzo. It was trending for days on social media before the PDP primary.
The former PDP member was said to be aggrieved by the governor’s alleged role in his failure in the PDP gubernatorial primary.