August 17 convention: Moneybags, opposition elements working to hijack PDP
’We Have Enough Safety Checks To Weed Them Out – Party
Forty-eight hours after the commencement of sale of nomination forms to interested aspirants for the chairmanship race of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there are fears that influential politicians of the All Progressives Congress (APC), politicians are sponsoring cronies, to contest the chairmanship scheduled for August 17, 2016.
Although the identities of the APC leaders and theirs cronies are yet to be revealed, inside sources in the PDP have disclosed that some of the watertight measures being taken by the PDP National Caretaker Committee, regarding the planned convention, are designed to weed out persons suspected to have established links with the ruling party.
Another source revealed that because of the prevalence of such rumour, more safety checks are being introduced, to ensure that only persons who had demonstrated genuine commitment to the party and the efforts to revive the PDP would emerged at the end of the convention as contestants.
According to the source, “These rumour and allegations have always been there even before the May 21 convention in Port Harcourt. But remember that the PDP is a very democratic party, so we will not shut anyone out because of mere rumour. However, one thing is clear, the National Caretaker Committee is putting in place credible processes that would lead to a very transparent election of party officers at the August 17 national convention.
“Again, be mindful of the fact that key stakeholders in this game have their eyes and ears wide open. It will be impossible, I repeat, impossible for a person of doubtful loyalty to the party to emerge as our national chairman. Just watch it.”
A former national officer of the PDP, the rumour arose from two issues: first is that some powerful APC leaders believed to be nursing a return to the PDP to realise their political ambition were sponsoring insiders in the PDP to occupy sensitive positions for the ultimate reason of creating space for them; the other one is that those external political forces were actually interested in sponsoring key stakeholders in the PDP to cause disaffection among members for the ultimate aim of destroying the party.
It was also learnt that persons vying for the positions of second deputy national chairman, national secretary and national organising secretary are also being strictly checked to avoid the possibility of political sabotage.
Just last month, the party’s caretaker committee announced that the position of the national chairman had been reserved for the South.
Barely two weeks after, an arrangement to restrict the position to only persons from the South West zone, was announced.
This development was however rejected by one of the Chairmanship aspirants, Raymond Dokpesi, who later became the first to pick his nomination form.
In the heat of the crisis that engulfed the PDP shortly after its May 21, 2016 convention, both the Makarfi-led caretaker committee and the Ali Modu Sheriff camp had traded allegations of acting the script of persons external to the PDP.
Even the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Walid Jibril, during a speech at the inauguration of the convention planning committee in Abuja, last Friday, alluded to the fact that some moneybags had developed interest in the PDP and were desperate to hijack it for their selfish political motives.
He said: “This party is not for sale. This party must be a party of very conscious people. We are telling every delegate to reject anybody that comes with money.
“We are an honest and upright party. This party will not want somebody that will come and buy his way into office. The BoT will no longer accept any leadership to be forced on the party.”