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PDP BoT cautions against imposition of chairmanship candidate

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COULD BABA BE STAGING A COMEBACK? Former President and one-time chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, sighted at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, venue of yesterday’s inauguration of the party’s National Convention Committee. The former President had last year shortly before the general elections made a show of tearing his membership card in disdain for its choice of the President Goodluck Jonathan as it presidential candidate, an action many interpreted to mean he was dumping the party, especially following his romance with the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). PHOTO: NAN

COULD BABA BE STAGING A COMEBACK? Former President and one-time chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, sighted at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, venue of yesterday’s inauguration of the party’s National Convention Committee. The former President had last year shortly before the general elections made a show of tearing his membership card in disdain for its choice of the President Goodluck Jonathan as it presidential candidate, an action many interpreted to mean he was dumping the party, especially following his romance with the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). PHOTO: NAN

• Says PDP Not For Sale
• Makarfi Defends Zoning Of Chairmanship To Southwest
• Bode George: Those Who Left PDP For APC Are Mere Tenants There
• Dokpesi Ignores Party’s Zoning, Picks Form Too

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) yesterday cautioned the party against imposing anybody as its national chairman.Chairman of the BoT, Walid Jibril, in a speech during the inauguration of the convention planning committee in Abuja, stated that the party had gone beyond the period of impunity and imposition of candidates.

According to Jibril, some persons might have prepared their minds to force themselves into office as PDP national chairman, but he assured that the peace efforts to resolve the crisis in the party would be concluded‎ before the August 17 convention.

Jibril 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 honest and upright people. 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.”

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On the reconciliatory process in the party, he said: “We must remind all of us that the party is supreme. Therefore, I implore all of us to abide by this principle. “Today, this party is characterised by court cases, which is alien to the PDP. We have a constitution that sets out procedure for settling grievances and for us to solve our problems internally.

“Unfortunately, rather than judging ourselves, our problems are going out and we are being judged by someone else outside of our constitution.”He disclosed that the BoT had sat down to look at the issues and while they accepted in principle the agreement reached for the convention, they are looking at another theory of reconciliation.

“BoT has setup a committee, under the chairmanship of Prof Jerry Gana, to look into this matter again and to see what can be done to unite this party again. “Before the convention, we may likely reach full reconciliation to bring all pants together.

“We cannot sit down as fathers and conscience of the party and allow things go astray.‎ There are various committees set up to settle our problem and one of them is the committee headed by the governor of Bayelsa State.”In his remarks, chairman of the caretaker committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, defended the decision to reserve the chairmanship slot for the Southwest zone, but explained that it was not intended to shortchange anybody.

Makarfi said: “I recall when we last met here to inaugurate the zoning committee and I mentioned on behalf of the caretaker committee that the convention would be an all-inclusive one and that offices to be contested for would be open to all and sundry. That doesn’t mean people cannot come together to zone offices.

“If zoning does not favour you and you still think that you have the best chance of winning, the political landscape is there. It is up to you to campaign across the country to get enough delegates to support you.

“Zoning doesn’t mean you have been excluded; it is meeting of the minds. It is for every aspirant to assess by himself or herself whether he or she has the capacity to garner more support than.“So, I don’t want people to have the impression that they have been excluded from the process.“In PDP, we have the culture of coming together to be one family, so that both minority and majority work together for the good of the PDP.”

Meanwhile, the gentleman agreement to reserve the chairmanship position to the Southwest zone had been violated, as one of the aspirants, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, who had disagreed with the arrangement, was the first to pick his form at the party’s national secretariat yesterday, insisting the zoning was not legally binding on any aspirants.

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It was gathered that during the meeting of the Southern PDP stakeholders in Port Harcourt on Thursday night, a vote was taken to decide on whether it should go to the Southwest or not and 89 of the 92 present voted in favour of Southwest, ‎while three voted against.

Also yesterday, a former deputy national chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, picked form to contest ‎the chairmanship position. George, shortly afterwards, said his main agenda was to stabilise the party, adding: “It takes an experienced captain to stabilise a ship hit by tornado. And if you know the crisis in PDP, that is the position the party is facing right now.”

The party had earlier announced the nomination fees for the various positions available for contest.The sum of N1million is for the chairmanship, N500, 000 will be charged for deputy chairmanship position and national secretary, while other positions would attract a fee of N300,000.‎


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