PDP says members free to contest elections on any platforms
The National Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said state chapters of the party were free to consider platform appropriate for members to contest pending elections in the meantime.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, on Tuesday in Abuja, the committee said that the clarification was necessary in view of confusion in some states.
It said that it was untrue that the committee had instructed PDP members to use the platform of a newly-registered party to contest local government elections in Lagos and other states.
It stated that the committee was constrained to make the clarification in view of the misconception and unease which the issue had raised.
It said that while the party awaited Supreme Court’s verdict on its leadership tussle, the committee was confronted with pending councils’, National and State Assembly bye-elections in many states.
According to it, the committee recognises the anxiety of members since the platform of the PDP is currently in dispute.
It explained that the decision was to avoid a repeat of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial polls’ experience where “Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and his co-travellers tried to scuttle the chances of PDP members’’.
The statement claimed that in the elections, Sheriff’s group fielded All Progressives Congress (APC) “lackeys and surrogates as alternative candidates to disturb, distract and dissipate the energy of PDP genuine candidates’’.
“It is indisputable that this was the main reason for our defeat, particularly in the Ondo governorship election.
“That was why we deliberately decided not to run parallel congresses in Anambra State in order not to subject our party members in that state to the agony of a disputed platform.
“It is also important to state at this point that Sheriff and his cohorts have been creating factional chapters in different states of the federation in order to compromise our chances in the councils’ elections.
“In the circumstances and with no hope of the Sheriff problem abating before the Supreme Court judgement, we are left with no choice than to consider ways by which our members will not be disenfranchised in these elections.
“However, our position is not to choose a platform for any state where true PDP candidates are denied the opportunity to stand for the elections.
“State Chapters are allowed to take any decision they consider appropriate,’’ the statement said.
It added that the committee was working with all the organs of PDP and other relevant bodies to pursue the issues plaguing the party to a logical conclusion.
“We have a good case and our ground of Appeal is solid.
“We believe ultimately that justice will be served on the leadership issues in our party and we are also confident that the judiciary will continue to remain independent, unbiased and neutral.’’
It added that the committee would continue to pray for a positive outcome in the judgment of the Supreme Court so that the agony and pain of recent times may be finally put behind.