The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is to have a crucial meeting on Friday to finalise strategies for the conduct of its national Convention kicking off in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Saturday.
Thirteen aspirants are jostling for the party’s presidential ticket and the party hierarchy is hoping to come up with measures to ensure that the exercise is not only hitch-free but will produce a candidate acceptable to the other defeated contestants.
The meeting, which will take place in the party’s alternate national secretariat, Legacy House, Abuja, is therefore to involve all organs of party including its National Working Committee (NWC), National Caucus and the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Also expected to attend the meeting are all 13 presidential aspirants under the party including Bukola Saraki, Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Aminu Tambuwal, Ahmed Makarfi, Attahiru Bafarawa, Jonah Jang, David Mark, Sule Lamido, Tanimu Turaki, Datti Baba-Ahmed, and Stanley Osifo.
Baring any last minute consensus among the aspirants, all 13 aspirants are expected to head into the election to attempt to pick the ticket of the party to square up with President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
Even though the aspirants have undertaken to abide by the outcome of a credible convention, the party hierarchy is intent on ensuring that there is no post convention crisis that may distract it from heading into the general election in unity.
Meanwhile, the party has alleged that the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its federal government are plotting to sabotage the convention to prevent the party from fielding a candidate in the presidential election.
The National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, who made the claim in a chat with reporters in Abuja on Thursday, said the plot may be executed in the form of a court order to stop the exercise.
He has, therefore, urged Nigerians and the international community to take notice of the plan.
The party spokesman added: “Part of the outcome of the meeting of the NWC today is to alert the nation as well as the international community of plots by the ruling party and the ruling government to disrupt our national convention scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Saturday, October 6 through Sunday, October 7.
“We are aware, we have been informed of machinations by the ruling government and the ruling party who are mortally afraid of any form of election to disrupt our convention to ensure that we don’t have presidential candidate
“We invite Nigerians to take note of this and we invite the international community to take serious note of the plots by the ruling government to thwart the efforts of the opposition to elect a candidate that will go into the February general elections against president Muhammadu Buhari
“We invite all Nigerians to take cautious note of this development. However, on our own part, we wish to inform Nigerians particularly members of the PDP that the national convention where our presidential candidate will be elected that has been scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt will go on as planned.
“No plot, no plan by the ruling government can stop our national convention.
“It is machinations of all kinds, it can be through the court, by funding court decision. It could be any form of machination.
“We are aware of plots which include effort to use the court to stop our national convention, and we are alerting Nigerians and the international community.”
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