The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while making the final preparation for its national convention to elect its new national officers on Saturday, several petitions against aspirants have flooded the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
According to most of the petitions sighted by newsmen, on Thursday, written to the national chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and the chairman, national convention committee, Governor Ifenayi Okowa, the petitioners demanded for the outright disqualification of certain aspirants.
The petitioners said that their demands became necessary to avoid a situation where the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would start chasing elected officers of the party shortly after the convention.
Some of the petitions also bothered on alleged falsification of delegates lists by some powerful members of the party without due consultations with others.
For an instance, a law firm, Papal Juris Mondial Attorneys, petitioned the committee seeking the disqualification of a candidate for the national organizing secretary (name withheld) for alleged misconduct.
In the petition dated December 5, and signed by Onyebuchi Nwosu, the petitioners accused him of misconduct, misrepresentation and misappropriation of the party funds while he was an official of the party from 2012 to 2014.
The petition added that Akobundu did not resign his position as vice chairman of the PDP in the zone when he was appointed as the Minister of State for Defence in 2014.
“There is first hand and highly classified information that the aforementioned candidate contesting for the position of the national organising secretary of the party, had flouted the party’s constitution during his tenure,” the petition added.
Also, key stakeholders in the Anambra State chapter of the party, on Thursday came to the national secretariat in Abuja, protesting what they called fake delegates’’ list compiled for the state.
The stakeholders, who accused a national officer of the party (name withheld) of being the brain behind the action, promptly rejected the list.
They specifically urged the national leadership of the PDP to be wary of the said list.
The stakeholders made their position known in a communique issued at the end of a meeting on Wednesday night, in Abuja, which they submitted to the national chairman of the party, Senator Makarfi.
In another development, the convention planning committee has summoned crucial meetings with all aspirants in the convention and states’ chairmen of the party for today.
The meeting, scheduled for the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, would start by 10 00 a.m. with the chairmanship aspirants, to be followed by that of other aspirants while that of the state chairmen would come last.
Meanwhile, the screening of all aspirants to all the offices came to an end on Thursday.
The chairman of the screening committee, Mr Ize Iyamu, however, promised that the outcome of the exercise would be made public this morning to allow those not satisfied with the outcome to go on appeal.
Adeniran counsels delegates over choice of candidate
A chairmanship aspirant of the PDP, Professor Tunde Adeniran, on Thursday counselled delegates to the party’s elective national convention to vote according to their conscience and not to be influenced by individual or groups.
Professor Adeniran also expressed the hope of open, transparent and credible election which would be of international standard and acceptable to aspirants and other party members.
The former ambassador to Germany who had earlier expressed reservations on the preparations for the convention, said that the party leadership had responded to the issues he had raised, and had allayed their fears.
I am confident of victory –Adedoja
A national chairmanship aspirant of the PDP, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, has said he is confident of emerging victorious at the party’s national convention.
Adedoja, a former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, expressed the confidence in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
He said that he was trusting in God and the support of party men to emerge as the new chairman of the party.
Adedoja said what the party needed was a leader with ideas and promised to take PDP to greater heights if elected.
Shun candidates undergoing corruption trial, Kashamu tells delegates
Delegates to the PDP convention have been counselled not to vote for any candidate who has a pending corruption case in court.
The senator representing Ogun-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu, who made the call in a statement on Thursday, in Abuja, alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may be planning to re-arrest some of the elective office aspirants.
He, therefore, warned the delegates, leaders and stakeholders of the party to shun anybody being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency.
Kashamu said: “While it is true that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, our great party cannot afford to close its eyes to this potential threat.
“It is a no-brainer that if a national chairman with a corruption case is elected, the party will literally be put on trial with him.
“This is one avoidable risk that is too much to take. You can be sure that a corruption trial of the national chairman of an opposition party will come with a lot of bad publicity that will sound the death knell the party.”
Kashamu also urged the delegates particularly those from the South-East, to support a candidate from the South-West as the national chairman in the interest of equity and justice.
He advised the South-East delegates to emulate the Northern Elders Forum which has already directed northern delegates to support the quest of the South-West to produce the chairman.
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