With less than 48hours to its national elective convention, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it has uncovered plot by the Federal Government in synergy with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to disrupt the exercise billed to begin in Port Harcourt, tomorrow.
This disclosure was made by the party’s spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday.
But a veiled remark, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Chief Stanley Osifo, appealed to the party leadership to allow him participate in its forthcoming convention on Saturday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Osifo, during a media briefing, yesterday in Lagos, said that his being the youngest in the race had a huge advantage for the PDP to win the 2019 presidential election.
The 42-year-old aspirant, who hails from Edo State, said that the party was known to obey rule of law, and his candidature was a true test of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act.
He said that some people had approached him to step down, but he had a vision to drive development of Nigeria which older politicians could not achieve.
The aspirant debunked insinuations that he was being sponsored against the party, describing the allegation as false.
“Three days ago, I had conversation with one of our party leaders who mentioned to me that there are insinuations that I am being sponsored to come to the party to spy or do one thing or the other.
“I have told those who gave me that information that it is not correct; and I want the world and Nigerians to know that the information about being sponsored is not true, not correct; it is baseless, it is unfounded.
“Whoever is propagating such falsehood does not have anything to back it up,” he said.
Osifo said that the PDP is a reputable party with mechanisms, structures and capacity to lead, and appealed to its leadership to verify the truth and not listen to side talk.
He said that although the presidency was zoned to the North, aspirants had not always adhered to the zoning rule since 2003 in the party.
The aspirant said that he decided to join the race because of his passion for the nation, but was willing to support whoever emerges winner of the presidential primary, should he lose.
“I have made my intentions known to the party that I am not withdrawing from the race,” he said.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is to have a crucial meeting today to finalise strategies for the conduct of its national Convention kicking off in Port Harcourt, Rivers State tomorrow.
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.”
Also,the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that no plan can stop its Saturday’s national conventional to elect its presidential candidate for 2019 national elections
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the party’s National Working Committee’s meeting held yesterday in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan said that the convention would be successful in spite of alleged plot by some organisations to disrupt the event scheduled for Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 in Port Harcourt.
He said that PDP was aware of plots or machinations of all kinds to stop its national convention. According to him, the party leadership has been informed of machinations by some organisations to disrupt PDP convention to ensure that we do not have a presidential candidate “We invite Nigerians to take note of this.
“We invite the international communities to take serious note of the plots to thwart the efforts of the opposition to elect a candidate that will go into the February 2019 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 member 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 detractors can stop our national convention.” Asked if the party had made necessary preparations for security, Ologbondiyan said that the necessary security operatives and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been served notices on the convention. He also disclosed that the party would be holding a special meeting on October5, morning.
Ahead of tomorrow’s national convention holding in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has concluded plans to commit all its presidential aspirants in the 2019 general elections to a bond, in what appears a move to stem possible post-convention crisis.
The bond, expected to be signed this week, was arrived at, following the resolution at the party’s 82nd National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, last week that all aspirants should unite behind the presidential flag-bearer after Saturday’s convention in Port Harcourt.
In a chat with National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, the party stated that despite the plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to infiltrate its ranks during the convention, it would emerge from the exercise a more united platform determined to win power at the centre in 2019.
He added that more than anything else, the aspirants were heading to the convention in confident mood, stressing, however, that they were aware that only one of them will emerge the candidate at the end of the day.
He said: “Our resolve to conduct a free, fair, credible and acceptable convention is total and the party is fully committed to this.
‘’This week, all the presidential aspirants will sign a bond not only to accept the outcome of the process but also to support whoever emerges winner of the ticket.
“The PDP has the experience, the capacity and focus to restore our people’s confidence in this nation, having witnessed more than three and a half years of unfulfilled promises by the APC-led government.”
Similarly,the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reminded political parties that October 7 remains the deadline for conduct of primaries for all elective positions for the 2019 general elections and resolution of disputes emanating from the primaries.
The reminder is in a statement by Mr Solomon Soyebi, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee in Abuja yesterday. Soyebi stated that “the resolution was made at the end of the commission’s weekly meeting held yesterday in Abuja’’.
He noted that the commission, among other things, considered the status of political party primaries to elect candidates into various positions for the 2019 general elections.
He said that 89 of the 91 registered political parties that gave notice of their intentions to conduct primaries as required by the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) had commenced and were at various stages of the process.
He added that “INEC wishes to restate that the conduct of primaries and resolution of all disputes arising therefrom must be concluded on or before October 7 as earlier published in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 general elections.
“The last day for submission of lists of sponsored candidates (Form CFOO2) and personal particulars (Form CF001) remains October 18 for Presidential and National Assembly and November 2 for Governorship and State Houses of Assembly.
“ Soyebi restated that the commission would only accept list of candidates submitted by the National Chairman and the National Secretary.
Meanwhile, the Bafarawa Support Alliance Group (BSAG) has commenced the feeding of not less than 6,000 delegates in Port Harcourt for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) convention.
This is part of efforts to woo delegates to support Bafarawa in the upcoming Presidential Primary of the PDP.
The National Chairman of the Support Group, Dr Frank Osagie, told newsmen, yesterday, that the group would be visiting delegates in their hotels and other locations to deliver food and drinks to them.
According to Osagie, the welfare of the delegates in Port Harcourt was very paramount and it was in the realization of the importance that the group mandate itself to commence the duty.
He said that the group had commenced the delivery of food and drinks to delegates at some hotels while calling on those yet to benefit to identify with the group.
He added that the group’s decision to embark on such important assignment was in realization of the fact that Bafarawa was the best candidate to fly the party’s ticket and the most likely to emerge winner of the primary election.
The BASG chairman further commended the PDP for its recent assurance to party faithful that a mechanism had been put in place to ensure a level playing ground for all the aspirants.
He said Bafarawa had earlier visited all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to consult with the party delegates who assured him of their votes.
According to him, Bafarawa’s integrity and clean political record distinguished him from other aspirants.
Osagie added that the former governor had left more than N12billion in the state’s treasury which his predecessor had used to consolidate on his achievements for eight years.
He appealed to the delegates to make a wise choice by voting Bafarawa whose credentials and integrity had been tested and proven and who was acceptable to every religion, region and tribe.
Osagie said wrestling power from the current APC-led administration would be much easier if Bafarawa flew the party’s flag in 2019.
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