The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday assured that it would conduct free and transparent primaries for upcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa.
Acting National Chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus, gave the assurance while receiving nomination form for the election from Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, who is seeking re-election.
Secondus said that the NWC would ensure a process that would be acceptable to the people of Kogi and Bayelsa in its primaries.
“Today we affirm that we are going to keep to our rules and party’s Constitution.
“After the primaries, if you are successful we will come to Bayelsa to campaign with you. This party must be open to all; this party must be taken back to the grassroots,’’ he told Dickson.
He said that the NWC would no longer tolerate any act of intimation and harassment of its members by the operatives of the Department of Security Services (DSS).
Secondus said that the party made the resolve following recent activities of security operatives, particularly the alleged ransacking of Akwa-Ibom Government House in the early hours of Friday.
Earlier, Dickson expressed optimism that the PDP would win the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Bayelsa, saying “no other party has the kind of support that PDP enjoys in the state.
“You have seen my supporters from all parts of the state and this is a practical testimony of the support being enjoyed by PDP; Bayelsa is in safe hands of the PDP’’.
He stated that with the number of leaders and stakeholders in the state who came with him to the party’s national headquarters, it was an indication that “no shaking for PDP in Bayesla.’’
The governor added that he was not re-contesting on the basis of promises but on developmental projects and programmes he had done in the state.
He also expressed confidence that the defection of some PDP members to another party was not going to affect his re-election.
He dismissed the claim by some of the defected members that they had the support of elders, saying ‘’they are parading imaginary elders’’.
“It is not when a few people defect to other platforms that we will be affected. Political victory is achieved through concrete structures, not rented crowd,’’ Dickson said.
He said that his achievement cut across all sectors, including healthcare, road, education and human development, in all local government areas of the states.
On the relationship between him and Mrs Patience Jonathan, wife of immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, Dickson said that there was no rift between them.
“As a rule, I do not want to be talking about my elder brother’s wife. There is no rift between us and she is campaigning everywhere for my re-election,’’ he said.
Presidential Primaries: Disquiet as PDP loses Eagle Square to APC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may now be forced to use the MKO Abiola Stadium in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for its May 28 presidential primary according to new developments.
The APC was said to have used the influence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muhammed Musa Bello, to quickly reserve the Eagles Square for its presidential primary scheduled to hold between May 30 and June 1.
The PDP had during its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting ratified the conduct of the presidential primary (special national convention) to elect its presidential candidate on Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, May 29, 2022 in Abuja.
The venue, has, however, become an issue as the APC had already fixed the venue of its convention at Eagle Square, Abuja, where PDP had its special convention to elect its national officers in October, last year.
In its letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, it was learnt, stated that it will hold its convention at the MKO Stadium, Abuja.
The venue, some stakeholders of the party, who do not want their names mentioned, said the place is too small for where the presidential primary should take place.
It was noted that the party is expecting about 3,700 delegates with about 10,000 supporters and staff, while the capacity of the facility, where the primary will take place at the MKO Stadium, is about 7,000.
The party stakeholders have expressed sadness that the venue will not be able to accommodate the delegates, supporters and friends of aspirants.
Of more concern, the stakeholders said is that, according to the schedule of PDP activities, the party was supposed to publish the names of delegates on Tuesday and that has not been done.
Shekarau dumps APC for NNPP
Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau, a former Kano State Governor, has officially dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
This was confirmed on Tuesday via a terse statement on the official Twitter account of the NNPP.
The statement, which reads: “Finally: Sen Ibrahim Shekarau Join Us”, was shared alongside a photo of Senator Shekarau and Senator Ibrahim Kwankwaso.
Recall that there had been some back and forth about Shekarau’s planned defection to the NNPP, with some power brokers in the APC said to be negotiating with the former governor not to leave the ‘broom party.’
However, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has been at the helm of the vanguard, working to ensure Shekarau’s defection from the APC to the NNPP.
On Sunday, Kwankwaso stormed the residence of Shekarau in Kano to work out details of the defection.
2023 Presidency: El-Rufai opens up on why Buhari loves Amaechi
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed why President Muhammadu Buhari loves Rotimi Amaechi, the outgone Minister of Transportation.
Rufai disclosed that Buhari loves Amaechi due to his decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, during the era of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He disclosed this when Amaechi met with APC delegates from Kaduna ahead of the party’s national convention.
El-Rufai recalled wooing Amaechi and some other governors into the APC during the PDP administration.
“Let me tell you my history with Amaechi. When we started discussing with the G-7, the seven governors that wanted to defect to the APC, I was holding nocturnal meetings with Amaechi and Governor Nyako of Adamawa State until we got five of them to move to our party, and that was the game-changer.
“And for you to understand how difficult it is, imagine Amaechi of Rivers State from the same South-South with incumbent President Jonathan.
“He made the sacrifice to move to our party. It was a game-changer. This is part of the reason President Buhari loves Minister Amaechi till tomorrow,” El-Rufai said.
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