PDP To Hold Convention In Abuja

PDP To Hold Convention In Abuja

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has decided to hold its special national convention, where it will pick its presidential candidate, in Abuja.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, stated this in Abuja on Saturday.

“We have decided to hold the convention, where our candidate will emerge, in Abuja. That was where the National Working Committee chose, but the National Executive Committee will ratify it at our meeting on Wednesday,” he said.

It was gathered from top party sources that the party’s leadership rejected lobbyists, who wanted the convention to hold in their preferred states.

According to its timetable, the presidential candidate of the main opposition party will emerge on May 29.

In its ‘Schedule of Activities and Timetable for the Year 2022/2023 Elections’ released last month and signed by the National Organising Secretary, Umar Bature, the party said its presidential primary would commence on May 28. It was silent on the venue.

There were 17 presidential candidates in the party, but two of them were dropped after their screening in Abuja on Friday.

The party has yet to reveal the identities of those cleared and disqualified from the race.

The aspirants included a former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and two former Senate Presidents, Bukola Saraki and Pius Anyim.

Others were governors Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.

Also on the list were  two former state governors, Peter Obi of Anambra State and Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State.

Those who also bought the N40m nomination and expression of interest forms for the race were Dele Momodu, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, Sam Ohuabunwa, Ugwu Okwudili, Chikwendu Kalu, Ndukwe Cosmos, Nwachukwu Amakwenze and Mrs Oliver Tariela Diana.

Top sources at the party’s national headquarters said that several interests were rebuffed by the party’s NWC before arriving at the Abuja venue for the convention.

One of the sources stated, “In 2018, the party held its convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. At that time, the governor of Rivers State was not an aspirant. He merely supported an aspirant. Atiku won then.

“Now that Wike is an aspirant, we cannot take the primary to his backyard.

“Also, Udom is interested; we will not go to his area as well. We also cannot go to the North, because of the interest the issue of zoning has generated. That is a foreclosed issue.

“So, there were interested power blocs, who wanted us to take the convention to the areas they consider safe for them, but we had to reject them.”

In 2018, Atiku polled 1,532 votes, while Tambuwal polled 693 to come second. Saraki got 317 votes; Jonah Jang, 19; Datti Ahmed, five; David Mark, 35; Tanimu Turaki, 65; Sule Lamido, 96; Attahiru Bafarawa, 48; Ibrahim Dankwambo, 111; Ahmed Makarfi, 74; and Rabiu Kwankwaso, 158.

Ologunagba gave an assurance that the party would be fair to all the aspirants, noting that no member of the NWC had preference for any of them.

He said, “We are going to be fair to all. We have no candidate among the aspirants. They are all distinguished members of our party, who have done well for the party and the country.

“In all the positions they have held, they have done well. We will work together and send the incompetent All Progressives Congress out of power.”

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