14 August 2010

Nigeria: No Waiver for Atiku Yet Declares PDP

Abuja — Ahead of his formal declaration for the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the leadership of the PDP said yesterday that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has not been granted a waiver to contest the polls.

According to the party, there was no way the National Working Committee, NWC would recommend to the National Executive Committee, NEC of the party when Atiku's home state, Adamawa has not formally applied for a waiver .

Answering questions from Journalists yesterday in Abuja during the Press briefing on the outcome of the 52nd National Executive Committee, NEC meeting of the party, the National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali said, "You will recall that the former vice president came in to this secretariat and formally told the leadership of the party that he was returning to the party with all his supporters nationwide.

Atiku Abubakar has not been granted a waiver to contest the polls

"He indeed brought a document showing the names of the people who came along with him and signed the document and said they are returning unconditionally. Am sure you also recall that when he left, we invited you to come and see the former national chairman so that he could tell you why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar came into his office, and the chairman, I recalled informed you that the former vice president came into the secretariat to say that he has returned to the party formally with all his supporters.

"But the Chairman asked him to go back to his ward and register because that is the elementary thing, and then the process can start from there. Because as he said the party cannot reject any person coming back to the party. No party worth its salt can do that. But what the former national chairman said, and that is the position of the party is that we do not have card here to give to members.

"So he was asked to go back, which means what was said in effect was Atiku Abubakar will go back and continue with the process of healing and reconciliation, a kind of mend fences with him and all the stakeholders in Adamawa State, and since that time there have been formal consultations and discussions between him and stakeholders in Adamawa state, and the Adamawa people too came to the secretariat and the rest of it.

"This is the usual thing in politics, there's nothing unusual. And so by the time they sort this out Atiku will also be treated like any other person who has come back to the party; he will be given the waiver to be qualified as bonafide member of the party.

So I think the issues are very clear. No matter what we have done here, all these cases that you see of who has been cleared, those at the relevant level will have to clear them before they get to the national secretariat, and that is the situation.

"There are other levels that are usually waived or are given waivers at their own relevant level not necessarily at the national level. But at the level of governors, Senators, President and Vice president, the waiver always come from the Secretariat, but it has to come on the advice from the state chapter. This is the situation on the ground and I cannot see why there should be controversy."

It would be recalled that according to the PDP's 2009 amended constitution, "Persons who desire to rejoin the Party after leaving it shall, unless exempted by the National Working Committee, be placed on probation for a period of time not less than a year".

Speaking further on the resolutions of PDP NEC, Alkali who noted that NEC considered proposals to hold a Special Convention to amend sections of the party's constitution, stressed that areas to be amended which the National Working Committee, NWC recommended for deleting are Article 12.17, Article 12.e40 and Articles 12.84 which confer status of automatic delegates on Ministers, Chairmen of Boards, Commissioners, Special Advisers and Special Assistants to Party Congresses and National Conventions.

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