7 December 2017

Nigeria: PDP Awaits Return of Saraki, Kwankwaso, Others

Abuja — The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that it was waiting for Senate President Bukola Saraki and former Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to return to its fold. Also on the hope list are federal legislators and some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors.

"Thereafter, all of us would unite to take power from the APC in 2019," the party said.This is coming after the recent high-profile defection of former vice president Atiku Abubakar to the PDP.

At a press conference yesterday, Board of Trustees Chairman Jibril Walid said the APC should be grateful Atiku did not tear his membership card before leaving the party, as former President Olusegun Obasanjo did in 2015, concluding that Atiku had therefore done a lot of favour to the APC.

Walid urged all contestants to various positions in the PDP to shun bitterness and accept delegates' verdict on whoever emerges as national chairman.He said: "The Board of Trustees believes it is too late to micro-zone the position of national chairman. More than eight aspirants have purchased forms and are right now about to be screened by the special screening committee. They should be allowed to test their fame through the primaries that is about to start."

At another press conference addressed by PDP spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, the party said Atiku would not be allowed to vote at its December 9, 2017 national convention, even as it urged President Muhammadu Buhari to restrain some aides it alleged were trying to disrupt the event.

The party, which expressed happiness on Atiku's return, said the former vice president would be part of the convention and even make a speech, but would not be expected to vote.

Section eight of the party's constitution, which deals with procedure for rejoining the party states: "A person who desires to rejoin the party after leaving it shall apply to his ward secretary for re-admission, and unless given waiver by the national working committee, be placed on probation for a period of not less than one year"

In section nine, the party's constitution further declared: "Subject to the provision of section 8(b), a member on probation shall have the right to attend all meetings of the party, but shall not be entitled to vote at such meetings, nor shall he be eligible to contest for elective office on the platform of the party."

Adeyeye said the party had information that some overzealous elements in the government were trying to hinder the success of the convention. He said: "This is a credible information. And that is why we are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to please rein in his aides. We have evidence that the president is not aware of this. It is happening and we are calling on him to do his own investigation and call those who are trying to cause this problem to desist because it is capable not only of destroying this democracy but also capable of destroying the country."


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