B y Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
Less than 11 days to the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants seeking positions within the party offices have warned that if the outcome of the gathering is not transparent, the party risks collapse.
The aspirants who spoke while submitting their nomination forms at the national secretariat of the PDP, underscored that Sen Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee must ensure free, fair and credible elections at the convention.
An aspirant for the national chairman of the party, who was a former minister, Prof Taoheed Adedoja, said, “If the convention is not done right there will not be PDP in 2019. I believe we must give Makarfi’s team chance to do its work.”
He further distanced himself from any plans to hold parallel convention noting, “I am not aware of parallel convention. Any other arrangement outside what we are doing now I am not a part of it.”
He, however, warned that if the Southwest does not produce the next national chairman of the party, it won’t augur well for the party. He said, “If the South west does not produce national chairman, it will be porous and can be taken by any party.”
Similarly, former minister of Finance, who is aspiring to become national secretary of the party, Sen Nenadi Usman, also called for level playing field for all candidates ahead of the convention.
She added, “So long as there is level playing ground people will accept to work together and build the party.”
Describing the forthcoming election at the convention as an in house contest, she however said, “After a winner emerges, we all have to work together.”
The former finance minister recalled that the PDP lost the 2015 general elections because of in house problems, noting that they must strive to settle any dispute ahead of the 2019 election.
She however noted that being a woman would not be stumbling block to her ambition of emerging the party’s national scribe.
She said, “People don’t look at me as a woman, they look at my character, intelligence and integrity. People talk to me as a human being not a woman.”
Former governorship aspirant in Lagos State and aspirant for deputy national women leader, Chief Remi Adiukwu, called for level playing field for aspirants, just as she called for a balloting system that protects the delegates right to choose who they want to lead the party.
She however praised the Makarfi team on their conduct ahead of the convention, noting “They have tried their best. So far they have not shown any interest in any aspirant.”