…Presidential aspirants sign peace bond
As reported by DailyTimes, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday, finally settled for Port Harcourt as venue of its national convention scheduled for October 6 and 7, 2018. The National Executive Council (NEC) of the party at its 82nd emergency meeting in Abuja resolved every crisis surrounding the choice of convention venue and stuck to the earlier choice of Port Harcourt.
Wike, however, withdrew his threat to teach PDP a lesson should the party dare to move the convention outside Port Harcourt. He was said to have apologised to the party for his outburst over the venue probably to avoid being sanctioned for threatening to put the party in disarray, an action considered to be anti-party. Wike had on Wednesday while hosting a presidential aspirant and Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Damkwabo, said, “The state (Rivers) would teach the party a “bitter lesson” if it is not given the hosting right as agreed by the PDP leadership. No presidential aspirant can use and dump Rivers State. Those days have passed when they took Rivers State for granted. “No presidential aspirant can use and dump Rivers State. We never lobbied for it; we never asked for it, but it will boost the economy of the state. People will make money. Those who are against Rivers people making money to improve their businesses will not get our support. “Nobody should dare Rivers State any longer.
Enough is enough. PDP should know that we are not a punching bag. We are not a people you can use and push. We are not harlots — whenever you want, you come, when you finish, you push us aside,” Wike said. Two presidential aspirants, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Senate President, Bukola Saraki favoured the choice of Port Harcourt. Atiku said: “I am not afraid of Port Harcourt because Port Harcourt is my second home. I don’t need accommodation in Port Harcourt, I don’t need security, so I am comfortable”. Saraki said all the aspirants agreed on Port Harcourt. He said, “Some of the issues that we are having before which were reported in papers we discussed that. Everybody decided that we should stay with the party. Where temper were flared, people apologised and everybody felt yes there was a commitment to assure everybody that there will be free and fair primaries”.
Also, chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, the most popular among issues discussed was that of the convention which was successfully resolved. “We have taken a position that the convention will hold at Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. Beyond this, there were assurances of free, fair election and that the aspirants will accept the outcome of the result”, he said. National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who briefed journalists at the end of the meeting, said NEC resolved to hold the 3619 delegates’ convention in the Rivers State capital after the party had allayed the fears of presidential aspirants that objected to the venue. Another major resolution of the NEC was that the party committed all its presidential aspirants to a bond on the outcome of the election. He said, “What this translates into is that all our aspirants will sign agreement with our party in order to ensure that the outcome of the national convention which the party has promised to be transparent, free, fair and acceptable to Nigerians must be accepted by all our aspirants. “The aspirants have been assured of a transparent process of the national convention. The aspirants collectively assured the party also that their fears over the Port Harcourt convention have been allayed by the party. “They also resolved that they have confidence in the leadership of the party and the leadership of the convention committee. “A unanimous decision by all the members of NEC present was taken that our national convention will hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The convention will take place between 6th and 7th October. “I can assure that the PDP has a methodology of resolving its crisis using the internal crisis mechanism that’s what we adopted in the case of the decision to use the facility in Rivers State to conduct our convention”. Other resolution of the 82nd National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting include the condemnation of the process of the Osun State governorship election as most fraudulent and completely unacceptable. It cautioned that with the trend of electoral violence and manipulations of processes by the All Progressives Congress (APC), the political ship of the nation is on a dangerous tide and must be rescued. Furthermore, NEC expressed the readiness of the PDP to engage democratic stakeholders all over the world towards achieving a credible free and fair general election in February 2019.
Present at the meeting were members of the National Working Committee, Board of Trustees, presidential aspirants including Saraki, Atiku, Aminu Tambuwal, Datti Baba-Ahmed and Tanimu Turaki. PDP governors present include: Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti); Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers). Former governors Babangida Aliyu, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, Speaker House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara among others were also present.