By Chibuzo Ukaibe
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday warned that none of its established organs is allowed to align with any particular presidential aspirant ahead of the 2019 general elections. This is just as the party has restated that its platform is open to all Nigerians aspiring for various elective offices, including the presidency, adding that at no time did it through any of its organs zeroed on a particular aspirant for the presidential ticket of the party. This forms part of the major decisions contained in the communiqué at the end of a crucial meeting between the PDP National Working Committee and state governors elected on the platform of the party, in Asaba, Delta State capital. The communiqué also commended members of the party and well- meaning Nigerians for their unalloyed support in the repositioning of the party for the 2019 elections, while assuring that its platform is open to all Nigerians as a level playing ground to aspire even to the highest position in the country. Although the party zoned its presidential ticket to the North, Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose has declared his ambition to contest in 2019.
However, other presidential aspirants in the party are former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; incumbent governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo; former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; former Kano State governor, Ibrahim Shekarau; and former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa.
The communiqué, which was jointly signed by the national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and the chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State said, “We commend members of our party for their unalloyed support.
We reiterate that our repositioned party is prepared for the 2019 elections and will ensure that all Nigerians aspiring to elective offices are free to contest on the platform of the PDP. “We want to assure that no established organ of the party is allowed to align with any presidential aspirant. We thank the people and government of Delta State for playing host to this all-important meeting.”
The PDP leaders further condemned the unabated killings across the country, the protracted fuel crisis, which they alleged is a ploy by the federal government to illegally withdraw money from the Excess Crude Account. It also condemned attempts by the APC to use its ‘phony restructuring agenda’ to once again beguile Nigerians ahead of the 2019 polls. The communiqué said, “We strongly condemn the unabated killings across the country.
We call on Mr President to come out clean on the herdsmen killings and address the nation on how to end the carnage. The President must take on the protection of lives and property of Nigerians, which is the most important of his responsibilities.
We believe that the Federal Government’s decision to set up a Committee to address the issues of herdsmen killings is a pretentious approach to a matter that requires firm action and leadership by the President in line with his oath of office to protect all Nigerians irrespective of creed, tribe and political affiliation.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been the author of restructuring and this was further expressed in the Report of the 2014 National Conference.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) as a later day convert of restructuring is merely paying lip service to a matter of national importance. However, we have mandated our members in the National Assembly to immediately commence the process of initiating a Bill to address issues bothering on restructuring.
“We urge Mr. President to henceforth direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to adhere to the rule of law by obeying court judgments and orders such as the one involving the Ekiti State government against EFCC and restrain itself from further political intimidation and harassment of known or perceived political opponents.
We commend the judiciary for their commitment to the enthronement of constitutional democracy in the face of intimidation and harassment. “We condemn in strong terms the massive corruption going on in the management of fuel subsidy regime, which the federal government had declared non-existent while billions of Naira are deducted monthly at Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings.
“The PDP states and local governments are vehemently opposed to the unilateral withdrawal of USD1Billion from the Excess Crude Account by the federal government under any guise. We want to state unequivocally that neither the Governors’ Forum nor the Federal Executive Council has the power of appropriation of Federation Accounts, as such powers reside with the National and State Assemblies.”