….Play host to Wike
By Folorunso Alagbede, Abuja
Ahead of its forthcoming national convention slated for end of May, this year, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has assured all its seventeen presidential aspirants of a level playing field devoid of manipulations.
The party similarly promised those aspiring for governorship as well as National and State Houses of Assembly tickets of fairness.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu said this yesterday when he and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party played host to the Governor of Rivers State and presidential aspirant, Mr Nyeson Wike in Abuja.
Ayu assured, concretely, that the national convention of the leading opposition party in the country would
be absolutely transparent to the satisfaction of all.
The former Senate President and University teacher similarly cautioned the party presidential aspirants against attacking each other’s in the overall interest of the party and it’s envisaged victory in the 2023 general elections.
Dr Ayu, after carefully and attentively listening to Governor Wike and his demand for a level playing ground for all aspirants, said, “let assure you, this NWC will try to uphold the tradition of the PDP, that is the tradition since 1999, of running very credible, transparent conventions starting from Jos to the last one that produced this National Working Committee.
“I want to assure you, that there will be no foul play, no manipulation. We will certainly do better than what we did in October last year.
“We will hold an absolutely transparent convention. At that stage, we will try to be the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) of the Peoples Democratic Party, not be partisan.
“We’ll try as much as possible to make sure that every member of the National Working Committee works for the party.
“But I want to also assure you, that once you emerge, as the candidate of the party or whoever emerges from that point on, we will be aggressively partisan, because we want the party to win the election.
“We will do everything in our power by way of canvasing for votes from Nigerian people to ensure that the PDP wins the next election because a victory by PDP candidate is a victory for everybody.
“And it is in that light, that I particularly like your (Wike’s) submission when you you made it clear, that win or lose, you will never leave the party. You will work for the party.
“You’ve done it before and we are very sure that you will do it again. Not only did you say that, you also spoke on issues”, he said.
He advised the party’s presidential aspirants to avoid attacking each others and stick to issues.
“What we want from all our presidential aspirants is that they should stick to issues. They should not attack themselves. By attacking each others, you undermine the party and give the opposition the ammunition to attack us when the candidate emerges”, he declared
Continuing, he said, “Secondly, when you attack yourselves, you’re undermining your candidate also, because if you emerge as the candidate of the party, you need every aspirant and every member of the party to canvass for you in many parts of the country.
“You alone cannot win elections. You need every member of the party to work for the party.”, he said.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Mr Wike had harped on the need for the members of the NWC and other organs of the party to ensure that all the presidential aspirants are provided with a level playing ground during the party’s national convention.