From Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Ahead of its national convention holding in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has declared that it has no preferred candidate among the thirteen aspirants jostling for its presidential ticked for the 2019 general election.
Rather, the party said it is looking forward to the emergence of a candidate with the capacity to quickly revamp the economy upon election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan said this yesterday while addressing journalists in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan, while reiterating the party’s non-interest in the emergence of any particular aspirant as candidate, added that what matters to the National Working Committee, NWC, and indeed, all organs of the party is the transparency of the process.
According to him, “The PDP has no interest in a particular aspirant. We are hopeful that whoever emerges on Saturday will be a man with the economic wizardry to turn around the fortunes of this country.
“The ruling party is out to make sure we have a credible primary election and the process will be clean, transparent and acceptable to majority of Nigerians,” he added.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary unveiled strategies aimed at ensuring transparency of the process.
The strategies, according to him, are to prove to the world that the party is democratic in the conduct of its internal affairs.
Ologbondiyan explained that unlike in the past when aspirants were restricted to nominating agents to represent them during delegates elections, the National Working Committee has chosen to broaden their participation by providing them opportunity to nominate two people each into the accreditation and electoral committees respectively.
His words, “Each of the Presidential aspirants will nominate two people into the accreditation committee and another two into electoral committee.
“This is to ensure that none of the aspirants is left in the dark as to what the party is doing concerning the convention.
“The PDP will publish names of all the delegates and make same available to our Presidential aspirants before the convention,” he added.
Ologbondiyan maintained that the party was looking forward to the emergence of a candidate with the capacity to quickly revamp the economy upon election to bring to an end “the disastrous stewardship of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC, administration”.
Responding to a question on whether the aspirants were forced into accepting Port Harcourt as the venue for the convention, the National Publicity Secretary of the party said members of the National Executive Committee, NEC, as well as all Presidential aspirants unanimously settled for the Garden City, even as he added that chairmen of the respective state chapters would introduce their delegates at the convention venue “in the spirit of openness.”
Allaying fears of possible post-convention crisis, Ologbondiyan said should any arise, “the party has its internal conflict resolution mechanisms to deal with such.”
He took a swipe at the APC in Akwa Ibom state following reports of skirmishes in Monday’s governorship primaries.
He said, “We heard there were slaps and beatings in Akwa Ibom during their primaries. We never heard in PDP of members fighting and biting one another. We are more experienced and descent to engage in such uncivilized behavior.”