There has been a sharp disagreement among members of the main opposition party in Nigeria over the venue of its presidential primaries
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to agree on a venue for its party’s presidential primaries scheduled for October 6.
The party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and the National Working Committee (NWC) different positions became evident at the inauguration of the party’s National Convention Planning Committee on Monday in Abuja.
This followed a sharp disagreement between the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Sen. Walid Jibrin, and the NWC.
Inaugurating the committee, PDP Deputy National Chairman (South) Elder, Yemi Akinwonmi, said that the party leaders had consulted widely on the venue and agreed for Port Harcourt, Rivers.
“On the issue of venue, the party set up a committee headed by Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure and they went round the South-South Zone and South-East Zone before coming out with the choice of Port Harcourt for us”, NAN quoted him as saying.
“As in acceptance, the National Working Committee (NWC) has consulted widely with the PDP Governors forum, we have consulted widely with the BOT, caucus of the party and today it has been jointly accepted that we will converge on Port Harcourt, in no distance time for the National Convention.”
Akinwonmi added that the international community had expressed their interests in the party primaries.
“Particularly, they want to come and watch the process that will lead to the emergency of our flag bearer, because by the grace of God our candidate will be the next President of Nigeria.”
However, Jibrin, in his remarks said that the party had yet to make final decision on the choice of venue for the convention.
“Even though the Deputy Chairman said the issue of venue had been concluded, I want to say that the issue of venue is still on and is not concluded.
“Because there are many suggestions on the issue of venue. We look at all suggestions and I assure you that the issue of venue will be resolved.
“But for now, we are working round the clock to ensure that we have a very suitable venue accepted by everybody.
“I want to say that every one of us should come together and ensure that we have a venue suitable to all of us.”
Speaking, secretary of the convention committee and Ebonyi Governor, Dave Umahi, said “I think the working committee and the BOT need to settle this.”
Chairman of the convention committee, Ifeanyi Okowa, also speaking on the matter said PDP was ready to host the convention in any state eventually agreed on.
“I believe that at the end of the day, nobody will have any cause to complain.
“We do understand that the assignment that you have given us is about the most important assignment in the history of this party at least for this year.
“All of us believe that the only way forward is for the entirety of the party to stay united and focused. And as such, as members of the PDP, we cannot afford to disagree on any issues.
“The thing that is needed is for a free and fair primary to be conducted for all our aspirants. And we are very definite that we will get it right.”
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