2011: I Am Qualified For A PDP Waiver – Atiku

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, August 17, (THEWILL) - Ahead of the 2011 general elections, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has said that he had fulfilled all the requirements of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to clinch a waiver.

Atiku over the weekend at a formidable rally in Abuja formally declared to run in the presidential election on the platform of the PDP.

But THEWILL recalls that his membership of the party has remained contentious with the Adamawa State chapter of the PDP insisting that he had not returned to the party.

Only a week ago and two clear days to his official declaration to contest, the PDP national secretariat announced at a press conference that he was yet to be granted a waiver to enjoy full membership.

However, the national secretariat of the party in a press conference said it was the duty of the Adamawa State Chairman of the party to forward a request for Atiku’s waiver to the national secretariat for necessary action.

But in an official letter to the National Chairman of PDP, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, Atiku insisted that the office of the president that he was seeking was being regulated by the party’s national organs, that is, the National Working Committee [NWC] and the National Executive Committee [NEC].

Atiku argued further in his letter to Nwodo that if the party were to strictly go by the report of the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Reconciliation Committee which had earlier been adopted by the NEC, he would not require the waiver as pre-condition to launch his presidential ambition on the platform of PDP.

Atiku who was the presidential candidate of the Action Congress in the 2007 general election stated that he would go all the way to satisfy all conditions to prove he is a devoted party member.

Quoting strictly from the Ekwueme report to prove his position, Atiku said: "The committee submitted its report on the 9th of October, 2007. It made 18 recommendations that were adopted and published in a White Paper Ref. Memo: NEC 42/60/07.

"Recommendation 9: The 2006 Membership revalidation exercise should be revisited to allow for unfettered and unconditional return of all the members of the party and access to new parties."

He said the party accepted the recommendation and proclaimed that membership cards were being made available to those who claimed to have been shut out during the 2006 revalidation exercise, stressing that that he was unaware if the decision of the NEC in that regard had been abandoned.

Atiku who attached his application to rejoin the party, his provisional registration slip, letter of acceptance to rejoin the party by his Jada ward PDP executive, receipt of payment of registration and membership card, said there was presumption of regularity in his favour with his party membership card, insisting that the challenges of Article 10 [iii] had been adequately addressed by the Ekwueme report.

"There is therefore deemed compliance with the provisions of Article 10 [iii] of the party’s constitution.

"It is therefore my view and on the strength of the Dr. Alex Ekwueme committee report, the constitution and policy of the party, that I am not impeded from contesting for any elective office on the platform of our great party, Peoples Democratic Party," he emphasized.

"I therefore seek, apply and/or request for such waiver/exemption to enable me exercise my rights as a member of the party and to present myself to contest for the office of the president of the federal Republic of Nigeria on the platform of our great party," he wrote.