2015: PDP rules out automatic tickets for loyal NASS members
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, ruled out automatic tickets for its incumbent National Assembly members in 2015 in spite of the spate of defections to the rival All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP Chairman, Zone 3 of Kaduna State, stated that 'there will be nothing like automatic tickets for anyone; incumbents and challengers seeking the PDP ticket must go through the normal process to secure it'.
Recent reports had quoted some federal lawmakers as insisting on automatic tickets for the 2015 race to stop them from joining others that defected to APC.
The ruling PDP has lost five governors, some key leaders and 37 House of Representatives members to the APC in the wave of defections that hit the party.
But Gumbari, a former member of the House of Representatives, said in Jos that conceding to the demand for automatic ticket would “kill the PDP.''
'No one can blackmail the PDP into making such concessions; we shall give the party's tickets to only those who deserve it. Those who have performed and are still popular should have nothing to fear.
'There are many lawmakers today that cannot visit their constituencies for fear that they could be attacked by their constituents.
'Such people have abandoned the people and had offered nothing to better their lots. You cannot impose such people on the electorate because that will endanger our chances,'' he said. He expressed surprise at the lawmakers' demand, instead of working to popularise the party.
Gumbari said that PDP's tickets would only be given to members that had been consistent in shoring up the party's image and strengthening it through effective representation.
The chairman said that the party was already 'strategising to neutralise'' whatever effect the defections might have on its electoral fortunes.
'The APC is new and obviously in a hurry to admit just all comers, but we are taking our time and shall move at the right time,'' he said.
He challenged the APC to focus on what difference the party would make to the lives of Nigerians rather than the 'consistent chorus of seeking to replace the PDP at the centre''.
Gumbari said that the APC was not a threat to the fortunes of the PDP in Kaduna State, adding that PDP, last weekend, received some top politicians that defected from the APC.