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2011: PDP Presidential Flag bearer To Emerge On Oct 23 – NEC

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF AND EMMA UCHE. - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: STATE GOVERNORS ELECTED UNDER THE PLATFORM OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP).
PHOTO: STATE GOVERNORS ELECTED UNDER THE PLATFORM OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP).


ABUJA, Sept 15, (THEWILL) – The stage was set today for one of the biggest political battles in Nigeria’s political history as the Peoples Democratic Party National Executive Committee (NEC) released guidelines for the party’s presidential primaries and others.

NEC announced today at the end of an emergency meeting at the party’s Wadata Plaza headquarters that the PDP presidential candidate in the 2011 presidential election will emerge on October 23, 2010.

The battle for the slot will be between incumbent president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida; former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was granted a waiver to contest by NEC; Mrs. Sarah Jubril and Kwara State Governor, Dr Bukola Saraki, who is believed to have informed party leaders of his presidential push but is yet to declare openly.

Also contenders for the office of the president will dole out a total of N11 million naira as nomination fee, that is, N1m for the expression of interest form, while N10 million will be fee for the nomination form itself. All female aspirants at all levels will however not pay a dime for nomination forms but will pay expression of interest fees at all levels. The NEC gave the concession.

In the same vein, Governorship aspirants will pay N5.5 million (N5m as nomination fee and N500, 000 as expression of interest fee). Governorship primaries will hold on October 6 and end on October 8 in all local government areas of the state.

Aspirants for the Senate will pat N2.2 million naira for their forms while the House of Representatives will pay N1.1 million naira.

Aspirants for State House of Assembly will pay N150, 000 naira as nomination fee.

PDP Chief Scribe, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali who briefed journalists after the epic emergency meeting also explained that the party would hold special conventions to choose a presidential candidate in all states of the federation including Abuja between October 18 and October 20, 2010. The party would thereafter hold a ratification convention in Abuja on October 23, 2010 to ratify the candidacy of the winner of the state conventions.

Part of the NEC resolution says: "For the purposes of nominating the Party’s candidates for the offices of Governor of a State, member of the National Assembly (Senate/House of Reps) and member of the State House of Assembly and National Delegate, each ward chapter of the Party shall elect three (3) ward Ad-Hoc delegates at a special ward congress at least one of whom shall be a woman.

"For the purpose of nominating the Party’s Presidential Candidate, each of the 774 Local Government Party Chapters shall produce one (1) National Delegate to the Special Conventions through a special Local Government Congress. The Party’s Executive at the ward, local government, State, zonal and National levels shall by virtue of their respective offices be automatic delegates to the Local Government, Special Congresses.

"Other automatic delegates include the LG Chairmen, Deputy Chairmen and Councilors, members of the National and State Assemblies members of the Board of Trustees, President/Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, State Governor and Deputy Governors who are members of the Party.

"On the mode of election of delegates for Congresses/Conventions, the guideline says delegates shall "Three Ward delegates at the ward congress shall emerge by direct voting by all card carrying members registered at the wards. One (1)National delegate shall emerge at the Local Government Congress and shall be voted by the 3 Ad-Hoc delegates and the various Local Government/Ward Executives.

"For the purpose of nominating a State Assembly Candidate, the Party shall hold a Special Congress at a designated Centre in the State Assembly Constituency. Delegates to a State Assembly Congress shall include National, Zonal or State Executive member of the Party from the State Constituency, all elected political office holders – President, Vice-President,National Assembly member, Governor, Deputy Governor from the State constituency, State assembly member from the State Constituency, Local Government Party Chairman or member of the LGA Executive Committee from the State Constituency, a member of the Board of Trustees from the State Constituency an Elected Local Government Council executive in the State Constituency, a Ward Executive Member from a Local Government Area in the state Constituency a Former Local Government Party Chairman or Secretary from the State Constituency, a former Local Government Council Chairman, Vice-Chairman or leader (Speaker) from the State Constituency and a Ward Ad-Hoc delegate from the State Constituency.

"For the governorship primary the delegates to Special State Congresses shall comprise National Chairman and Members of the National Executive Committee; elected office holders from the state; members of the Zonal and State Executive Committee; Local Government Party Secretary, Treasurer, Youth Leader and Woman Leader; Ad-Hoc delegates from each ward; Former members of state Working Committee; Former Governor and Deputy produced by the Party and Former Speakers & Deputy Speakers.

"Delegates for the Senatorial congress are National, Zonal or State Executive member of the Party from the Senatorial District; elected Political office holder – President, Vice President, National Assembly Member, Governor, Deputy Governor from the Senatorial District; State Assembly member from the Senatorial District; local Government Party Chairman or Member of the LGA Executive Committee from the Senatorial District; a member of the Board of Trustees from a Local Government Area in the Senatorial District; an Elected Local Government Council Chairman, Vice Chairman orCouncilor from the Senatorial District; a ward Executive member from the Senatorial District; former Local Government Party Chairman or Secretary from the; Senatorial District; former Local Government Council Chairman, Vice Chairman or Leader (Speaker) from the Senatorial District and Ward Ad-Hoc Delegate from the Senatorial District.

"Those to take part in the congress for House of Representative include National, Zonal or state Executive member of the Party from the Federal Constituency; Elected Political Office holder – President, Vice President, National Assembly member, Governor, Deputy Governor from the Federal Constituency; State Assembly member from the Federal Constituency; local Government Party Chairman or member of the LGA Executive committee from the Federal Constituency; a member of the Board of Trustees from a Local Government Area in the Federal Constituency; an elected Local Government Council Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Councilor from the Federal Constituency; a Ward Executive Member from a local Government Area in the Federal Constituency; a former Local Government Party Chairman or Secretary from the Federal Constituency; a former Local Government Council Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Leader (Speaker) from the Federal Constituency and aWard Ad-Hoc Delegate fro the Federal Constituency.

"Delegates to the National Convention are: "the National Chairman and members of the National Executive Committee; all elected Office Holders – President, Vice President, National Assembly Member, Governor, Deputy Governor, State Assembly member, member of Board of Trustees and Local Government Council Chairman; member of the Zonal Working Committee; State Party Chairman, State Secretary, State Youth Leader, State Woman Leader Local Government Party Chairmen; former members of National Working Committee; former President of Senate, Deputy President of Senate, Speaker and Deputy and One National Delegate.

"NEC also directed National Working Committee to constitute various Committees for the conduct of all congresses/conventions. They are: Screening Committees, Congress Electoral Committees and Appeal Committees. The National Working Committee shall be the appeal Committee for Presidential Primaries."

NEC said it received applications for waivers from various state Executive Committees and gave the following approvals:

Adamawa State: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Imo State: (Mrs.) Ada Okwuonu (Deputy Governor); Chief Chikwem Onuoha and Mrs. Ijeoma Nwafor.

Abia State: Rt. Hon. Charles Chinedum Elechi (Abia State House of Assembly); Hon. Prince N. Okoro and (Abia State House of Assembly).

Edo State: Dr. David Imuse

Anambra State: Senator Alphonsus Igbeke

Kogi State: Chief Olusola Akanmode; Sen. Mohammed Salami Ohiare; Sen. Salihu Otaru Ohize; Hon. Abdulkareem Saliu; Hon. Suleiman Kokori Abdul; Arc. Abdulmumeen Ahmed Okaraand Hon. Momoh Jimoh Anda.

In view of time and tight election schedules NEC mandated the National Working Committee to treat all future applications for waivers for the 2011 General Elections.

On the midterm Conference and Special Convention, NEC resolved to put it on hold in view of limited time available for the conduct of Congresses and Convention.

Finally, NEC admonished all Party members to give maximum cooperation to officers sent to conduct the various exercises and conduct themselves peacefully.

Vice President Namadi Sambo who represented President Goodluck Jonathan at the meeting said the president was away on official visit to Sokoto and Kebbi States to commiserate with the people of the states over the recent floor disaster as well as obtain first hand information on the disaster.

National Chairman of the party, Dr. Okesilieze Nwodo in his opening address said the timetable for the primaries was done in compliance with the electoral act and electoral timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] as well as the ‘PDP tradition.’

The changes introduced by the 2010 Electoral Act included the abolition of automatic delegates, staggered primaries and substitution of candidates.

He reiterated that most of the reforms being proposed by the party would be implemented before its flag bearer emerges in order to provide the necessary level playing field for all aspirants on the platform of the party and instill internal democracy.

Governors of Niger, Ekiti, Delta, Plateau, Abia, Enugu, Bayelsa, Zamfara, Nasarawa States attended the emergency which kicked off at about 2:45 pm. Other governor s in attendance included those of Kaduna, Adamawa, Cross River, Jigawa, Kwara and Akwa Ibom.

The roll call also included the Senate President, Senator David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Dimeji Bankole, former National Chairmen of PDP, Chief Solomon Lar, Engineer Barnabas Gemade, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, Col. Amodu Ali [retd] and former Chairmen of PDP Board of Trustees, Dr Alex Ekwueme and Chief Anenih.