By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA— Ahead of Saturday’s national convention slated for Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, unveiled strategies aimed at ensuring transparency of the process.
The strategies, according to National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbindiyan, is to prove to the world that the party was democratic in the conduct of its internal affairs.
Addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat, yesterday, the publicity scribe said unlike in the past when aspirants were restricted to nominating agents to represent them during delegates elections, National Working Committee had chosen to broaden their participation by giving them opportunity to nominate two people each into the accreditation and electoral committees respectively.
He said: “Each of the presidential aspirant 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.”
Ologbondiyan added that the party was looking forward to the emergence of a candidate with the capacity to quickly revamp the economy upon election, with a view to bringing to an end “the disastrous stewardship of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC, administration.’’
The PDP spokesman reiterated the party’s non-interest in the emergence of a particular aspirant as candidate, adding that what mattered to the National Working Committee, NWC, and, indeed, all organs of the party was the transparency of the process.
“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.
Responding to a question on whether the aspirants were forced into accepting Port Harcourt as host of the convention, the PDP image maker 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 it.”
He took a swipe at the APC in Akwa Ibom State, following reports of skirmishes in Monday’s governorship primaries.
“We heard there were slaps and bitings in Akwa Ibom during their primaries. We never heard in PDP of members fighting and biting one another. We are more experienced and decent to engage in such uncivilized behaviour,” he added.