Ahead of the December national convention of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants vying for various positions have warned that only a credible convention will save the party.
The aspirants who spoke separately at the national secretariat of the PDP while submitting their forms on Wednesday, emphasized the need for Sen Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee to ensure free, fair and credible elections at the convention to guarantee the survival.
An aspirant for the national chairman of the party, who was a former minister, Prof Taoheed Adedoja, said “if the convention is not done right there will not be PDP in 2019. I believe we must give Makarfi’s team that chance to do it’s work.”
He further distanced himself from any plans to hold parallel convention noting “l am not aware of parallel convention. Any other arrangement outside what we are doing now I am not a part of it”
He however warned that if the South west does not produce the next national chairman of the party, it won’t augur well for the party. He “If the south west does not produce national chairman. It will be porous and to be taken by any party.”
Similarly, former Minister for Finance, who is aspiring to become national secretary of the party, Sen Nenadi Usman, also called for level playing field for all candidates ahead of the convention.
She added “So long as there is level playing ground people will accept work together and build the party.”
Describing the forthcoming election at the convention as an in house contest, she however said “After winner a emerges, we all have to work together.”
The former finance minister recalled that the PDP lost the 2015 general elections because of in house problems, noting that they must strive to settle any dispute ahead of the 2019 election.
She however noted that being a woman will not be stumbling block to her ambition of emerging the party’s national scribe.
She said “People don’t look at me as a woman, they look at my character, intelligence and integrity. People talk to me as a human being not a woman.”
Former governorship aspirant in Lagos State and aspirant for deputy national women leader, Chief Remi Adiukwu, called for level playing field for aspirants, just as she called for a balloting system that protects the delegates right to choose who they want to lead the party.
Adiiukwu who is vying for the position of the deputy woman leader, however, praised the Makarfi team on their conduct ahead of the convention, noting “They have tried their best. So far they have not shown any interest in any aspirant.”