By CHIBUZOR UKAIBE, Abuja
A national chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, yesterday accused some members of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) of trying to hijack the party ahead of the national convention.
The media mogul said some of the BoT members who accompany some national chairmanship aspirants tell delegates and other party stakeholders that the BoT has backed their ambition.
Dokpesi who stated this while returning his nomination form at the party’s national secretariat also faulted the recent sidelining of aspirants by Southwest members of the BoT.
Stressing that the PDP is in a haste to take over power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019, he underscored the need for the party to get a strong chairman to lead it to the presidential election.
Dokpesi said, “Members of BoT want to take over the party. Some people want to use BoT to take over the day to day running of the party. Members of BoT have been going out with some aspirants. They have been meeting delegates and stakeholders of the party.
“Some of them (BoT members), smart as they are, are peddling rumours that the BoT has endorsed some aspirants as their choice for national chairman, but we know that the BoT has not met. If you want to be chairman why don’t they resign their membership of BoT before you say you want to run”.
Noting that there is nothing wrong with the move of the Southwest PDP members, he however condemned the act of not inviting the aspirants or consulting them before the list was drafted.
“For one or two persons, a lot of damage has been done to those said to have been excluded from the list”, he said, adding that with a lot of hard work things will be recovered.
Dokpesi who also noted that the issue of a consensus candidate might still arise stated that the aspirants will, in a couple of days, sign terms of settlement on the accord which has been drafted.
He stated that all contestants have agreed to give unconditional support to whoever emerges the national chairman of the party “as long as the rules of the game are abided to, and the convention is transparent and open”.
Dokpesi, however congratulated the caretaker committee for their leadership role, saying they had been faced with lots of pressure to alter the provisions of the party’s constitution.
He said there have been a lot of pressure, intimidation, threat and manipulation to force the Makarfi committee to go against the provisions of the party’s constitution and the zoning.
On the issue of micro zoning, he said, “The presidency was zoned to the 19 states in North and the chairmanship to the 17 states in the South”.
On preparation for PDP for 2019, he said, “We are in a haste to take over from the APC. It won’t be an easy take back power from the current government.
“APC will not hand over power on a platter of gold. We need a fighter a strong party man. That is why we need a strong man to serve as chairman of the party”.
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