*** PDP Can’t Afford To Make Mistake At Convention – Ciroma
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairmanship aspirant, Prince Uche Secondus, Wednesday said he is not the candidate of the party’s chairman of the national caretaker committee, Sen Ahmed Makarfi.
This comes as former Minister of Women Affair, and a contender for deputy national chairman, Hajia Inna Ciroma, warned that the party cannot afford to get it wrong at the forthcoming national convention.
She added that the North rejected PDP in 2015 because it abandoned zoning principle, noting however that the party has learnt its lesion ahead of 2019.
Secondus who stated this at the party national secretariat in Abuja, after submitting his nomination form, also stressed that at no time was the national chairmanship position micro-zoned to South West geo-political zone by stakeholders from the zone.
He noted that the position was zoned to the 17 states in South, same way presidential ticket of the PDP for 2019 polls was zoned to the 19 states in the North, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). He further clarified that he didn’t bother to contest for national chairman at the botched national convention last year in Port Harcourt, because party leaders from the South micro-zoned it to the South-west.
Reacting to claims that he enjoys Makarfi’s support, Secondus, who was a former deputy national chairman of the party, said
“Makarfi is not paving way for my emergence. There is no truth to that statement. I have been going round quietly and canvassing for votes. I have not held any meeting with Makarfi and he has not endorsed me.”
There was not time in this time that the office (national chairmanship) was micro zoned.
“The office of national chairman zoned to 17 southern states of the federation. President zoned to 19 states. Let’s not dwell on misinterpretation: aspirants know this unless they want to be mischievous”.
The party chieftain said he decided to join the race for chairman because the party needs experience going into the 2019 general elections.
Former minister of Women Affair, Hajia Inna Ciroma urged delegates to vote for the right persons and disregard sentiments.
Ciroma, who spoke after submitting her nomination form at the party secretariat, said “If we get the national convention right PDP will come back. Delegates must vote the right people not based on sentiments. We need men and women of integrity to lead it to the next general election.”
The former said :”The whole Nigerians believe PDP will come back to power. I want delegates to think critically before they vote. We want people who will deliver this party. We should not vote based on sentiments. We should look at antecedents. We must ensure that imposition does not continue in the party.”
On how she can play leadership role in the north where women are relegated culturally she answered, “political leadership is not religious leadership. It is politics not religion. It is a cultural mindset and it is changing very very fast. Why should our parents send us to school if we cannot occupy leadership positions.
“Women are taking over leadership positions in other areas and politics should not be an exception.
She debunked the insinuations that her relationship with a particular candidate could affect her emergence.
“The tact that I am working for a particular candidate does not mean that I am not supporting the others. I am a party member and all of them are qualifies and they are all my friends.
“We know where we went wrong in 2015. One of the things that went wrong was when we jettisoned the zoning arrangement.
“All Nigerian believe that PDP must come back to power, so we are strategisingk.
“My message is that I want the delegates to think critically before they vote. They should look at people who are able to deliver this party. It is the responsibilities of delegate to vote according to their conscience and ensure that they move the party forward” she emphasized.
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