***Says Ruling Party Bent On stopping Other parties From Contesting Presidency In 2019
*Says Splinter Group Is Storm In Tea Cup
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Thursday predicted that the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) will hit by defections that will leave the party empty before 2019 general election.
The national publicity secretary of party, Kola Ologbodinyan who accused the governing party of trying to destabilize the PDP, said the APC is planning to ensure that no other party fields a presidential candidate in 2019.
The spokesman of the PDP while speaking at a press conference described the emergence of a recent splinter group, concerned candidates and stakeholders, which recently opened a parallel office, as a storm in a tea cup.
Noting that it was strange that a group of individuals will come together to create a splinter group, the party spokesman added that the friction generated by the group will be resolved before the yuletide season closes.
Recall that the member of the House of Representatives, Hon Johnson Agbonayima had defected from the PDP citing the emergence of a splinter group which opened a parallel national party office in Abuja
But while speaking at the conference Ologbodinyan said, “The National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus has been reconciliatory, he has met with some aggrieved members. We will not allow APC to distract us. APC has become very worried since our convention.
“As we speak, the constitution of APC requires them to hold convention every two years but they have not done so. They are so unsettled that PDP is progressing and progressing progressively.
“That is why they are looking some people to cause confusion in our party but we have gone beyond that. What is more important now is that we are embarking on membership drive to win more members back to PDP.
“We are going to stand as a party and we are going to fiercely contest election in 2019. Our doors are open to Nigerians and anyone who is interested in contesting election in 2019 can come in.
“I can assure that majority of people still hanging around in APC are coming back to the home, the PDP. APC is going to the next election as an empty party.”
He added “Just as APC is monitoring our members we are also monitoring them too. Every move to destabilize our system will be resisted.
We won’t allow them to muscle us out. Despite the harassment of our leaders we will stand as a party and fiercely contest in 2019.
APC is afraid they don’t want any party to contest the election. PDP must contest the election in 2019.”
While he maintained that the security agencies are aware of the operations of the concerned candidates and stakeholders he said, “splinter group is storm in a tea cup, it is going no where.”
The party while expressing reservations over the use of the PDP’s colour, name and logo, said “When a child misbehaves you first scold him before calling him back. Before Yuletide closes this matter will be put behind us.”
While he noted that the party internal conflict resolution mechanism is still intact, Ologbodinyan added, “It is needful for them to allow the reconciliation within the party takes its course.”
He further denied claims that the aspirants picked forms after the deadline for the submission for the convention, “I was an aspirant, I was screened and we were all there. To say that some people were not screened is totally strange and I don’t want to accept that. There could be issues but we will sit down as a family to access those issues.”
He added that PDP will begin to engage in membership drive across the nation, adding that the national chairman will go round to wards and states to canvass for membership.
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