By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday predicted that the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) will be hit by mass defections that would leave the party empty before the 2019 general elections.
The national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbodinyan, who made this comment, also accused the governing party of trying to destabilise the PDP, adding that the APC was planning to ensure that no other party fields a presidential candidate against it in 2019.
While speaking at a press conference, the spokesman of the PDP dismissed a recent splinter PDP group of concerned candidates and stakeholders, which recently opened a parallel office, describing the issue as a storm in a tea cup.
According to him, the friction generated by the group would be resolved before the yuletide is over.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Johnson Agbonayima, had defected from the PDP, citing the emergence of a splinter group that opened a parallel national party office in Abuja.
But 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 up 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, however, asserted that the main opposition party was not folding its arms against the onslaught of the governing party, but that “just as APC is monitoring our members, we are also monitoring them too.
“Every move to destabilise 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.”
According to him, the security agencies were aware of the operations of the concerned candidates and stakeholders.
He, however, dismissed them, saying the “splinter group is a storm in a tea cup; it is going nowhere.”
Ologbodinyan stated that the party’s internal conflict resolution mechanism was still intact, adding that it was necessary for it to finish its work.
He further denied claims that the aspirants picked forms after the submission deadline 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 assess those issues,” he said.
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