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24 Hours To Convention, PDP Meets Presidential Aspirants

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…Alleges plot by FG, APC to disrupt convention

With less than 24 hours to its elective national convention, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will meet with the presidential aspirants of the party in Abuja.
This comes as the party yesterday alleged that it had uncovered a plot by the federal government working in sync with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to disrupt its presidential primary holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, tomorrow. Today’s meeting of PDP leaders, it was learnt, was to, among other things, impress on the aspirants the need not to damage the chances of the party in the presidential election should they fail to secure the ticket.

The meeting, it was learnt, involves all the organs of the party, including the National Working Committee (NWC), the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the various caucuses.
It was gathered that last-minute realignment of forces was already at play as aspirants are being wooed to step down in a bid to prune the number of aspirants.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that attempts by the forum of PDP Governors, the party’s BoT and even some elders in the country to make the aspirants decide on a consensus arrangement have yet to yield result. However, the aspirants have agreed to sign a code of conduct to support whoever emerges candidate as well as not to defect from the party if they lose.
The aspirants in the race for the presidential ticket of the PDP are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal; Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwabo; Senate President Bukola Saraki; former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, and a former minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki.

Others are a former president of the Senate, David Mark; a former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; a former Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang; Mr. Stanley Osifo and a former senator, Dr. Baba Datti Ahmed. The national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbindiyan, who confirmed the holding of the meeting today at the annex office of the party, popularly called Legacy House, did not give details of what the meeting would be about. Meanwhile, Ologbondiyan at a press conference in Abuja yesterday alleged that the APC-led federal government had plotted to disrupt the party’s national convention holding in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, tomorrow. He said: “Part of the outcome of the meeting of the NWC today (yesterday) is to alert the nation as well as the international community of plots by the ruling party and the federal government to disrupt our national convention scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Saturday, October 6 through Sunday, October 7.
“We are aware, we have been informed of machinations by the government and the ruling party, which is mortally afraid of any form of election, to disrupt our convention to ensure that we do not have a presidential candidate.”

“We invite Nigerians to take note of this and we invite the international community to take serious note of the plots by the ruling government to thwart the efforts of the opposition to elect a candidate that will go into the February general elections against President Muhammadu Buhari.” The party further said that part of the plot was to institute a court case against the convention with a view to halting it. The PDP, however, said its national convention would hold as planned, irrespective of any plot to scuttle it.

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