***Charge Makarfi To Release Delegates List Now
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
The intrigues rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of Saturday’s national convention scaled up yesterday as an aspirant for the national chairman of the party, former minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran, yesterday petitioned the national convention committee over the appointment of former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, as chairman of the electoral committee.
The petition which was signed by director general of Adeniran’s campaign Organisation, Shehu Gabam, called for the removal of Suswam and his secretary, Sunday Onor, on grounds that they are star campaigners of one of the aspirants, Prince Uche Secondus, a former deputy national chairman of the party.
Adeniran further charged the Sen Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP to publicly release the list of delegates at least seven days before the convention at it had promised. He further frowned at the exclusion of their nominees in the committees.
The petition was address to the Delta State governor, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa who is the chairman of the convention committee. Copies of petition was also sent to Sen Makarfi and chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) Sen Walid Jibrin.
A copy of the petition made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday read in part “Following the publication of the Convention Planning Committee and other sub-Committees constituted by the National Caretaker Committee to supervise the forthcoming National Convention scheduled to take place on 9 December 2017, we have observed with deep sense of dissatisfaction that Chief Gabriel Suswam and Dr. Sunday Onor who are star campaigners of Prince Uche Secondus, one of the aspirants have been named as the Chairman and Secretary of the Electoral Committee, a Committee saddled with the onerous responsibility of conducting free and fair elections at the Convention.
“On behalf of the Prof. Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, I wish to object to the choice above for the purposes of conducting elections at the Convention. It is a globally accepted practice and incontrovertible standard that one cannot be a judge in his own case. Former Gov. Suswam and Dr.Onor have not hidden their unflinching support for the candidature of Prince Uche Secondus both publicly and privately.
“Furthermore, we wish to protest and formally notify you as the Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee that the National Caretaker Committee of PDP has failed to include in both the original and supplementary lists, names submitted by our Campaign organization even when it was an instruction from the National Caretaker Chairman, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, that we should submit these names [copy attached] to the office of the National Organizing Secretary which we complied with and was duly acknowledged.
“We are therefore, left with no option but to believe that our Campaign Organization has been deliberately sidelined once again as was in the case during the composition of the Committees that supervised the conduct of the recently concluded ward and LGA Ad-hoc and National delegates elections. In the light of all these, we hereby appeal to Your Excellency as the Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee to use your good offices to save the situation in order to ensure fairness and transparency in the conduct of the elections.
“We therefore seek the following remedies: Immediate withdrawal of H.E. Gov. Gabriel Suswam as the Chairman and Dr. Sunday Onor as Secretary of the Electoral Committee.
“The appointment of credible people who have not displayed preference for any aspirant as the Chairman and Secretary of the Electoral Committee.
“The inclusion of our nominees in the Committees especially the key ones just like the nominees of other aspirants have been accommodated.
“Since the National Chairman (NCC) has publicly promised that the confirmed delegates list will be officially released at least seven days before the Convention, that this list be now released without further delay.
“Finally, we wish to once again express our confidence in Your Excellency, and with a deep sense of duty, convey our unalloyed support to you as the Chairman and to other members of the 2017 National Elective Convention Planning Committee of the People’s Democratic Party