By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja, Nwanosike Onu, Awka and Bassey Anthony, Uyo
Their action in order, says party spokesman
Party holds ad-hoc ward congresses in Anambra, Enugu, others
Some of the presidential aspirants in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are already making alternative plans for their political career in the event that they fail to clinch the ticket later this month.
Three of the aspirants, according to investigation, are believed to be targeting the party’s senatorial tickets as a fallback option while another has his eyes on the governorship race in his state.
Seventeen aspirants were screened by the party on Friday with two disqualified.
“They have chosen not to put all their eggs in one basket,” a party source said yesterday of the aspirants working on their plan B.
Sources said three of the aspirants with plan ‘B’ are from the North while one is from the South.
It was further gathered that two of the aspirants had previously held top positions in the federal legislature.
One of the shadowy senatorial aspirants currently holds an elective office in his state, while the other does not hold any political office at the moment.
The shadowy governorship aspirant currently holds a top elective position in his state for which he is eligible for re-election. He was previously a federal lawmaker and cabinet minister.
The fourth presidential aspirant, who is from the South, currently holds an elective position in his state and he is not eligible to re-contest.
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, appeared to have confirmed the development on Friday when he described himself as one presidential aspirant without a plan ‘B’.
“What I want is the PDP presidential ticket. I did not purchase any senatorial form because I don’t have a plan B. That is why I am asking you to support my presidential aspiration,” he told reporters soon after his interactive session with the PDP Presidential Screening Committee in Abuja.
However, the PDP leadership said the affected aspirants violated no rule if indeed they purchased multiple nomination forms.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said the action was in order.
Ologunagba said: “There is nothing wrong if any aspirant purchased multiple nomination forms for different elective positions.
“It’s like paying for Mercedes Benz and Toyota at the same time and abandoning one for the other.
“As a matter of fact, an aspirant can even purchase as many as five nomination forms and choose one and abandon four.
“There are people who purchased nomination forms and even abandoned all at the end of the day. It is allowed.”
Justifying the action further, Ologunagba cited the cases of the incumbent Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, during the 2019 elections.
He said: “You may recall that Tambuwal purchased the 2019 presidential and governorship nomination forms but ended up contesting for governor at the end of the day.
“You may also recall that Saraki also purchased both the presidential and senatorial nomination forms in 2019 and eventually settled for the senatorial election.
“So, like I said earlier, an aspirant cannot be said to have broken any rule by purchasing more than one nomination form.”
Saraki and Tambuwal had contested the 2019 presidential ticket of the PDP but lost to former President Atiku Abubakar.
And while Tambuwal re-contested and won his seat as Sokoto State governor, Saraki contested and lost his Kwara Central senatorial seat to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP had on Friday screened the 17 aspirants seeking the party’s presidential ticket.
PDP Panel thumbs up Enugu Ward Congress
The Enugu State Electoral Committee from the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the conduct of the ward congresses of the party in the state as peaceful, transparent and credible.
Chairman of the panel, Prince Vincent Yandev Amaabai, said in Enugu that the congress went well across the 260 electoral wards in the state.
“The list of the three ad hoc delegates that emerge here is what we will send to our PDP National Secretariat in Abuja.
“Nobody can change anything. It is what you people do on the ground here that we will submit to Abuja,” he said after going round the state.
Exercise stalled in Anambra as chieftains ‘hijack’ panelists
But it was a different story in neighbouring Anambra State where the exercise failed to take place following alleged hijack of the panel by some chieftains of the party in the state.
The Nation gathered that the panel members were hijacked by some powerful chieftains of the party in the state and quartered in a popular hotel in Awka.
Federal and state lawmakers and other party chiefs were sighted at the party secretariat in Awka discussing the development.
The angry party members vowed to come back to the party’s secretariat today to await further development.
Edo PDP elects ad hoc delegates ahead of party primaries
The Edo State chapter of the party organised ward congresses across the 192 wards in the state to elect ad hoc delegates ahead of the party primaries.
Chairman of the Edo PDP Ward Congress Electoral Committee, Dr. Kingsley Emu, who addressed the State Working Committee at the party secretariat in Benin City ahead of the commencement of the exercise, said the ward congresses would produce 576 ad hoc delegates from the 192 wards.
The exercise across the 192 wards of Edo State was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The chairman noted that each ward is expected to produce three ad hoc delegates in line with the party guidelines.
PDP delegates in A/Ibom allege diversion of materials
Thousands of prospective delegates of the People’s Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom on Saturday alleged diversion of materials.
Our correspondent, who monitored the adhoc delegates, elections across the state observed that they were stranded in their various PDP offices.
Materials meant for the state party office located at Atan Offot Uyo the state capital, were instead shared at Maintain Peace Movement office at Udo Udoma office Uyo for movement to different destination.
However, at the time of filling the report no single party office across the state had received any material for the election while investigations revealed that they have been diverted to private homes of party chieftains working for MPM.
According to Mr Willy Etim an aspiring delegate from Uruan Council area,” We gathered that the National officials brought to organise the election got compromised by MPM members to help work for Pastor Umo Eno’s emergence and they obliged. We are waiting here for materials since 8am and now its 2pm no news.
Several calls put to the Party Chairman Mr Aniekan Akpan for his response was not answered while text message to him is yet to be replied as at press time.