- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 14 October 2010 09:06
- Written by ThisDaay
- Hits: 790
For their “provocative utterances” since the October 1 bombings which claimed 12 lives, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has summoned the campaign chiefs of President Goodluck Jonathan, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Governor Bukola Saraki to a meeting.
Those expected at the meeting are Mr. Chris Mamah (for Atiku), Chief Raymond Dokpesi (Babangida), Dr. Udenta Udenta (Saraki), Senator Ben Obi (Gusau) and Dr. Dalhatu Tafida (Jonathan). This was disclosed by the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, when he met officials of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) led by the former President of Botswana Quett Ketumile Masire, and former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clarke who were on a fact-finding mission ahead of the 2011 polls.
Nwodo also said whoever won the PDP presidential primary would most certainly become the next president of Nigeria. It was gathered that the meeting will take place next week as the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has been directed to write to all concerned. Specifically, PDP is complaining of newspaper publications, especially the one signed by the Director-Generals of Babangida, Atiku, Saraki and Gusau which the party described as “highly sensational”.
According to Nwodo, who was responding to a question on security from the former Canadian prime minister, “the way they are going about their campaigns is giving us serious cause for worry. We have sent out invitations to them for a meeting where we will plead with them to base their statements on issues and the way they want to run the administration of the country. “We shall tell them to stop all these ethnic, religious and mundane propaganda and base their arguments and statements on issues based on the letters of the manifesto of our party.
“If they refuse to obey what we at the National Working Committee (NWC) decided to tell them, we shall be compelled to convoke a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to obtain NEC’s approval to spell out the guidelines to follow in their campaigns and we shall remove the issues of sectionalism, tribalism and all such mundane statements, issues that divide us as a country. Our party is very firm in the issue of integrity of our party.”
The PDP chairman told the NDI delegation that Nigeria would prove wrong the prediction by an American analyst that there would be no Nigeria by 2013, saying, “we will not allow anybody to divide this country. We have to prove to the Americans that there would be a country known as Nigeria after the general election. We are committed about this and there would be no hanky panky about this”.
The PDP chairman told the delegation that the party had made it clear in the guidelines for all the categories of election that violence and thuggery would not be tolerated, stating that any politician known to have associated or sponsored violence would be disqualified from contesting.
On the conduct of the presidential primary and other primary elections, the PDP pledged a transparent and fair process because, according to him, “our primary election is the actual election, as anyone that wins will most likely win the main election.” wodo said: “This explains the stiff competition between our presidential aspirants like President Goodluck Jonathan, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Aliyu Gusau, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Bukola Saraki.”
Still on security concerns, Nwodo assured the team that Nigeria’s security system was equal to the task as “the present Inspector General of Police is a practical police officer who understands his job”. He stated that the country was on high alert over the bomb blasts.