April 20, 2010

How PDP presidential candidate ‘ll emerge

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA — AHEAD of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, where a presidential candidate would emerge, it was gathered, yesterday, that to produce a presiden-tial candidate for the party, each of the 774 local government councils would produce a national delegate to the convention through a special local government party congress.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the party, yesterday, denied a newspaper publication that the date when a presidential candida-te will emergence has been fixed for 11 September 2010, just as it said it has not released any guidelines for nomination processes for the elections.

Party denies report on date

In a statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, the party described the report as speculative, misleading and has no foundation whatsoe-ver, adding “as the National Working Committee, NWC, is still working on the details of our timetable and guidelines for elections which will be released at the appropriate time.

“For the avoidance of doubt, guidelines for the conduct of primaries can only be authorised by the National Executive Commit-tee, NEC, after inputs have been collated from various organs of the party and the process has reached an advanced stage.”

Primaries guidelines

But as gathered, yesterday, from the tentative guidelines prepared by the party ahead of the 2011 primary election to select its candidates for the election, the guidelines states, “for the purpose of nominating the party’s presidential candidate, each of the 774 local government party chapters shall produce one national delegate to the national convention throu-gh a special local govern-ment party congress.

The PDP guideline also stipulates that a presidential aspirant shall be nominated by 60 persons who are members of the party from at least two third of the states of the federation, with a copy of the voter’s registration card duly attached to the nomination form.

“The executive officers at the ward, local government, state, zonal and national levels shall by virtue of their respective offices in the party, be automatic delega-tes to the special state congress.”

It also stipulates that to get the presidential candi-date for the party, political office holders from the local government areas who are members of the party shall participate as automatic delegates, just as ministers, ambassadors, chairmen of Federal Boards, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Special Advisers Special/Assis-tants to the President and the Vice President, state commissioners, Special Advisers to the governors and Secretaries to the State Governments are also in this category.

Also included in this, are former local government party chairmen and secreta-ries, former local govern-ment council chairmen and vice chairmen elected on PDP platform and former leaders of council (Speakers) elected on PDP’s platform and who are still members of the party.

Automatic delegates

To participate as automatic delegates at the special state congress are elected local government council chairmen, vice chairmen, supervisors and councilors and members of the National and State Assemblies from the local government who are members of the party.

For the party to get its candidates for the office of governors, members of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Represen-tatives) and members of the state Assemblys, each ward chapter of PDP shall elect three delegates at a special ward congress, at least one of whom shall be a woman.