*As Clark urges dissolution of Delta PDP Exco
By Henry Umoru
ABUJAâ€”AHEAD of primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the 2011 general elections, the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo said yesterday that he would ensure that the partyâ€™s constitution was amended where political appointees can no longer be automatic delegates.
The National Chairman stressed that though these appointees may be very powerful, but to show it, they have to go to their various wards, join the queues to show how powerful they are to become delegates, adding, â€œwe have to change this constitution. We have to make sure that all these appointees cannot be delegates to our conventions. Many of them are important and popular people. They should go to the ward and test their popularity and be elected as delegates so that they can compete. If the people like them, they can be delegates. If people donâ€™t like them, let them stay away.
Speaking yesterday at the PDPâ€™sÂ when he received Delta State elders, leaders and stakeholders forum of the State PDP led by Chief Edwin Clark, Nwodo who noted that many political office holders were elected on the platform of the PDP without
knowing the partyâ€™s manifesto, as well as its colour, reiterated that power has not been given to the people, adding, â€œwhen ever we say power, they say share the money, we didnâ€™t form PDP to share the moneyâ€, just as he said the government would provide dividends of democracy for the people â€œif we stop sharing the money.â€
Meanwhile, the leader of the forum, former Federal Commissioner of Information, Chief Edwin Clark in a letter presented to the National Chairman urged him to dissolve the Peter Nwaoboshi- led state executive and appoint a caretaker committee that will conduct a fresh ward, local government and state congresses. The letter was jointly signed by Patrick Ideh, Senator Francis Okpozo and D.I.G Ugbuaja (DIG).
Speaking further,Â Nwodo said, â€œwe have wasted 50 years on military rules and imposed leadership. The day we start to allow
our people to choose our leaders, Nigeria will change. We are going to bring a lot of electoral reform in the constitution of PDP because in our constitution, our primary elections are decided before we get to the congress. When the Governors come to an election with all commissioners, special advisers, special assistants, chairmen of boards, appointed local government chairmen not elected and appointed councillors , he is already controlling 70 percent delegates, if he says he will be there even for third term, he has people who will vote for him.
â€œIf he says A, Y, Z will be senators, you have started going and down the line. Then the rest of the contestants who are gubernatorial aspirants will be struggling for 30 per cent. Before you open your mouth, is that a contest? Will that allow the best man to be chosen?
New members are qualified to contest party primaries
Nwodo noted that new entrants will be qualified to contest for the partyâ€™s primaries.Â The constitution says you must be of certain age. With certain qualification. It didnâ€™t say that you must be sponsored by a political party if you are already five years.Â
The national chairman who promised to listen to other members of the party, especially the Peter Nwaoboshi-led executive to get their side of the story, stressed that at the end of the day, the truth will be discovered no matter how deep it will be, even as he warned that he would ensure that unity reigns in the party as he was not prepared to lead the party to a disgraceful election.
â€œWe will not rest on our oars until we bring peace to that state. We have looked around our country, we have seen that in states where we lost elections, we didnâ€™t lose election because we are not popular or because we lose to one radical politician that is fighting us in the opposition.
â€œWe lost election because PDP is fighting PDP. We lost election because of lack of due process, imposition, godfathers.Â This time around we are going into a competitive election. PDP cannot afford as the major party in Nigeria to be fielding its 10th eleven when political parties that has no followership are presenting their 1st eleven. When we conduct free and fair primary it caused us less in the general election because we are given the people their candidates and so we donâ€™t need to bribe them.
â€œOur country cannot go forward when the affairs of this country is being piloted by 10th eleven. So I as the National Chairman will not take this party to disgraceful elections. I will not take PDP to an election where they feel that the only way they can win is to go to INEC and have result written for them.Â
Other members of the Delta State Elders, Leaders, and Stakeholders were P.E.S Ideh, Chief G.O.Ogbetuo, Evangelist Williams Ukpebilence, Alams Barovle, Patrick Nwamu, Olorogun Gbagi, Young Esiepke, Modudu Egbo, Professor Saliba Mukoro, General Oviemo Ovadje, Rear Admiral J.O. Kpokpogori(rtd), among others.