By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA — As preparations for the Presidential polls slated for March 28 intensify, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers in the House of Representatives have put forward a number of demands for President Goodluck Jonathan to meet as a condition for supporting him to win the March 28 election.
Top on the list of demands is the immediate refund of the campaign funds expended by the members who were denied tickets by their state governors, after paying for the party tickets and mobilising their supporters for the controversial primaries, which they claimed were manipulated by governors and top party leaders to favour their cronies.
The aggrieved lawmakers, many of who will be contesting their popularity at the polls on the same day with Jonathan, also demanded that the president should urgently intervene by directing the party under his leadership to take over their campaign sponsorship, having emerged as candidates of the party.
But in doing so, the lawmakers strongly advised the President not to channel such funding through the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, or their state governors but to make it directly to those contesting election on the same day with him.
The argument of the lawmakers is that their campaigns should have been taken over from the date they emerged victorious at the primaries instead of allowing them to suffer on their own in the name of the party.
The lawmakers, made up of those who managed to secure re-election ticket and those who lost out during the controversial primaries conducted by the ruling party last December, tabled their grievances before Jonathan at a no-holds-barred meeting called by the President at the Presidential Villa, weekend.
Vanguard learnt from numerous sources that no fewer than 104 PDP lawmakers attended the crucial meeting, which afforded them the opportunity for the first time to present misgivings against the party and its leaders at the state and national levels before Jonathan, who is the national leader of the party.