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2019: Plot by PDP govs to hijack tickets threatens fresh crisis

…Your abysmal failure, our scoring points, PDP replies APC

By Dapo Akinrefon & Dirisu Yakubu

An alleged scheme by serving and former governors in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to hijack the party ahead of the 2019 presidential elections was at, weekend, threatening to provoke another crisis in the party.

This is even as the party, yesterday, took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress, APC, government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying its “minus zero” scorecard could not win the confidence of voters in 2019.

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi OKowa (middle); Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (2nd left); Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman, PDP Governor’s Forum, Ayodele Fayose (2nd right); National Secretary PDP, Senator. Ben Obi (left) and the Former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Austine Okpara, when Governor Okowa received the National Committee for the Anambra PDP Governorship Primaries, at Asaba Air Port.

The plot which, according to informed sources, would crystallise in the December national convention of the party, would see serving and former governors take all three positions of national party chairman, presidential candidate, and vice-presidential candidate.

As part of the scheme, informed party sources said, yesterday, that the party could sidestep the gentleman’s agreement of zoning the office of national chairman to the South-West geo-political zone of the country.

A high-level party source privy to the development, said former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, was being enlisted into the national chairmanship contest to serve as prop for the scheme of the governors.

Senator Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, NCC, according to informed sources, is to be projected as the presidential candidate, with Governor Ayodele Fayose or former Governor Peter Obi serving as his running mate.

A source privy to the development, who spoke on  condition of anonymity, said, yesterday: “As I speak with you, they are set to tamper with the already adopted zoning of offices to ensure that the former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, from South-South, who was Senator Makarfi’s former schoolmate at the Federal Government College, Enugu, emerges the National Chairman of PDP in December. The position was originally zoned to the South-West.

“The whole idea is to pave the way for Senator Makarfi to clinch the PDP presidential ticket with either former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi or the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, as the running mate.

“Their ploy is to turn the party into an all former governors affair because if their plan works, what you will have is Liyel Imoke as National Chairman, Makarfi as the presidential candidate, and Peter Obi or Ayo Fayose as vice presidential candidate, making one to wonder if the PDP is about former governors.

“The attempt by a few of the former governors to recolonise the party will be the very last straw that will break the camel’s back,” he added.

Senator Makarfi could not be reached, yesterday, as his phone was off and a text message sent to his line was yet to be replied as at press time.

Your abysmal failure, our scoring points, PDP replies APC

Meanwhile, PDP has taken a swipe at APC government, saying its “minus zero” scorecard could not win the confidence of voters in 2019.

In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party lamented what it called the “serial lies and blame game” of the ruling party against the PDP since its assumption of power more than two years ago.

The statement read:  “The PDP is amazed over some frivolous claims credited to certain leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, in which they expressed confidence that the party’s scorecard in 2019 will be that it cleared the PDP’s mess.

“We ask, how can a minus zero score card translate to confidence for winning elections? How convenient. It’s, therefore, very obvious that the APC is still stuck with its serial lies and blame game against the PDP since it assumed power more than two years ago.

“We want to state emphatically that the APC’s abysmal failure will, indeed, be the PDP’s scoring points in 2019, given that the remaining one year plus will make no difference to the APC’s incompetence and crass ineptitude in political, democratic and public governance.”

“We promise to continue shielding the unsuspecting public from the APC’s sworn deception. On a second thought though, it appears Nigeria is being ruled by the APC from its status in 1983; otherwise, this plethora of lies against evidence-based achievements of the PDP in the entire sector wouldn’t have arisen.

“We wish to specifically note one other outrageous claim by these leaders, that the APC has recorded huge success in the ‘agricultural sector’ – in crops such as: rice and grains; and for tubers like cassava and yam by next year. Indeed, this is absurd and a loquacious claim as there is no evidence, except increased hunger and frustrations on Nigerians daily.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDP did surpass the APC’s imaginations of growth in agricultural sector, especially in the rice and cassava productions that they made boast of.

“Let us further remind  APC leaders that they inherited a Nigerian economy that was growing consistently at an average of 7% annually for 10 years, which General Muhammadu Buhari admitted to in Chattam House in February 2015; and it was the number one economy in Africa, valued at over $500 million, and also the number one foreign investment destination, FDI.

“While we wait for the fizzling of this false party, the APC, in 2019, we want to pray it to show mercy on Nigerians by achieving at least 20% of its jumbo promises which are too numerous to mention. We wish to reiterate that the so called ‘corruption war’ is already a failure as well as other facets of governance.”


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