By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA—THE leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, said the failure of its lawmakers in the National Assembly to vote according to party directive during the 9th Assembly elections was shameful and embarrassing.
The party, therefore, has resolved to investigate this in a bid to forestall a future occurrence. This was part of the resolutions of PDP at its 86th National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
Recall that the party had directed its members to vote for Senator Ali Ndume and Umar Bago as against the candidates of All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila for Senate presidency and Speaker of House of Representatives, respectively.
But Ndume and Bago got lower number of votes compared to the strength of the party’s lawmakers as Lawan and Gbajabiamila won, an indication that PDP lawmakers voted against their party’s directive.
Speaking at the meeting, National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said: “Permit me at this juncture dear leaders to express the disappointment of our party on the embarrassing roles of some of our party members at the National Assembly during the election of their leaders.
“Party loyalty demands that you stick to your party at any given situation. When personal interest clash with party interest, personal should drown into that of the party, that’s what real democrats are expected to do.”
He also decried what he called vote-buying , saying the “ruling APC came up with their ‘green card’ ‘vote and snap’ fraud that introduced an unprecedented dimension to the growing corruption index of this administration. My worry is the consequences this brazen corruption would have in the legislative activities of the Ninth Assembly.”
Speaking with newsmen after the NEC meeting, the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodinya, said the party will set up a committee to investigate the role played by PDP lawmakers during the voting.
He, however, declined to mention the members and timeline for the committee, noting “We cannot pre-empt the job of the committee.”
Meanwhile, Ologbondiyan disclosed that the party has fixed the governorship nomination fee for the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections at N20 million as against the N5 million it charged during the 2019 general election.
“The cost of production of forms, organising free and fair elections have also increased,” in an apparent justification of the new hike.