IBB, Makarfi, Okowa Speak On PDP Convention

AHEAD of Saturday’s national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Chairman of the Convention
Planning Committee in Abuja, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa who is also, the Governor of Delta State, accompanied by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the PDP and top officials of the party were at the Hilltop Mansion of Nigeria’s former President, General Ibrahim Babangida at Minna, Niger State yesterday.
As is typical of us, we present to you what they said at the occasion as captured by the Chief of Bureau, Government House, Fidelis Egugbo. Happy reading!
GENERAL IBRAHIM BABANGIDA:
I have here, the chairman of the caretaker committee, former chairman of Kaduna State, the Chairman of convention
planning committee, the Governor of Delta State with the officials for the convention, I am glad they are working hard and I have seen that they want to make sure that the convention of the PDP is rancour free, transparent and everybody
will be given a level playing ground.
PDP will see one of the best conventions like never before.
The ability of any party to go through the problems of party formation, challenges of going through the ups and downs and come together again, after learning lessons from what happened and agree to move forward is good for democracy.
Fielding questions on former Vice President Atiku Abubakar
leaving the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the PDP he said that Alhaji Abubakar is a Nigerian, he is allowed to go to any party and our constitution allows it, so, it is not new and there is nothing wrong for a politician to move from one party to another.
On the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration,
he said that it is for Nigerians to assess him.
“I wish the PDP well, a hitch-free convention and from what I have seen and heard, it will be hitch free.
CHAIRMAN OF THE CARETAKER COMMITTEE OF THE PDP, ALHAJI MAKARFI SAID: In the PDP, we respect leaders, Gen. Babangida has always been with us and it is the tradition of the party to be consulting with our former leaders; that is why we are here today to brief him (IBB) on the arrangement we have made and take whatever advice he gives for conducting
a credible and transparent convention. The success story so far is a confirmation of series of interactions with leaders and founding members of the party.
As it concerns Anambra and Osun States participating in the convention, we will basically have to make use of statutory
delegates. It is not the first we find states making use of statutory delegates to avoid conflicts that has to do with legitimacy of elected delegates.
AND GOVERNOR OKOWA SAID:
A lot has been put on ground for a successful convention to be held. We thank the caretaker committee of our party because they have done a lot ahead of the inauguration on Monday and since then, we have held several meetings. The various sub-committees are really working very hard.
As at today, we are confident that we are on course. In terms of trying to provide all that has to be done on Saturday, we are going to have an exciting convention, there is no doubt about that, everything concerning the electoral process has been put in place, the accreditation team by today (yesterday)
will get the last list of the statutory delegates from Osun and Anambra States. The election committee has put everything in place and I think that is sorted out. The publicity
committee is another committee that I am aware that it is working hard. We obviously will not allow everybody to come into the venue, it is going to be a restrictive convention because, it is an elective convention and I think our party will accept that, it is in the interest of the party and in terms of fairness, we are right on course.
On the allegations that governors were trying to hijack the process, he said “I am aware of that. We have continued to read about it in the newspapers, but, it is speculative, anticipatory
but, it is wrong. The governors did not take decision on that and we have 25 states that are not controlled by the PDP governors. We believe that more persons will come into our party and we are ready to receive them.

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