By Nathan Nwakamma
Yenagoa – Ahead the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention on Dec. 9, Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa has warned against imposition of candidates on the party.
Dickson was quoted in a statement issued signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Francis Agbo, as saying that the forthcoming convention was critical and fundamental to the survival of the PDP.
The governor, who is opposed to the imposition of candidates, urged leaders and delegates to make sacrifices for the unity of the party.
He said that where party stakeholders/delegates were unable to reach a consensus on the choice of any candidate for any position, the aspirants should be allowed to test their popularity on the convention ground.
Dickson said that the PDP would be stronger and more cohesive by creating a level playing field for all aspirants in a transparent convention.
The governor, who was a former Chairman of the PDP Reconciliation Committee, warned against the conduct of the convention in a manner that could plunge the party into fresh crisis.
He advised leaders of the party to avoid the temptation of taking over the role of the convention and the rights of the delegates to choose leaders for the party.
“The next convention is critical to the survival of the party. My position is that the party should organise an all-inclusive, transparent, acceptable, and credible convention that would re-brand the PDP and show our platform as a truly democratic party.
“Therefore, I am against all forms of manipulations, intimidation, blackmail and imposition of candidates.
“For me, there should be no imposition at all.
“I will not be a party to the adoption of anybody for any office unless it is by consensus of the zone in which the position has been zoned to.
“If there is more than one contestant for a position, they should be given the opportunity to test their popularity at the convention.
“A leader, no matter how highly placed, should not take the place of the convention and the powers of the delegates to the convention.
“Therefore, on the position of Chairman and other offices, once there is more than a contestant, PDP leaders and members should be free to canvass for any candidate of their choice; nobody should quarrel with that.”
He said the PDP must understand that Nigerians see the forthcoming national convention as an opportunity for the party to present a re-branded and united PDP, which Nigerians would be happy to embrace in 2019.
The governor added that if the party got the convention right, then it would most likely hold a successful Presidential primary. (NAN)