By Emmanuel Afonne
Abuja – PDP Concerned Youth Association (PCYA), one of the youth groups in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has rejected the choice of Port Harcourt, Rivers for the party’s national convention on Oct. 6.
The group’s Coordinator, Mr Emmanuel Willie and Secretary Malam Nura Lawal, said on Wednesday in Abuja that their rejection of the venue was to ensure a free and fair presidential primary election.
It noted that having the convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers, the territory of Gov. Nyesom Wike who appeared to have a soft spot for a certain presidential aspirants might not give room for a fair contest.
It also regretted that the party Chairman, Uche Secondus, was among those projecting his state Rivers as venue for the convention in spite of his relationship with the governor.
“This will not augur well for the party, especially now that the PDP is hoping to unseat the All Progressives Congress at the 2019 General Election,” they said in a statement.
They also said that a neutral venue like Abuja should be considered instead of Rivers where Wike was facing a serious challenge from Rivers Women Alliance (RIWA), a Non-Governmental Organisation.
“The distraction coming from RIWA which comprise of women from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers, demanding for a governor from the riverine area in 2019, to succeed Wike, could be a source of distraction to members.
“In this case, the executive arm of the PDP Concerned Youth Association has seen the looming disgrace that awaits the party if the choice of Port Harcourt is allowed to stand, but will not allow that to happen.
“We therefore, urge the party hierarchy to review the choice of Port Harcourt and choose a venue acceptable to all members to enable the party produce a suitable candidate who can wrestle power from the current APC government.
“We also plead with the national leadership of the party to stand tall and not allow itself to be tossed around by members who are only interested in protecting their selfish interest instead of the party.
“The founding fathers and mentors of our party should ensure that PDP remains one after this convention. We will oppose thuggery in whatever guise,” the statement added.
The association urged presidential aspirants in PDP to see the forthcoming primary election as family affair to enable the party achieve its ultimate goal in 2019.
It will be recalled that the National Working Committee of the PDP and its Board of Trustees are having disagreement on the venue for the convention where delegates are expected to elect the party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections.