The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed March 6 for the party’s zonal congresses across the six geo-political zones.
A statement by the party’s spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan said aspirants for the various offices are expected to submit their nomination forms by February 25.
By the statement, the PDP has slated the submission of nomination forms, including those for aspirants for National Ex-Officio, for February 25, or before.
In a separate statement, the party lifted the suspension on six of its members in the House of Representatives.
The affected members are: Ndudi Elumelu, Toby Okechukwu, Wole Oke, Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwani, and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.
The members were suspended in July 2019, following the election of Elumelu as Minority Leader in the House, against the party’s choice of Kingsley Chinda.
The other six members were also suspended for backing Elumelu.
Also, the PDP has called for the immediate sack of Defence Minister, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd.), for asking unarmed Nigerians to defend themselves against armed bandits and terrorists.
The party described the minister’s call as reckless, irresponsible and an indication that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had abdicated its statutory duties of protecting Nigerians.
In a statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said: “It is unthinkable that a government would describe unarmed victims of armed aggression of terrorists and bandits as ‘cowards’ while those who were elected and given the necessary resources to defend them recede in the comfort and safety of their offices in Abuja.
“Such disposition to security, a statutory responsibility of government, goes to validate apprehensions that our nation is indeed descending to a failed state under the Buhari Presidency, where government can no longer perform its duties while unarmed citizens are left to confront bandits and warlords.”
The PDP noted that given the silence by the Presidency over the comments, Magashi spoke the mind of the President and his security apparatchiks.
It added that the minster’s position further explained why the administration had remained complacent in the fight against terrorism and banditry.
The PDP said: “Such a statement by the Buhari administration at the time it ought to be scaling up its security strategies to guarantee the safety of all Nigerians, has been emboldening bandits, terrorists and kidnappers to escalate their atrocities against our compatriots.
“Moreover, with such disposition, the Buhari administration is creating a lucrative job for bandits, terrorists and kidnappers who are settled with huge ransom, instead of being faced with firepower.
“Our party, however, urges Nigerians not to despair at this moment but brace up as it has become obvious that we are now in a despondent situation where government has shown that it can no longer defend the citizens.”