Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The leadership of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned members of the party’s established organs against aligning with any presidential aspirant ahead of the 2019 general election.
The party rather assured aspirants for elective offices, including the presidency, that they are free to contest on the PDP platform.
This was contained in a six-point communique issued at the end of a joint meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the PDP Governors’ Forum in Asaba, Delta State capital.
The communique was signed by the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State.
Reading the communique before newsmen at the wee hours of Monday, Secondus said the meeting, which lasted over six hours, was called to examine the state of the nation.
Condemning the series of herdsmen killings across the country, the communique called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take a firm stand on the atrocities “and address the nation on how to end the carnage,” it said.
“The President must take responsibility on the protection of lives and property of Nigerians which is the most important of his responsibilities.
“We believe that the Federal Government’s decision to set up a Committee to address the issues of herdsmen killings is a pretentious approach to a matter that requires firm action and leadership by the President in line with his oath of office to protect all Nigerians irrespective of creed, tribe and political affiliation.”
On the clamour for national restructuring, the party stated that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) was paying lip service to an urgent matter of national importance, insisting that the PDP has been the author of restructuring “and this was further expressed in the report of the 2014 National Conference.”
“However, we have mandated our members in the National Assembly to immediately commence the process of initiating a Bill to address issues bothering on restructuring.”
The communique further urged the President to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) “to adhere to the rule of law by obeying court judgements and orders such as the one involving the Ekiti State Government against EFCC and restrain itself from further political intimidation and harassment of known or perceived political opponents. We commend the judiciary for their commitment to the enthronement of constitutional democracy in the face of intimidation and harassment.”
It further read in parts:
“We condemn in strong terms the massive corruption going on in the management of fuel subsidy regime which the Federal Government had declared non-existent while billions of naira are deducted monthly at Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings.
“The PDP states and local governments are vehemently opposed to the unilateral withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government under any guise. We want to state unequivocally that neither the Governors’ Forum nor the Federal Executive Council has the power of appropriation of Federation Accounts, as such powers reside with the National and State Assemblies.
“We commend members of our party for their unalloyed support. We reiterate that our repositioned party is prepared for the 2019 elections and will ensure that all Nigerians aspiring to elective offices are free to contest on the platform of the PDP.”
The meeting was attended by members of the national executive of the party and eleven governors on the platform of the PDP.
The governors include Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa-Ibom), Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Darius Ishiaku (Taraba) and Dakwambo (Gombe).