PDP to Pick Presidential Candidate Through Direct Primaries

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Ahead of its national convention, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it is planning to amend its constitution so that all its candidates for elective offices would henceforth emerge through a direct primary election.

On its sudden silence over national issues, the party said it has decided to temporarily stay off from criticism of the ruling party so as to devote its energies to putting its house in order.

Speaking during a meeting with the former National Chairman of the opposition party in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party, Peter Mac Manu, the PDP spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh, said that as part of the reforms taking place in the party, the leadership has proposed a constitutional ammendment to allow its candidates for the 2019 general elections to be selected by the people at the grassroot level.

“We intend to elect our presidential candidate starting from Ward level. We are going to apply Option A4 in electing our presidential candidates,mans it is not going to be restricted to presidential election but others like governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and all, everybody would be elected from the ward level,” he said.

The propsed amendment which Meruh said had already been sent to state chapters of the party nationwide, will have members line up to vote for the candidates of their choice in a manner similar to the clotting pattern popularly known as ‘Option A’.

Olisa said: “People would have to queue up behind the candidates of their choice. This proposed amendments have been sent to the state chapters for their inputs in line with our desire to have peoples opinion.

” PDP is changing and in the convention we would present it for people to vote. We are going to change our system to be that our presidential candidate would be voted for by all party members in the country. It would done at the ward level, we would no longer elect presidential candidate at the national convention.

“It would now be for every party member to vote for whoever would be our presidential candidate. Whoever would vie for our presidential ticket, would have to tour the entire country before he can be elected. This is part of the reform we are coming up with. Basically, this would be the last convention where we would have people to be elected at the national convention. We are taking the party back to the Nigerian people,” he said.

He said that the amendment is part of the reforms that was contained in the Ike Ekweremadu’s committee recommendation.