By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) across the states of the federation have protested against an alleged offer of automatic tickets to serving members of the National Assembly ahead of the 2019 general election.
The protesters, who stormed the national headquarters of the party Tuesday in Abuja, said that offering automatic tickets to the lawmakers was in clear violation of the Electoral Act, the PDP constitution and its guidelines.
The protesters therefore cautioned PDP against the move and urged it against manipulation of the nomination process to avoid what they described as a looming fragmentation of the PDP across the states.
The protesters also demanded a level play field for all aspirants through free, fair and transparent primary elections across the states.
In a statement read on behalf of the aspirants by Dr. Halimat Alfa, they insisted that they must be given equal opportunity to be voted for, either through delegates election or direct primaries.
They also expressed reservations about the possibility of the party leadership conducting free, fair and transparent primaries into the available senatorial and House of Representatives seats.
Alfa noted that the party’s plot to offer automatic tickets to the lawmakers was uncovered last week when an aspirant for the House of Representatives visited the Abuja home of one of the party’s leaders, where he met a serving PDP senator.
The aggrieved aspirants reminded the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, of his often repeated pledge to do away with impunity and imposition of candidates for elections.
She stated: “We the aspirants for legislative seats in the National Assembly on the platform of the PDP shall collectively and wholeheartedly work for the interest of the party and any candidate duly nominated through transparent primary election.
“But should the party proceed with its pre-determined or manipulated primary elections to nominate any candidate, an implosion that would be inimical to the interest of the party might occur.”