Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has disclosed that it has not started discussion on the 2023 presidential election and the zoning of its presidential ticket.
PDP’s clarification was in reaction to a statement credited to Adamu Atiku Abubakar, son of the former vice president and presidential candidate of the party in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, that his father will contest for president in 2023.
Atiku lost to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election
Adamu was quoted to have said this while presenting his scorecard as Commissioner for Works and Energy in Adamawa State.
The junior Atiku said that his father had remained a master politician, adding that there is nothing wrong if he contests again.
But reacting during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP has not come to discussion in respect of zoning. I want to leave it at that”.
On the situation of things in Edo State and the PDP’s level of preparation, the spokesperson of the party said, “For Edo people, we have eminently qualiified aspirants ready to take back their state from the stranglehold of oppressors represented by the APC and our party is working with them to achieve that.
“Our aspirants are working hard and penetrating the grassroots. They have moved into all the electoral wards, sensitising our members and voters and getting ready for the election”, he said.
Ologbondiyan who confirmed that the governorship primary would be through indirect primary said, “While our neighbours are quarelling over how to share the booty which they have been looting in Edo State, our party is quietly working hard with Edo people to rescue the state.
“We are having a peaceful nomination process because our focus is only on the good of Edo people”, Ologbondiyan said.
He confirmed that the party has been in firm discussion with critical stakeholders in the state, including traditional institutions, youth groups, professional groups, trade and market unions, the political class, insisting that Edo State is home to the PDP
Emphasising on the mode of election and how transparent it would, the spokesperson of the PDP, said, “Our selection process is through the indirect primaries and whoever emerges would be the authentic candidate of our party. The Prince Uche Secondus-led NWC conducted our affairs in line with international best practices when it comes to electioneering.
“The national convention held by our party in Port Harcourt ahead of the 2019 Presidential election is the standard for all our primary elections as we go into the Edo and Ondo elections,”
On alleged plans to receive the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki and the Ondo State deputy governor, Honestly. Agboola, he said, “I am not aware of a defection in Ondo state. I am also not aware if we tried to convince Governor Obaseki to join the PDP. I am aware that the PDP has aspirants in Edo and Ondo states. Prior to the situation in Edo, our party was open and any Nigerian who was ready to contest clean, clear, free, fair and democratic primaries was at liberty to join the party”.
He equally denied knowledge of PDP leadership giving a stern condition Obaseki to join the party, saying, “Which national leadership of the party? Are you talking about the NEC or NWC? We can say this before all Nigerians- under the leadership of Prince Uche Secondus as the national chairman of the PDP, we do not negotiate slots. “We don’t sell slots. It is clear, you can find out. It is strange and totally misplaced for anybody to make such allegation. I never sat in any meeting where such discussions allegedly took place. The allegation is totally unfounded and it is unacceptable to us as a party”.