Laleye Dipo in Minna
The National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its congresses in Niger State.
The local government congress for the state was to have been held last Saturday while the congress for the election of state executive members was initially slated for today (Tuesday).
However, a letter by the PDP’s headquarters to the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) informed the electoral body of its decision to shift the dates for the congresses.
The letter that was jointly signed by the National Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Uche Secondus, and the PDP’s National Secretary, Senator Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri, said the congresses would now hold on the September 5, for local governments and September 12 of the same month for the election of state executive members.
The letter reads: “Accordingly, our outstanding local government area congress in Niger State to elect local government executive will now hold on Saturday, September 5, 2020 while the outstanding State Congress to elect Niger State’s executive members will now hold on Saturday, September 12, 2020.
“Please note that all our party’s activities shall be in accordance with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC guidelines on COVID-19 as they concern social /physical distance of people gathering in one place.”
The letter did not give any reason for the change of dates.
The party had recently reopened the sale of forms for aspirants in an effort to get more people involved in the contest though some stakeholders kicked against the decision
However, the Chairman of the State Caretaker Committee, Mr. Garba Umaru Ciza, has clarified that the reopening of the sale of nomination forms was not taken to favour any individual adding that the decision was taken by the PDP’s National Secretariat.
“The national body of our party okayed the extension of the sales of nomination forms to allow for wide inclusion of all interested persons especially all those who were screened out of the exercise,” Ciza said.
He also said the election “will be conducted by officials of the party from the national secretariat and not any other person” assuring all contestants and stakeholders that “we will be fair and just to everybody.
“The caretaker committee wishes to state categorically that there is no any calculated attempt by anybody let alone the caretaker committee to truncate the election or allow anybody to interfere with the process”.
Ciza advised “all stakeholders against heating up the system even as we appeal to all and sundry to allow peace to be and show maturity as great members and stakeholders of our party.”