Aspirants for various elective positions in Kogi State have warned the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to be mindful of giving automatic tickets to serving elective office holders, saying doing so would not augur well for the party in the 2019 general elections.
Addressing a press conference, yesterday, in Abuja, an aspirant seeking the party’s ticket to run for Kogi East Senatorial seat, Barrister Halima Alfa, who spoke on behalf of 29 other aspirants, said there was a ploy by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party to conduct pre-determined primaries where their “anointed candidates” would be declared winners.
Barrister Alfa, specifically, claimed that the party had resolved to give automatic tickets to serving senators and House of Representatives members on a right of first refusal to the exclusion of other aspirants, adding that as members of the party, such move would be resisted.
She said: “Having been consistent party men and women who have paid all party dues, expended huge financial resources to purchase Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms, it will be against the guidelines of the party, it will offend the spirit of internal democracy, it will contravene the Constitution as well as the Electoral Act for the party’s leadership under whatever guise, to arrange a pre-determined or manipulated primary.’’
“Senator Dino Melaye met with all the local government executives of the seven Local Government Areas that make up Kogi West on Friday, and boasted that organs of the party had resolved to give the ticket to him, being a serving senator decampee into the party regardless of the interest, aspiration, eligibility and qualification of other aspirants,” she added.