Atiku Will Speak At Saturday’s National Convention – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party has said former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar will not vote at its December 9 national convention, which holds at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

It says this is because of the provision of the party’s constitution that deals with new entrants into the party.

However, the party said Atiku would be allowed to speak at the convention.

The Publicity Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, who spoke with journalists at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, said the party’s constitution should be used as a guide on the issue.

“All you need to do is pick up the constitution of the party and see whether Atiku is qualified to vote or not,” Adeyeye stated.

When pressed further, he said, “First of all, I can tell you that we are happy with Atiku coming back to the PDP. It is very exciting for all of us. It is a good omen to everybody in the PDP.

“He was one of the founding fathers, one of those who built this party and he is coming back home. His room was never occupied, so we have opened it for him.

“He will be part of this convention. He will even make a speech at the convention but he may not be voting at the convention.”

Chapter 2 (Part 1) of the party’s constitution deals with admission of members into the party.

On Procedure for rejoining, Sections 8 and 9 explain, “A person, who desires to rejoin the party after leaving it shall apply to his Ward Secretary for re-admission; and unless given a waiver by the National Working Committee, he willbe placed on probation for a period of not less than one year.

“Subject to the provision of Section 8(b), a member on probation shall have the right to attend all meetings of the party, but shall not be entitled to vote at such meetings, nor shall he be eligible to contest elective office on the platform of the party.”

One of our correspondents gathered that the party was planning to amend the above sections at the convention.

The expected amendment will place returnees on six months probation before they could contest any position or be voted for.

Atiku, who was a foundation member of the party, defected to the All Progressives Congress in 2014, claiming that the then opposition party would be his “last bus stop.”

However, he left the APC about a week ago, and returned to the PDP on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Adeyeye has alleged that some agents of the Federal Government were planning to disrupt the party’s national convention.

He said the former ruling party had what he described as credible information that some overzealous elements in the government were planning to disrupt the convention.

Stating that there was nothing to show that President Muhammadu Buhari was part of the plot, the spokesman pleaded with the President to intervene and caution the unnamed aides.

Adeyeye added, “They have been trying every effort but we are happy that we have no information that it is coming from the very top.

“But some overzealous elements in the administration are bent on disrupting it. It is very credible information. They are doing everything possible to make sure that this convention is disrupted.

“They are afraid that if the PDP should hold a successful convention, that their days in government are numbered.

“By the time we hold this convention and our officers are elected and they take offices next year, there will be a floodgate of people even from the APC to the PDP.

“This is credible information and that is why we are appealing to President Buhari to please rein in his aides. We have evidence that the President is aware of this.

“It is happening and we are calling on him to do his own investigation and to call those who are trying to cause this problem to desist because it is capable not only of destroying this democracy but also capable of destroying the country.”

In another development, the Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, who is also the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has summoned all the 37 state chairmen of the party to an emergency meeting.

The meeting, which will hold in Abuja on Friday, it was gathered, would enable Okowa to discuss the delegates’ list.

There are rumours that some persons are planning to tamper with the list.

Adeyeye, however, said there was no truth in the allegation, stating that the list would be made available to each aspirant at least 48 hours before the convention.

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