The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi West senatorial district on Saturday declared that none of the aspirants vying for the ticket of the party towards the 2019 election would be given automatic slot. In saying this, the fate of the controversial and marverick Dino Melaye comes to mind. He defected to te PDP out of fear that his ticket and even tenure in in the senate via the All Progressives Congress (APC) was shaking.
Now, the PDP says there was the need to guide against impunity and ensure that every contestant was given a sense of belonging, and that those aspiring for the seat including incumbents defecting to the party party should also take note.
The party referred to Melaye and the member representing Yagba federal constituency in the House of Representatives. They also mentioned Sunday Karimi and his colleague from Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federation constituency, Tajudeen Yusuf, former acting governor of the state, Clarence Olafemi, Tolorunju Fancying.
The party reached the decision at a meeting of its major stakeholders from the senatorial district held at the residence of a former governor of old Oyo state and a member of the board of Trustee of the party, General David Jemibewon (rtd) at Aiyetoro Gbedde, Ijumu local government area of the state.
It could be recalled that in recent times rumour had it that the incumbent senator Dino Melaye would be given automatic slot to represent the Kogi West come 2019.
The stakeholders equally resolved that a level playing field would be created for all aspirants to obtain the party’s ticket in a free and fair primary, adding that the decision was taken in the best interest of the party towards discouraging impunity and any action that might create disaffection amongst its members.
However, the party urged returnees to be ready to participate in a free and fair contest with the older members of the party, saying a level playing field would be created for the primaries.
The PDP also advised all it aspirants to be ready to fund their election, warning that no aspirant should expect funds that might not eventually come, as it appealed to all the aspirants to be of good conduct, and called on them to work and abide by the party’s rules and regulations.
Further more, the party condemned the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the just concluded Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency bye-election, describing the
election as a rape on democracy as the conduct falled below minimum standard.
The PDP however, expressed worries at the level of violence witnessed during the election, fingered the state government for using political thugs, and security agencies to affect the integrity of the bye-election, as it called on the federal government to put in place machinery that would forestall future occurrence, adding that if such measures are not put in place, people would have no choice but to take laws into their hands.
Notable major stakeholders that graced the meeting include Gen. David Jemibewon, BoT Member of the party, Sam Akande, former deputy governor. Sen. Tunde Ogbeha, Hon. Musa Ahmadu, Shola Akanmode, Abiodun Ojo, Shola Ojo, Hassan Salahu, Sam Abenemi, PDP Deputy Chairman. Margret Orebiyi, Bar. Kola Ojo, All Kogi West Zonal Executives.
Kogi West had been trying to rotate the seat away from those that had dominated it over the years, and they had lined up personalities from the PDP to challenge Melaye, then in the APC. His defection to the PDP seems to have put cog in that wheel. The party is thorn between keeping the seat with Melaye and annoy those waiting to get it or move the seat and annoy Melaye.