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Date Published: 10/01/10


Rivers PDP Backs INEC’s “No Congress, No Candidate” Stance

The parallel PDP executive committee in Rivers State and the entire factional membership have thrown our weight behind the no-nonsense stance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against the adoption of a selective process of choosing party candidates and flag bearers rather than the democratic election of such candidates.

We urge the national body to stamp its authority firmly in its worthwhile effort to clean up the mess which some political party leaders have made of party formation and unity in several States across the nation.

It is the selective approach to parties’ choice of candidates that has left many of them split along interest groups, in most cases leading to parallel State excos and utter collapse or demise of the parties, while smearing the image of the nation before civilized societies.

INEC’s insistence that right democratic processes begin with the organization of democratic congresses and the emergence of popular candidates, even at that level, who are the real choice of the masses, is the best thing that can happen to Nigeria in this era. This confirms the claims that the commission intends to give Nigerians credibility by organizing a most credible election as never before seen in the country.

While we salute the courage of the commission to ensure that the political madness of greedy politicians is nipped in the bud this time around, we draw the attention of the electoral body to the unbelievable saga playing out in the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between the founding members and leaders of the party on one side and the judicially imposed government of the State on the other side.

We call on INEC to read through the laws and ensure that no political party in any State of the federation with parallel excos is given the opportunity to field any candidate in the 2011 elections.

Any political party which cannot boast of its unity can not, in any way, offer the people a credible leadership and such groups can only distort and bring to shame the laudable strides of INEC in its vision to give Nigerians the election of their desire in 2011.

The case with the PDP in Rivers State is very peculiar. The government of the day has thrown caution to the winds and lost decorum to the extent that it does not intend to have room for the founding fathers of the party in the State who slugged it out to win the governorship now being occupied and enjoyed by Rt. Hon Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.

Sad to note, however that since the inception of his administration, Rivers State government has meant hell and marginalization for the founding members who fought to win the seat he now occupies. Not only has he plotted to render them irrelevant in the scheme of things, he has also assured on disrespecting their constitutional right to assemble freely and discuss their political future, the latest of such travails being his arrest and prosecution of 12 such members in Port Harcourt and the persecution of their followership, besides denial of their welfare and constitutional rights.

As it stands now, PDP delegates’ forms in the State have been confiscated by Chief G. U. Ake to the intent that loyalists of the parallel side will not have a place at the forthcoming party primaries.

The PDP in Rivers State, in a nutshell cannot, as it stands today, produce a candidate to run for an office in the 2011 elections. While the factions remain at daggers drawn and unable to resolve their differences and bury the hatchet, it is our sincere view that INEC should invoke relevant provisions to stop Rivers PDP candidates who do not emerge from a democratic congress of party members voting under no duress and harassment for candidates to fly the party flags in the 2011 elections.

If Nigeria gets it right for at least once, the credit, honour and glory shall go to INEC. The parallel PDP in Rivers State shares the commission’s vision to do it right this time around, and we urge that it acts without wavering.


Jerry Needam, JP

Publicity Secretary,

Parallel PDP, Rivers State

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