By Mike Jones
ASABA/Nigeria: The Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reassured all substantive and intending aspirants, that the party will conduct free, fair, credible, transparent and acceptable primary elections for all elective positions for the 2019 general elections, under the platform of the party.
A statement by the party signed by its State Publicity Secretary, Dr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza stated that the “ stand of the party to conduct free, fair and credible primary elections, that will produce candidates for the 2019 general elections, in the different political positions on the platform of the PDP, is in tandem with the pronouncements of our party leadership headed by the dynamic and indefatigable National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and, indeed our cerebral and progressive Delta State PDP leader, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, (Ekwueme), the Executive Governor of Delta State, who himself was a product of free, fair, credible and transparent governorship primary, in 2014.”
The statement reads: “We recall with clear emphasis that His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, has stated unequivocally and made it a clarion mantra, sounding it loud and clear to every party member in all our party gatherings and activities, that the conduct of free, fair, credible and transparent primaries to elect candidates for the party ahead of the 2019 general elections, is non negotiable, incontestable and will be enforced to the letter, using the party instruments and constitution to implement it to the fullest, for all positions including the governorship ticket.
“In fact, true to his well deserved title “Ekwueme” Governor Okowa has willingly and in the true spirit of internal party democracy, made himself a shining example of the party’s position on free, fair and credible primaries, by stating unequivocally that he will subject himself to the PDP governorship primary election, against other qualified aspirants.
“This exemplary attitude of the Governor and our party leader, should not only be seen as reassuring to all intending and identified aspirants, but should also serve as a clear statement that there will be no manipulation of results or imposition of any candidate on any position, once the primaries are concluded and certified to be free and fair, but most importantly, that there will be no automatic ticket for anybody or manifestations of imposition in the process as the party will elect only the best and most credible candidate to proudly fly the PDP flag in all positions in 2019. If Governor Okowa is ready and willing to subject himself to primaries, then all party aspirants should follow his example and be rest assured that the process will be free, fair and credible.
“We want to reiterate once again that the power of the people to choose their candidates is a supreme power that nobody should toy with and we strongly advise all those who have the intention to contest for the party’s primaries to consult with the people, concentrate on issues-based campaigns, shun the use of abusive language and traverse the nooks and crannies of their units, wards, local governments and the entire State according to the demands of their desired positions.
“The Delta PDP wishes to reassure all and sundry that we all have the right to aspire for any political positions of our choice, irrespective of an already existing incumbency in such a position, but we make haste to caution that we should conduct ourselves in honourable and decent ways in our consultations and campaigns.
“We appeal to all aspirants not to malign others so that we do not destroy ourselves before the elections. There will still be life after the primaries and we need all hands on deck and pulling together in the same direction for the main election, which is our ultimate prize. But we are going to have free and fair primaries and that is a “fait accompli”.
“We therefore urge all loyal, dedicated, honest and committed party men and women, leaders at all levels, as well as all aspirants and their supporters, to work with us to achieve this uncompromising objective. We must all be committed in word and deed in building our party and it is important to sound it loud and clear, as we enter the serious campaign period, that the party is more important than any individual. The party is Supreme.
“We have the utmost respect and reverence for our party leaders and elders and we are very grateful for the support, guidance and credibility they have continued to give to the party over the years. But let us state once again that there will be no automatic ticket for anybody and there will be no imposition in our selection process.
“We will follow all laid down rules of due process and best practices, as defined by our constitution, to elect our candidates, through free, fair, credible, transparent and acceptable primaries, for the 2019 general elections”.