1 The South-South Vanguard of the Peoples Democratic Party (SSV-PDP) has faulted the voting by the screening committee set up to nominate candidates for running mate to the presidential standard-bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
5 He said that the committee’s mandate was to nominate three persons and not to narrow the choice to one person through voting.
6 ”If the committee voted as is being said, then it was wrong to have done so because that would mean over-stepping the brief given to it,” he said.
7 Eboziem also faulted claims by some committee members that Atiku and the PDP leadership went against the recommendation of the committee.
8 He said that both Atiku and the leadership of the party were clear on the mandate of the committee, which was to narrow the list to three names from which the presidential standard bearer would make his choice, as demanded by the constitution.
10 According to him, while the group acknowledges that the arguments, back and forth, are elements of democracy and show that democracy is alive and well in the party, it is necessary to correct certain misconceptions.
11 ”As young members of our party who look up to the party leadership for direction and guidance, we want to publicly appeal to our dedicated elders in the party including Governors Wike, Samuel Ortom of Benue and other aggrieved party faithful.
12 ”They should close ranks and forge the type of iron-cast unity that would see our party victorious in 2023.
13 ”We have noticed that some non-PDP members are the ones crying more than the bereaved, by sustaining a totally untrue narrative that the screening committee was asked by the party leadership to produce a running mate for Atiku.
14 ”This is a wrong premise to stand their argument of injustice because the brief from the party leadership and Atiku was for the committee to submit three names.
15 ”At no point would the party and Atiku have asked any committee or individual to produce the running mate, when the constitution has clearly spelt out the process of picking a running mate,” he said.
16 The zonal coordinator quoted Section 142 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended as the guiding principle of the party.
17 It says: ”In any election to which the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Chapter relate, a candidate for an election to the office of President shall not be deemed to be validly nominated unless he nominates another candidate as his associate from the same political party for his running for the office of President, who is to occupy the office of Vice-President.
18 ”And that candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of Vice-President if the candidate for an election to the office of President, who nominated him as such associate is duly elected as President in accordance with the provisions aforesaid”.
19 He said that even the constitution forbade any committee, party leadership or individual order than the presidential candidate from picking a running mate.
20 According to him, that honour belongs solely to the presidential candidate, and Atiku, having chosen Delta Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as running mate, deserves to be commended for heeding the provisions of the constitution.