The South-South Vanguard of the Peoples Democratic Party (SSV-PDP) says there is no division in the PDP in Delta State.
The SSV-PDP is a coalition of young members of the PDP with focus on grassroots mobilisation and membership drive within the South-South zone.
The Zonal coordinator of the group, Mr Alfred Eboziem, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos criticised a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, for insinuating there was division in PDP in Delta.
The zonal coordinator faulted claims by George that Okowa was fighting with Chief James Ibori, hence, there was division in Delta PDP.
“If anything, Okowa and Ibori are friends and contemporaries, and it shows in the mutual respect they show to each other to the acclamation and admiration of other politicians in the state.
“Both share a friendship that transcends the realm of partisan politics.
It is a friendship that has survived treachery and mischief of politicians.
An elder like George should not join such mischief makers,” he said.
”We want to place on record that there is no division in Delta PDP.
Gov. Okowa as the leader of the party in the state is working effectively with the state party leadership and all the structures up to ward levels.
“George cannot sit in Lagos and be imagining a non-existent dogfight within the party in Delta.
His utterance showed a clear lack of understanding of politics in Delta and the South-South zone.
“We advise Chief George to concentrate on building a strong PDP in the South-West, particularly in Lagos State where he hails from,” he said.
Eboziem said that Okowa’s political trajectory placed him above any politician in Delta, hence, he deserved the necessary respect.
He said that Okowa, an exceptionally brilliant medical doctor started his political journey as Local Government Secretary, LG Chairman, commissioner, Secretary to the State Government, Senator, Governor and now vice- presidential candidate of the PDP.
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.
Mr Alfred Eboziem, the Zonal Coordinator of the group, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
SSV-PDP is a coalition of young members with focus on grassroots mobilisation and membership drive within the South-South zone.
Eboziem said that the narrative that the 17-member committee voted 14-3 in favour of Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, as nominee for running mate was wrong.
He said that the committee’s mandate was to nominate three persons and not to narrow the choice to one person through voting.
”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.
Eboziem also faulted claims by some committee members that Atiku and the PDP leadership went against the recommendation of the committee.
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.
”We have watched the evolving narrative surrounding the choice of Dr Ifeanyi Okowa as the running mate to our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar,” Eboziem said.
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.
”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.
”They should close ranks and forge the type of iron-cast unity that would see our party victorious in 2023.
”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.
”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.
”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.
The zonal coordinator quoted Section 142 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended as the guiding principle of the party.
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.
”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”.
He said that even the constitution forbade any committee, party leadership or individual order than the presidential candidate from picking a running mate.
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.