The Kogi State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has dispelled insinuations of plans to extend the tenure of the current state party executive beyond the 23rd July, 2019 expiration.
The party in a statement issued Tuesday in Lokoja, which was signed by the state publicity secretary, Mr. Bode Ogunmola, however asserted that the present executives reserve the right to seek re-election.
According to the statement: “The attention of the party has been drawn to a protest by some unknown persons on AIT yesterday (Monday), insinuating against an assumed intention to reaffirm the present state party executive by some leaders.
“The PDP wishes to place on record that it has never contemplated any attempt at reaffirmation, and members should disregard the purported protest, as it is only a figment of the imagination of mischief makers.
“We want to state that the tenure of the present executives would expire by the end of July. And, in accordance with the party’s constitution, the NWC has commenced action, by rolling out guidelines for a congress that will bring on board new executives.
“We wish to state however that the present executives have the constitutional right to seek for reelection for second term and that doesn’t stop any interested party members from obtaining nomination form to contest for any position of their choice in an open contest to be conducted by the NWC and not the state executives.
“We implore the protesters and all members to have faith in the NWC, that the PDP will organise a free and fair congress acceptable to all”.
It added that the PDP remains an “indivisible family”, and urged members to be weary of the “evil machinations of fifth columnist, bent on destabilising the cohesiveness of the rank and file of the party ahead the November (Kogi State) governorship election”.
Relatedly, the party called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to take “major” steps in averting what the commission “disclosed is the high level of political violence raging in the state” by ensuring a free, fair and credible governorship election in November.
It said, “The PDP is giving the charge following the acceptance in a statement by INEC that it is worried by heavy political violence in the state ahead of the November governorship election.
“Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission admitted that the November 16, 2019 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa would be challenging due to the history of political violence in the two states.
“INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Voter Education and Information, Festus Okoye, stated this during a live programme in Abuja, but said the electoral umpire would move its personnel into the states early enough to meet with critical stakeholders towards achieving free, fair and credible polls.
“It is not difficult for INEC to track the perpetrators of political violence in the state. Just yesterday, protesting APC members at the National Secretariat were heavily beaten by sponsored thugs from the state, just as workers across some local government areas of the state who were protesting and asking for their full salaries, after being owed for several months were attacked and beaten by sponsored political thugs.
“The government sponsored thugs have made the destruction of billboards of the PDP and APC governorship aspirants a daily occurrence and it is no longer news in the state on who is behind the violence, as every discerning mind and residents know those behind the political violence in the state.
“We are happy that even INEC is confirming the party’s outcry before, during and after the last General Election, about state sponsored violence, witnessed in the state, in the February and March elections, which was not democracy but guntocracy, as guns and intimidation were freely employed.
“We thank INEC for coming out to accept that the state is sitting on a keg of gunpowder waiting to explode, and warn that the PDP haven been beaten once would guard its loins before and during the forthcoming Kogi governorship election”.
The party called on the Inspector General of Police to heed its call for disarmament, pointing out that even the APC elders, “as stated in a press statement signed by Dr Alex Kadiri Kadiri, didn’t mince words, that every sixteen year old child in some section of Kogi State has an AK 47 (rifle)