PDP convention: Dickson warns against imposition of candidates

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Bayelsa state Governor, Seriake Dickson has warned against imposition of candidates at the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) slated for December 9.

Dickson, who was the former chairman of the PDP reconciliation committee, in a statement his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Agbo, said the forthcoming convention is crucial to the survival of the party.

Calling on party leaders and delegates to make sacrifices for the unity of PDP, he said: “In cases where party stakeholders/delegates are unable to reach a consensus on any position, the party should allow all aspirants who have bought nomination forms to test their popularity on the convention ground.”

According to him, it was by creating a level-playing field for all aspirants in a transparent convention that the PDP would be stronger and more cohesive, adding that the party should do everything to avoid another round of crisis.

He said the party should know that Nigerians see the forthcoming convention as an opportunity that will usher in a rebranded and united PDP, which Nigerians will be happy to embrace in 2019.

Expressing optimism that PDP can reclaim its lost glory, he added that if the PDP gets its national convention right, it is likely to hold a successful presidential primary in 2018.

The statement reads in part: “The next convention is critical to the survival of the party. My position is that the party should organise an all-inclusive, transparent, acceptable, and credible convention that would rebrand the PDP and show our platform as a truly democratic party.

“Therefore, I am against all forms of manipulations, intimidations, blackmail and imposition of candidates. For me, there should be no imposition at all. I will not be a party to the adoption of anybody for any office unless it is by consensus of the zone in which the position has been zoned. If there is more than one contestant for a position, they should be given the opportunity to test their popularity at the convention.”

“A leader, no matter how highly placed, should not take the place of the convention and the powers of the delegates to the convention. Therefore, on the position of chairman and other offices, once there is more than a contestant, PDP leaders and members should be free to canvass for any candidate of their choice; nobody should quarrel with that.”