*** Warns Party Not To Allow Govs Impose Candidates, Handle Logistics
By Chibuzo Ukaibe,
Ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) non elective national convention, elder statesman and former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clarke, yesterday warned that the Sen Ahmed Makarfi -led National Caretaker Committee (NCC) should not be allowed to exceed three months in office.
Clarke, who recalled that he has warned that party in 2014 not to impose candidates, noted that the party to jettison a practice where governors, government functionaries and candidates provide Logistics and convey delegates to Abuja and other voting locations.
The former federal commissioner also advocated the adoption of direct primaries ahead of the elective convention, just as he declared his support for zoning of party’s 2019 presidential ticket to the North and the national chairmanship seat to the South.
He however insisted that all party members from those regions are free to contest those positions.
A former PDP chieftain, Clarke, who declared his resignation from partisan politics after the 2015 general election, however justified his warning to the party on grounds that he remains a statesman and stakeholder in the Nigeria project who has been contributing to the peace and development the country.
He said “I have observed the Constitution of PDP and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and wish to state as follows:
“Senator Ahmed Markarfi’s Caretaker Committee should be given at most another three months to allow new executives and other organs of the Party to be elected it enable the Party move on. Any time longer than three months will not be in the best interest of the Party and its members.
“If Presidential election is to take place in February 2019, the minimum time required by an elected executive will not be more than 12 months to settle down. If there are interested members of the Caretaker Committee for elective positions, such as President, Senator or Governor, such persons should not remain in office as members of the Caretaker Committee for more than three months.”
On the Zoning of Presidency and Chairmanship of the Party, Clarke, who endorsed the post-election and reconciliation committee led by deputy senate president, Sen Ike
Ekweremadu Committee Report which zoned the Presidency to the North, and the National Chairmanship to the South.
He added “Let all Presidential aspirants from the 19 states of the North be subjected to one Primary, whereas, all National Chairmanship candidates from the 17 States of the South be subjected also to one Primary to contest together, so as to produce the best candidate, to practicalize democracy.
“Nigeria’s Democracy, as a State Policy in Nigeria is expressed in Chapter 2, section 14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and shall be stated based on the principles of Democracy and Social Justice.
“It is hereby accordingly declared that: (a). Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom Government, through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority.
“(b). The participation by the people in their government shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Governors and other functionaries of government should not impose Candidates or delegates from their States.
“This was my warning in 2014, when I issued a Press statement that PDP will destroy itself through the imposition of candidates, and that was what happened, when the then National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu and then incumbent Governors imposed unpopular candidates on the electorate.
“(4). A situation where governors, government functionaries and candidates provide Logistics and convey delegates to Abuja and other voting locations should be jettisoned.
“I strongly recommend that direct Primary election should be adopted where delegates would be made to vote at their localities, where no one will take advantage of and manipulate them.
“In order words, the recommendations of Professor Jerry Gana led Committee should be implemented.”
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