Jos- The People's Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said it would not offer automatic tickets to its incumbent national assembly members in 2015 in spite of the spate of defections from its fold.
"There will be nothing like automatic tickets for anyone; incumbents and challengers seeking the PDP ticket must go through the normal process to secure it," Joseph Gumbari, PDP Chairman, Zone 3 of Kaduna State said.
Recent reports had quoted some federal lawmakers as insisting on automatic tickets for the 2015 race to stop them from joining others that defected to the rival Alliance for Progressives Change (APC).
NAN reports that the ruling PDP has lost five governors, some key leaders and 37 House of Representatives members to the APC in the wave of defections that hit the party.
But Gumbari, a former member of the House of Representatives, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos that conceding to the demand for automatic would "kill the PDP".
He expressed surprise at the lawmakers' demand, instead of working to popularise the party.
Gumbari said that PDP’s tickets would only be given to members that had been consistent in shoring up its image and strengthening it through effective representation.
The chairman said that the party was already "strategising to neutralise" whatever effect of the defections might be on its electoral fortunes.
He challenged the APC to focus on what difference the party would make to the lives of Nigerians rather than the "consistent chorus of seeking to replace the PDP at the centre".
Gumbari said that the APC was not a threat to the fortunes of the PDP in Kaduna State, adding that PDP last weekend received some top politicians that defected from the APC.