Abuja - A coalition of elected delegates and local government executives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday protested against the conduct of fresh ad hoc delegates’ ward election in Kogi.
Ibrahim Abdullahi, an elected delegate from Igalamela/Odolu Local Government Area of Kogi, expressed the group’s disapproval at a news conference in Abuja on Friday.
Abdullahi said it was necessary to reject the plans to conduct a fresh congress by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), if the party must produce credible candidates for the November 21 governorship election in the state.
"You will recall that after the expiration of the tenure of the members of the last state executive council, efforts have been put in place to elect new executives as provided for by our constitution.
"The NWC, as empowered by the constitution, wrote a letter to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) notifying them of the date for election of ad hoc delegates and state executives.
"The election was conducted as planned on June 27 at the various wards across the state by the electoral committee constituted by the NWC of the party.
"The election which was well attended was conducted without any record of violence, malpractice or rigging.
"The committee that supervised the election also collated all the results and adjudged the process free, fair and transparent," Abdullahi said.
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He, however, expressed dismay that NWC through the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, announced the "unconstitutional and undemocratic cancellation" of the election without any substantive reason.
Abdullahi said they were also surprised that a new committee headed by Metuh was set up to conduct a fresh congress in the state.
He explained that the new committee was set up even after the elected delegates had sent delegations to the national secretariat demanding to know the reason for the cancellation.
Abdullahi described the NWC action as "a gross abuse of power, wanton perpetration of illegality and undue interference’’ on the activities leading to the state congress.
"We state categorically at this juncture that, we totally reject the purported cancellation and plot to conduct a fresh election for the ad hoc delegates.
"Information available to us suggests that certain elements in the NWC of the party have colluded with some undemocratic party members to deny the state a transparent process leading to the election of state executives.
"We therefore wish to warn any of such members of the NWC against any undue vested interest they are showing in the matters of our state," he said.
He added that the entire members and leaders of the Kogi PDP would resist any "undue interference" to subvert the interest of party members in the state.
"We therefore call on our national leaders, Board of Trustees members, state governors and opinion leaders in the party to call the misguided NWC members to order in the general interest of our party," he said.
Abdullahi, who reaffirmed the delegates’ loyalty, commitment and support to PDP, said all efforts to hijack the party structure through unpopular and undemocratic means would be resisted.