Jos - As politicians prepare for the 2015 general elections, the PDP says it will disqualify any aspirant caught offering bribes to delegates to secure its ticket to contest electoral office.
Gumbari, the party’s Zone 3 chairman in Kaduna State, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Monday.
He said a special committee had been set up to monitor the activities of aspirants and report any unwholesome attitude to the party headquarters.
"We have resolved to field only popular, acceptable and saleable candidates in 2015 and shall not tolerate anyone sharing money or using any other dirty tactics to influence the primary elections,’’ he said.
"The sanctions for bribe-offering aspirants will be very severe; the minimum is disqualification from the race.
"The party can also suspend or expel the erring party from its fold so as to cleanse the system,’’ added Gumbari, a two-term member of the House of Representatives..
He advised rich party faithful to use such money to develop the party and strengthen it to win elections.
"Wealthy members should rather contribute toward a stronger fold so that PDP will be repositioned to continue to be the leading political outfit that it already is. Such monies, if contributed to the pool, will be receipted.
"When one is identified as being an asset to the party, it can help the chances of getting the ticket because members will see you as one that is committed to ensuring progress.
"You cannot hide your money and use it to buy delegates because PDP has since passed that stage,’’ he said.
He said the state chapter of the party had initiated periodic meetings during which party officials would be sensitised to the need to de-emphasise the greed for monetary rewards and promote service to the people.
"Again, we have seen many instances where rich aspirants are rejected in spite of their money. We have also seen many instances when so-called anointed aspirants are thrown out by the delegates.
"We must encourage more of that to instill discipline, as well as internal democracy and cohesion in the people,’’ he said.
Gumbari also spoke on recent allegations by CPC leader, Muhamadu Buhari, that the southern part of the state had gained nothing from its total loyalty to the PDP since 1999.
"I feel strongly against what he said. I think he was just exercising his right to freedom of speech as allowed in a democracy.
"Many people have commented on that and I share their opinion that the allegation is not worth worrying about.
"The PDP governments at the federal and state levels have built many roads and bridges; our people have risen to the pinnacle of their chosen fields. We now have a state university with the vice chancellor coming from the southern zone.
"The PDP has made it possible for us to produce the governor of Kaduna who died last year. We never dreamt of that, but the party gave it to us against all odds,’’ he said.
He said the party had initiated a mechanism for a strict assessment of its members in appointed or elected into positions of authority to ensure that the people benefited from such positions.
"We particularly will take interest in the relationship between those in offices and the electorates. Gone are the days when elected politicians disappear after victory. We shall no longer accept that,’’ he said.
He said that the PDP would remain the dominant party in the state, and expressed delight that it recently received defectors from other political groups like the ACN, CPC, ANPP and the PRP.
Gumbari declared that the yet-to-be registered APC would never be a threat to the PDP, stressing that his party was "well rooted" in Kaduna State and therefore had no fear.
"APC is not a threat at all. The PDP has come to stay because it has consistently kept its pact with the people by identifying with them. The parties seeking to merge have no presence in zone three,’’ he said.
The chairman however, advised PDP members to be more cautious as the opposition would be out to cause confusion, "through misinformation’’ so as to "gatecrash".