Two civil society groups have tackled the Peoples Democratic Party over its promise that it would let Nigerians decide its Presidential candidate for 2019.
The Transistion Monitoring Group and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, noted that the opposition party was only “grandstanding and trying to pull the wool over Nigerians’ eyes.”
Chairman of TMG, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said the choice of the PDP’s candidate is not a task for Nigerians; hence the party should not drag Nigerians to its political party politics.
She said, “They (PDP leaders) know what they are doing, they cannot be playing on people’s emotions and intelligence. Political parties in Nigeria are just selfish.
I actually don’t think that the issue is beyond making a choice for them. Nigerians can’t decide for PDP; it is their members that will decide and it is the best among them that they should present to Nigerians.
“How will Nigerians decide for them? Are Nigerians going to be part of those to vote in their primaries? So, it is about their card-carrying members. Given what they have seen and experienced in past elections, it is an opportunity for them to make the right choice among the people they have.
The CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “The PDP is fond of grandstanding. All what they are doing is to pretend to be democratic when they know that they are really not. They know that there is going to be a lot of disagreements and agitations, so to say, from all the quarters, which is going to bring some confusion.
“The PDP is in confusion already, and if they claim that they will allow Nigerians to decide their candidate, they are being clever by half. This is because not all Nigerians are members of their party.”
Also the Head of Transparency International in Nigeria, Musa Rafsanjani, said the PDP must live up to its promises of allowing for more transparency and credibility in its choice of the Presidential candidate.
The PDP had in an exclusive report published in Saturday PUNCH, said that as the 2019 general elections approached, it would rely on Nigerians to help the party choose its candidate for the presidential election.
But the PDP in its reaction on Saturday, vowed that there will be no ‘vote-buying’ at its national convention where it will elect its 2019 presidential candidate.
It also said that the delegates will be given a free hand to elect a candidate of their choice.
Ologbondiyan, who spoke with one of our correspondents, insisted that the leadership of the party would give the delegates a free hand to elect the candidate.
He said, “Nigerians will freely elect the presidential candidate of their choice at our convention. The delegates will not be teleguided there will not a vote-buying at all.
“So, if any money bag think he can hijack it, tell him to look elsewhere. The rebranded PDP is not ready for such.” (Punch)