Despite the claim by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, federal lawmakers that the party had promised them automatic tickets for the 2015 election, the ruling party said nothing of such would be done.
The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande, had stirred the honets nest on Tuesday night when she reminded leaders of her party and those of other sympathetic parties of the promise by the PDP leadership. She asked the party leadership to honour its promise and ensure all willing lawmakers of the PDP are given automatic tickets and have no need to partake in party primaries for the 2015 elections.
Ms. Akande was speaking at the National Assembly complex in Abuja on Tuesday evening during the welcome address at a meeting between the PDP Caucus in the House and the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, and PDP governors. The meeting was also attended by two governors from the All Progressive Grand Alliance and the Labour Party.
At the end of the meeting, however, Mr. Mu’azu told journalists that the PDP will not give automatic tickets to its members to contest the 2015 general elections.
He said that automatic tickets were only given by parties that were undemocratic.
“We have a democratic process and we will go through that, those that deserve it will surely get it,” he said.
He said that he was not aware of any promise made by the immediate past national chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, of giving automatic ticket to any member.
On the meeting, the chairman said it was normal for the party leadership to consult with the lawmakers.
The meeting was part of efforts to stem the tide of the defections of PDP lawmakers to the All Progressives Congress, APC, which has seen the latter become the majority in the House.
Mr. Mu’azu said the party would not disclose the strategy it would use to woo back members that defected to the All Progressive Congress, APC.
At least 37 PDP members in the House defected to the APC late last year, thus making the APC the majority in the 360 member congress. Five PDP governors (of Kwara, Sokoto, Kano, Adamawa, and Rivers) also decamped to the APC.
In attendance at Tuesday’s meeting were Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina, Ramalan Yero of Kaduna, Babangida Aliyu of Niger, and Theodore Orji of Abia states, all PDP governors.
The Deputy Governors of Kogi and Jigawa states also attended the meeting.
The Governor of Anambra, Peter Obi (APGA) and Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo (Labour Party) came in briefly in company of Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom (PDP).
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