The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) National Elective Convention Committee, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday dismissed reports that governors of the PDP have attempted to impose a national chairman on the party.
The Delta State governor said delegates for the convention from most states are known, stressing the party will ensure it gives a level playing field to all aspirants and ensure a hitch-free convention
He also expressed optimism that the party would be more united, following its upcoming convention on December 9 and emerge a much stronger force for the 2019 presidential election.
Governor Okowa stated these on Channels Television’s programme “Politics Today.”
He said: “I believe that the National caretaker committee of the party is doing a lot to ensure that things are put in place, as for the national planning committee that I lead, we were inaugurated this afternoon and we have held our inaugural meeting. We do know that in any elective convention, all kinds of views do come into play but ours as a planning committee is to ensure that we deliver a convention that is credible and in which all the processes are such that will be blameless. We will deliver a free, fair and transparent primary; that is our aim.
“For the reconciliatory process, we’ll be looking up to the party leadership to deal with that. But the major task is for us to deliver a convention that is truly credible and all can attest to. That will enable us to heal faster, and unify faster after the convention.”
Reacting to reports that the chairman of the electoral panel, who is also the former governor of Benue State, had declared support for a candidate, he said: “I’m not aware that he has declared support for any particular candidate but even if he has any sentiments for anyone, he will not be in a position at all, on the convention day to do anything that is unjust. We are going to adopt the open secret ballot system of voting.
“We have also put in place a credible team to ensure reconciliation of party members who may feel aggrieved going forward after the convention,” he added.
On the defection of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Okowa said there is strength in numbers and that the party would always welcome as many persons as possible.
“We believe that as many persons that come into the PDP is good for us because it would help to strengthen the party because politics is one that is inclusive – the more persons you get into the party, the greater the strength of the party. So we will welcome him into the party just as we will look forward to many more persons who will want to come over to join us as a family. It will be a welcome idea because it will help to strengthen us going into `2019,” he concluded.