- The race for the national chairmanship positions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been throwing up interesting conversations
- One of such conversations is the fact that aspirants with pending cases in court will disqualified from contesting for the position
- The national caretaker chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has dismissed the insinuation
The national caretaker chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has disclosed that aspirants with pending cases in court will not be disqualified from contesting the national chairmanship position at the party's elective convention scheduled for Saturday, December 9.
Markafi made the declaration while responding to questions from newsmen on Saturday, November 11 in Kaduna, when a front-line aspirant in the national chairmanship race, Otunba Gbenga Daniel alongside his campaign entourage paid him a courtesy visit.
His words: “If you play that game (disqualification of candidates based on pending EFCC case), that will be playing into the hands of the government in such a way that every one of us can be charged to court so that PDP will have no candidate.
“Except you are convicted by a court of law, nothing can stop you from contesting even the general election not to talk of party issue, so we shouldn't play into the hands of those we want to unseat.”
Speaking on the disqualification of some candidates by some members of the party's Board of Trustees in the Southwest, Markafi said: “The decision of the party is to be heard from the national caretaker committee and we didn't say so and I can affirm that nobody was delegated to say so.
“Let me remind you that at our caucus meeting we had on Wednesday in Abuja, the BOT chairman categorically scolded those that did that and he said they acted without directive and the action was ultra vires as far as the BOT was concerned.”
Makarfi also used the opportunity to dismiss rumours that the national convention may be postponed due to lack of funds, reiterating the readiness of the national caretaker committee to go ahead with the convention as scheduled.
“There is no truth in that allegation, we are all set, we are not lagging behind,” he told the journalists.
Meanwhile, Otunba Daniel has addressed the issue of his current trial instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to him, his trial is not prosecution but persecution, adding that he is innocent of all the charges instituted against him.
His words: “This trial has been going on for the past nearly 7 years. I have been to court probably 40 times, it is prosecution that is still prosecuting, they still haven’t presented their case. I think that is instructive.
“In as much as I don’t want to talk much about it, the only thing I pronounced guilty or otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction. I don’t want to go to the politics of our state, but I am very sure that there is really no issue about my trial.
“If there is any issue, I will not come out and say I want to be chairman and when you look at what is going on in our country, who is in PDP that is not been tried, virtually everybody who is in PDP are being tried for one thing or the other and they are being arrested on a daily basis.
“As far as I’m concerned, I cannot pronounce myself as innocent, but I know that I’m innocent.”
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