4000 delegates for PDP mini convention in July

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Gana-led Convention Committee says zoning of party position remain unchanged.

About 4000 delegates will vote at the mini convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, holding on July 20 to elect some members of National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.

The Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, Jerry Gana, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday.

About 16 NWC members are to be elected to replace those who resigned during the Thursday meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC.

Their resignation followed a report produced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which faulted their elections at the March 2012 National Convention of the party. The NEC also appointed some members of the party to replace them in acting capacity.

Mr. Gana, a former Information Minister, explained that the vacant positions would be thrown open to all interested members of the party to contest, but added that the same list of delegates used by the party for last year’s convention would be adopted for the contest.

He disclosed that in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (amended), the ruling party has already notified the Commission of its plan to hold a mini convention and the modalities it wants to adopt for the election.

“The NEC of the PDP in its wisdom, essentially adopted the list of delegates from the 2012 convention because we are actually reconvening to do the business we should have done properly,” Mr. Gana said.

“Where there are variations, we are referring this list of delegates to the states for ratification. They will bring it (list) back as quickly as possible.

“If there are situations where people have left the party or some people have died, or where there are other vacancies, we will make the necessary adjustment.

“But I want to assure you that NEC has essentially adopted the list of delegates for the 2012 convention for this other convention for the 20th of July. So, there is not going to be election of any more delegates,” he added.

Mr. Gana assured that the committee would organize a successful convention and provide members of the party with adequate publicity and welfare programmes for the delegates.

According to him, “We also want to make sure that there is a credible system of election so that when we conduct the elections, the elections are so excellently conducted to ensure free, fair and credible choices by the delegates”

The committee secretary and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said that the zoning of the offices being contested for would not be changed, but that candidates vying for the positions, whether fresh or old, would pay nomination fees.

He said, “But if there is any strong reason for us to change a particular candidate, that will happen. But for now, we are going to keep all the positions in the zones that are keeping them presently.

“We are not changing the zoning formula of the NWC members. We are reopening nominations. This is a new convention. They will pay because it is not the old convention.”

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