IBB speaks on Atiku’s PDP defection, party convention

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (right); former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida (left) and Senator Ahmed Makarfi, during a courtesy visit on the former President in Minna. PIX . JIBUNOR SAMUEL.

A former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, has expressed confidence that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led convention organising committee of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, will conduct a rancour free, acceptable convention.

Mr. Babangida spoke on Wednesday when Mr. Okowa, accompanied by the chairman of the caretaker committee of the PDP, Ahmed Makarfi, and top officials of the party met him at his (IBB’s) country home at Minna, Niger State.

“I have here, the chairman of the caretaker committee, former chairman of Kaduna State, the Chairman of convention planning committee, the Governor of Delta State with the officials for the convention, I am glad they are working hard and I have seen that they want to make sure that the convention of the PDP is rancour free, transparent and everybody will be given a level playing ground,” he said.

The former Head of State who was in his elements, throwing banters with the PDP leaders and journalists who witnessed the event, emphatically said, “PDP will see one of the best convention like never before.”

He also talked about the return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar return to the PDP, saying “he is a Nigerian, he is allowed to go to any party and our constitution allows it, so, it is not new and there is nothing wrong for politician to move from one party to another.”

Mr. Makarfi disclosed that the visit was in line with the tradition of the PDP where elders and leaders of the party are consulted for the right decisions to be taken.

“In the PDP, we respect leaders, General Babangida has always been with us and it is the tradition of the party to be consulting with our leaders that is why we are here today to brief him (IBB) on the arrangement we have made and take whatever advice he gives for conducting a credible and transparent convention. The success story so far is a confirmation of series of interaction with leaders and founding members of the party,” Mr. Makarfi said.

Mr. Okowa assured the convention will be successful, stating, “A lot has been put on ground for a successful Convention to be held. We thank the Caretaker Committee of our party because they have done a lot ahead of the inauguration on Monday and since then, we have held several meetings.”

“As at today, we are confident that we are on course; in terms of trying to provide all that has to be done on Saturday, we are going to have exciting convention, there is no doubt about that, everything concerning the electoral process have been put in place, the accreditation team by today (yesterday, 06/12/17) will get the last list of the statutory delegates from Osun and Anambra States,” he said.

The governor continued, “We obviously will not allow everybody to come into the venue, it is going to be restrictive convention because, it is an elective convention and I think our party will accept that, it is in the interest of the party and in terms of fairness, we are right on course.”

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