National Convention: Why PDP will bar some delegates – Okowa

Ahead of the 30th and 31st Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s national convention,  chairman, accreditation sub-committee and governor of Delta state, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has  said states where there were court orders on conflicting delegates would  be exited from the accreditation list and barred from participating.

Okowa, who stated this in Abuja Tuesday, also said the committee was putting everything in shape to ensure a hitch-free convention, expected to be graced by over 3,000 delegates.

The governor confirmed that some states were in court over conflicting delegates list and assured that all issues would be resolved amicably.

“We are also trying to look at all the issues, including some people trying to stop some delegates at the court. But I think we are on top of all that, we will handle it and at the end of the day, by Thursday we will have the total accredited number of delegates. So I will give you the number of delegates when we meet on Friday morning.

“We are not worried about what is going on, we always have a way of resolving our issues and God is always with us. You can see that most of the positions and aspirants are unopposed. So that shows you that the party is on course for a successful National Convention,” he added. 

Answering questions on the delegates’ list, he said “delegates know themselves. There are no issues concerning delegates’ election. But in about one or two states we still have issues, people contending in court as to whether some elected officials at the state, whether they should be there. There is one in Ekiti state and one other state. The legal adviser will before the end of the day offer his advice on it so that we will know what to do. So I don’t think we will have any issue with that.

“We may likely not have conflicting delegates, but wherever we think that there is a court order, we have no choice than to exit those delegates. Except for the statutory delegates who by their right and positions held in the past are not by reasons of election are supposed to be delegates.” 

Earlier in his remark, Okowa said the accreditation sub-committee was critical to the National Convention.

 “Our convention holds from Saturday 30th to Sunday 31st October, which is just 4 days away from today. And we do realise that if we get the process of accreditation right, we will largely have gotten the convention right. And we do not pray that we get it wrong.

“Saturday is very critical to all us. We need to understand our role, we need to come early and hope that every material that will be needed will be available at that point in time,” the governor said.

        Appeal committee

            Meanwhile, the party’s screening appeal sub-committee Tuesday said it received  five petitions at the end of the just concluded screening of aspirants for various positions during the convention.

Blueprint reports that the PDP screening committee had earlier disqualified three aspirants from participating in the national convention.

 Chairman of the Convention Committee and Adamawa state Governor Ahmadu Fintiri had last week disclosed that 31 candidates indicated interests for various national positions in the party, out of which 27 were cleared, one withdrawn and three disqualified.

He listed the disqualified aspirants as Prof. Wale Oladipo, Okey Muo-Aroh and Dr. Eddy Olafeso.

Oladipo was vying for the position of Deputy National Chairman (South), Muo-Aroh and Olafeso were eyeing the positions of National Secretary, and National Publicity Secretary respectively.

Fintiri said the aspirants were disqualified because they took the party to court with an intention to stop the national convention.

Speaking to journalists on the position of the aspirants, chairman of the sub-committee and former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said:  “On the whole, we received about five appeals, one is in respect of the non-clearance of the deputy national secretary, by the aspirant himself, Hon. Akintan Kareem.

“There is also a petition in respect of clearance of the deputy national youth leader from Edo state for not being a party member, one Timothy Osadolor.

“One of the petitions is in respect of Usman Shehu, an aspirant for national youth leader for forgery of certificates and age falsification.

“We also received an appeal in respect of another aspirant for youth leader, Mohammed Usman for non-resignation of current position as a youth leader in his ward.

“We also received the petition against the clearance of Amb. Taofeek Arapaja as deputy chairman for south for non-resignation of his existing position

“We received three petitions; two of those petitions were in respect of the clearance of Sen. Sam Anyanwu as an aspirant for national secretary, claiming that he has taken the parties to court previously, against the party’s constitution without exploring the internal mechanism of the party for complaint.”

Ekweremadu stated that the committee also received a petition in respect of the disqualification of Olafeso contesting national publicity secretary, said Olafeso did not appeal his non-clearance.

He further said the 24-member committee drawn from different parts of the country, were people with vast knowledge and experience and  assured that no matter the feelings of the appeal committees about those appeals, they have resolved to be a responsible body.

 “We will listen to all those that have written to us and hear from them. We will look at the document before us and possibly reconvene to look at the presentations and document before us and be able to drop a report which we send to the party as soon as possible.

“When we are done, we also invite you again to brief you on the outcome of our assignments,” Ekweremadu said.