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PDP governors have no preferred candidate – Okowa

The Chairman of the PDP Central Convention Committee and Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has dismissed as unfounded, the insinuations that the PDP governors are working for a particular national chairmanship aspirant.

There have been accusations by some aspirants that the PDP governors as well as members of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) are using the party’s structure toward the emergence of their preferred candidate in the December 9 national convention.

But Senator Okowa, in a monitored Television programme “Politics Today” said that the names of the delegates are already in the public domain, adding that the PDP governors do not have the capacity to force their wishes on the aspirants, also denying that the governors have a consensus candidate.

He said: ”In most of the states, the convention delegates are already known” and the party will ensure it gives a level playing ground to all the aspirants. He added that the rejuvenated PDP is a much stronger force to contend with in the 2019 presidential election.

He stressed that the party is doing everything possible to ensure a hitch-free convention.

“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 on 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 our 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,” he stated.

Also responding to the allegation that the Chairman of the electoral panel and 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 entrance of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, into the PDP, Governor Okowa noted that there is strength in numbers and that the party will always welcome as many persons as possible.

“We believe that as many persons that come into the PDP is good for us because it will 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.

“Our party is getting more stronger and this convention definitely is going to lift us up into the future. I believe so because this convention is purely conciliatory and unifying and we believe that the resolve will lead us strongly into the future.”

Myke Uzendu, Abuja

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