Posted by News Express | 29 October 2014 | 3,049 times
Two presidential aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the party of denying them their rights to purchase forms and participate in the 2015 presidential elections.
The two aspirants, Abdul Tafawa Balewa and Akasoba Duke Abiola, alleged that the leadership of the PDP refused to sell the nomination forms to them, saying it has reserved the only form available for a sole candidate – President Goodluck Jonathan.
The two aspirants were denied the Presidential Nomination forms and the Expression of Interest forms and asked to come back tomorrow as the presidential forms were not ready. Incidentally, the sale of the form will expire tomorrow, October 30.
Abdul, who is the son of late former Prime Minister, Tafawa Belawa, told journalists that he obtained a Zenith Bank draft of N20 million for the nomination form and N2 million for the Expression of Interest form, but he was turned down by the officials of the party.
According to Balewa, “I came to the national secretariat of PDP in Wadata House Wuse Zone 5 to obtain my presidential nomination form and Expression of Interest form. I presented to the officials a N20 million presidential nomination teller obtained from the Zenith Bank and another teller of N2 million from the same bank for the Expression of Interest form, but after turning me around from the office of the National Chairman and the National Organising Secretary, I was eventually asked to come back again on Thursday.”
The Zenith Bank account number to which he paid the sum of N22 million, he said is 1012436478.
On why he was asked to come back, he said: “They said the presidential nomination and Expression of Interest forms were not ready as they are busy with the governorship and National Assembly forms.”
Mr. Balewa further said his aspiration to become the president was as a result of 40 million signatures he collected from Nigerians who are urging him to contest for the presidential ticket of the PDP.
According to the PDP presidential aspirant from Bauchi State, “I met the National Secretary and the National Organising Secretary and I was asked to come back on Thursday because the nomination form and Expression of Interest form are not ready.”
When asked why he is picking the presidential nomination of the PDP bearing in mind that the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) had adopted President Jonathan, he said: “I did not come here on my own. My supporters numbering over 40 million Nigerians comprising the masses, civil society groups are solidly behind my aspiration. I not am fronting for any one and will never front for anyone. My supporters are the downtrodden. These are the people I represent.”
Also speaking, Mrs. Abiola said she paid the recommended fee of N2 million Expression of Interest form from the Diamond Bank.
On why she paid N2 million instead of N22 million, Abiola referred to the PDP presidential guidelines that exempted female aspirants from paying for the presidential nomination form.
According to her, “The national chairman of the PDP and the National Organising Secretary told me that they printed only one presidential nomination form and that the form is meant for President Goodluck Jonathan who is the sole presidential candidate of the party.
“To me, this is unacceptable. How can a political party as big as the PDP with many followers print only one presidential nomination form, whereas in the guidelines that was made public, there was no place the party said only one presidential nomination form would be printed.
“I have paid for Expression of Interest form because I am exempted from the payment of N20 million and the law of equity said that when a payment is made, it would be followed by a service. What is happening is a misrepresentation and manipulation of what PDP stands for. I am not asking that I should be given back my money. I am asking that I be given the presidential nomination form that I have paid for. This is what equity stands for.
“As I speak now, there is no vacancy in Aso Rock. The Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria says there shall be vacancy in Aso Rock, once every four years and this is why I paid and obtained for the presidential nomination form.”
Mrs. Abiola threatened that if she is not given the presidential nomination form, she might resort to court to enforce her fundamental human right.
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, said he was unaware of it and pleaded for time to consult with the national chairman and the national organising secretary of the party.
The 66th NEC meeting of the PDP had endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as a consensus candidate ahead of next year’s elections. Although President Jonathan has indicated his interest to seek re-election in 2015, he is yet to purchase the nomination form.
•Pieced together from reports in Channels and THISDAY. Photo shows President Jonathan, for whom PDP is reserving the only available presidential nomination form.
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