THE state chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party are at liberty to take a decision on any political platform to use to contest the forthcoming local government elections in Lagos and other states because of the current crisis which has caused a division in the party.
This is the position of the National Caretaker Committee of (NCC) of the party led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, in Abuja on Tuesday, the party responded to reports that it had already directed its members to use the yet-to-be-registered Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) to contest Lagos council election.
While it neither denied nor confirmed the directive to Lagos chapter members, it said the NCC was working with other organs of the party to pursue its ongoing appeal at the Supreme Court.
It added however that its decision to encourage its members to use any platform of their choice to was to avoid the experiences of Edo and Ondo states where the chances of PDP candidates were deliberately sabotaged.
The statement read: “The attention of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s led National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been drawn to some news items to the effect that the National Caretaker Committee has instructed PDP members to use the Platform of a newly registered Party to contest the forthcoming Local Government elections in Lagos State and other states where Local Government Elections are pending.
“In view of the misconception and unease which the issue has raised, we are constrained to make the following clarification.
“The National Caretaker Committee is working with all the Organs of the Party, the BoT, the National Caucus, NEC, PDP Governors Forum, PDP State Chairmen Forum, PDP Ministers Forum, the Youths and Women Groups and other relevant bodies to pursue the Appeal filed at the Supreme Court to its logical conclusion.
“We have a good Case and our ground of Appeal is solid. We believe ultimately that justice will be served on the leadership issues in our Party and we are also confident that the Judiciary will continue to remain independent, unbiased and neutral.
“However, while we await the verdict of the Supreme Court, we are confronted with pending local government, National and State Assembly by-elections in many states of the federation.
“Since the Platform of our great party, the PDP is currently in dispute, we recognize the anxiety of our patriotic and loyal members to avoid a repeat of the Edo and Ondo Gubernatorial Elections experience where
Senator Ali modu Sheriff and his co travellers tried to scuttle the chances of our members by fielding APC lackeys and surrogates as alternative candidates in other to disturb, distract and dissipate the energy and concentration of our genuine candidates in those elections.
“It is indisputable that this was the main reason for our defeat particularly in the Ondo Governorship Election.
“That was why we deliberately decided not to run parallel congresses in Anambra State in order not to subject our Party members in that State to the agony of a disputed platform.
“It is also important to state at this point that Senator Sheriff and his cohorts have been creating factional chapters in different states of the federation in order to compromise our chances in the Local Government Elections.
“In the circumstances and with no hope of the Ali Modu Sheriff problem abating before the Supreme Court judgement, we are left with no choice than to consider ways by which our members will not be disenfranchised in these elections.
“However our position is not to choose a platform for any state where true PDP candidates are denied the opportunity to stand for the elections.
“State Chapters are allowed to take any decision they consider appropriate.”
The NCC said that it continued to pray for a positive outcome in the judgment of the Supreme Court “so that the agony and pain of recent times may be finally put behind us.”