Human Rights groups warn PDP against imposition in Bayelsa governorship primary
A coalition of 45 civil society organisations under the aegis of Rights Monitoring Group (RMG) and the Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI) have warned the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against suppressing internal democracy in the forthcoming governorship election primary in Bayelsa State.
A statement by the joint president of the groups, Mr Femi Aduwo, issued from the New York, United State, on Monday, said allowing internal democracy in the choice of PDP candidate to succeed Governor Seriake Dickson would deepen democracy and accelerate the development strides achieved by the outgoing government.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has slated the governorship election in the oil-rich state for November 11. The PDP NWC is yet to fix a date for the primary.
Aduwo counseled the PDP to avoid the scenario that to the All Progressives Congress (APC) losing Zamfara State to the PDP to play out in Bayelsa, urging the party’s leadership to be good students of history.
“PDP must be ready to conduct free and fair primary. The party must encourage and deepen internal democracy and discourage imposition of candidate on the people of the state. Rather than patronise godfathers, the PDP leadership should reward loyalty and consistency.
“The party must be a good student of history and learn that rule of few men as practised by the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC of APC, which led to the loss of Zamfara to the PDP. It is on record that no PDP governor, since the country returned to civil rule, has governed the North-West state. But today, the reverse is the case due to the suppression of internal democracy.
“From 1999, PDP has been ruling Bayelsa State and by extension ljaw nation. Hence, the PDP NWC must not take the good people of the state for granted to avoid the calamity that befell APC in Zamfara.
“We want to appeal to the former President Goodluck Jonathan, an African hero of democracy, that he should not dabble into local politics at such level or allow the candidates to use his name to campaign before the primary.
“He had set example that other African leaders should follow by that singular action he took in 2015 that saved bloodbath in the country,” he said.