THE defection of the senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Dino Melaye, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), generated ripples on Sunday as the Kogi West Elders Forum (KWEF) of the party rejected attempt to impose the senator as the automatic as the candidate of the PDP in 2019.
The group said leaders and members of the party had in the last three years been working to have ensured the emergence of a credible candidate from the Yagba federal constituency of the senatorial district.
The chairman of KWEF, Shaibu Momoh, who said this at a meeting of the group held in Lokoja, the state capital, said imposition in any form would be resisted by the group.
The group noted that it would be wrong to again impose somebody from Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency that had occupied the seat in the last 12 years as an automatic candidate in 2019.
He said, “That the news of an attempt to impose the controversial Senator Dino Melaiye on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kogi West, by the national leadership of the party, as an automatic senatorial candidate for the 2019 national assembly election is hereby rejected in its totality and unacceptable.”
According to the group, Melaiye is from Ijumu local government area that had been producing the senator for the district for the past 12 years, saying another four years would make 16 years while the rest six local government areas would still be waiting for their turn.
He stressed that, recently, the need for a shift to other local government areas became inevitable, universal option and it has become a serious campaign issue.
“PDP leadership in Kogi west endorsed by the state leadership was the first party to take a firm decision to shift/zone the position to other federal constituencies of the state for equity and justice, since over a year now.
“Known aspirants have emerged from other areas excluding Ijumu in PDP and they have been on the field carrying out their consultations and preparing their structures in preparation for the party senatorial primaries expending huge amount of resources and time for the past 12 months.
“To now impose a strange candidate under a questionable reasons will not only be wrong, unjust and unfair but it will totally collapse all efforts by our highly respected leaders at rebuilding and rebranding the party in the state thereby giving an opportunity and undue advantage to the opposition party APC that is in government to contend with,” he warned.
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Momoh stated that Melaiye won’t be an asset to PDP but a very big liability because he has no noticeable structure and followers that can substantially erode the consequential damage, such imposition could course on PDP in the state.
“The result of his recall failure by Government-backed agitators are not because of his political strength but rather it is the reflection of the wider rejection by the people of the sitting APC government, their policies, unpaid salaries, pensions and gratuities and ethnic coloration rather than the love for senator Melaiye, in fact many people despite Dino’s rough behavior and they will not want him back.
“He is seen as too controversial and his unacceptable behaviours are the serious negative views of the public against him. He can not win any election in a free and fair atmosphere and PDP therefore not gamble with him as a candidate for now.