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The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has decided to hold its special national convention, where it will choose its presidential candidate in Abuja.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Debo Ologunagba, confirmed this to reporters over the weekend.
“We have decided to hold the convention, where our candidate will emerge in Abuja. This is where the National Working Committee has chosen, but the National Executive Committee will ratify it at our meeting on Wednesday,” he said.
It was gathered from key party sources that the party leadership rejected the lobbyists, who wanted the convention to be held in their preferred states.
According to his timetable, the presidential candidate of the main opposition party will emerge on May 29.
In its “Calendar of Activities and Calendar of Elections for the Year 2022/2023” released last month and signed by National Organizing Secretary Umar Bature, the party said its presidential primary would begin on May 28. He was silent at the venue.
There were 17 presidential candidates in the party, but two of them were dropped after their screening in Abuja on Friday.
The party has yet to reveal the identities of those cleared and disqualified from the race.
The aspirants included a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, and two former Senate presidents, Bukola Saraki and Pius Anyim.
The others were Governors Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.
Also on the list were two former state governors, Peter Obi of Anambra State and Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State.
Dele Momodu, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, Sam Ohuabunwa, Ugwu Okwudili, Chikwendu Kalu, Ndukwe Cosmos, Nwachukwu Amakwenze and Mrs. Oliver Tariela Diana also bought the N40 million Nomination and Expression of Interest forms for the race.
Senior sources at the party’s national headquarters told our source that several interests were turned away by the party’s NWC before arriving at the Abuja venue for the convention.
Ologunagba assured that the party would be fair to all aspirants, noting that no NWC member had a preference for any of them.
He said, “We’re going to be fair to everyone. We have no candidates among the aspirants. They are all distinguished members of our party, who have done well for the party and the country.
“In every position they’ve held, they’ve done well. We’ll work together and get the incompetent Congress of all progressives out of power.
Meanwhile, the party has promised to release the identities of those disqualified after Friday’s screening.
Shortly after the conclusion of the exercise at Legacy House, Abuja, the PDP’s presidential campaign headquarters, the chairman of the selection committee, Senator David Mark, told reporters that two candidates had been disqualified.
He, however, declined to reveal the identities of the contenders concerned or the reasons for their disqualification.
He simply noted that the contenders did not meet the requirements set by the jury.
Asked who were not cleared, he simply said, “Now don’t ask me which ones were cleared and which ones weren’t, because I won’t tell you. . We did not tell them the result. So if you ask a question along those lines, you’re wasting time.
Asked what the committee found wrong with the disqualified aspirants, Mark replied, “They didn’t meet the requirements and I can’t be more specific about that.”
But Ologunagba said: “Yes, we haven’t revealed their identity, but it will be done and you will know soon. Don’t forget that the appeal committee will still meet on the matter.
The committee should be sitting today.
On the zoning issue, Ologunagba said the NEC would also consider the report of the committee set up on the matter.
“The NEC meeting will review it and make a final decision,” he said.

Jennifer C. Burleigh