The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) has called on all the party’s presidential aspirants not to attack one another in the course of seeking its ticket.
The Party’s National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, made the call when the NWC gave audience to one of the presidential aspirants, Gov. Nyelsom Wike, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ayu said that by attacking one another, the aspirants would not only undermine the party, but arm the opposition party to attack it when its candidate eventually emerged.
“If you emerge as the candidate of the party, you need every other aspirant and every member of the party to canvass for you in many parts of the country.
“You alone cannot win elections, you need every member of the party to work for the party,” Ayu said.
The national chairman urged all aspirants of the party at all levels to campaign on issues including security, economy and others.
“Make sure that we stick together because it is only a united PDP that will go into this election and win the election.
“I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever, that we are going to win the next presidential election.”
Ayu advised the aspirants to support the party in addressing challenges facing it at all levels, saying the ultimate goal was not to win party tickets but win elections.
He promised that the NWC would provide a level playing ground for all aspirants, assuring that there would not be foul play or manipulation in conducting the party’s primaries.
Ayu said that no member of PDP NWC would sabotage any of the aspirants.
“Let assure you, this NWC will try to uphold the tradition of the PDP, that tradition since 1999 is running very credible, transparent conventions starting from Jos to the last one that produced this National Working Committee.
“I want to assure you, that there will be no foul play, no manipulation, we will certainly do better than what you did in October last year.”
Ayu said that at this stage, members of the NWC would be neutral until a candidate emerged, when all of them would support and canvass support of all Nigerians for him or her.
He appreciated the support of Wike to the party’s drive to win elections, urging him not to relent.
Ayu assured him that the party leaders would be firm behind him if he emerged as PDP candidate.
Speaking earlier, Wike said that he was not at the party secretariat to negotiate for vice presidential slot but to woo the NWC members on his presidential ambition.
“I did not buy form to contest for Senate. It is only one form that I bought. That is for the office of president.
“I am not going to say if I don’t win I will go for the senate. The only thing I want is to be president.”
The Rivers State governor urged the party leaders to shun sentiments, but produce a candidate that could win the votes of Nigerians.
“You do not need to look at what the elites are saying. What people are talking about is Wike.
“Why are they talking about Wike? Because in this country, everybody has seen what I have done in Rivers State.”
Wike described 2023 as the only opportunity for the party to reclaim power, which could only be achieved by presenting a candidate with capacity such as him.
The governor, who expressed optimism of wining PDP ticket, said that Nigeria needed a courageous, fearless and capable leader.
He said that if given the opportunity, he would work in synergy with the leadership of the party in the implementation of his policies.
Speaking on the party’s presidential aspirants canvasing consensus candidate, Wike said that he did not believe in consensus, but transparent primaries.
“I want to appeal that we should not make any mistake where people will say our election is not transparent,” Wike said.
He said that he was mentally, physically and emotionally prepared to lead Nigeria, urging the NWC members to support him.
In his opening remark, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State said that the journey to presidency in 2023 was not as usual, as it now required PDP to field a competent and courageous person.
Ikpeazu said that Nigeria could not afford to gamble in 2023, and the only way PDP could regain power was to present a presidential candidate with capability, competence and acceptability, which people could vouch as loyal to the party.
“I see this possibility in one of the PDP governors, which is in Nyesom, who is firm, straight forward, outspoken, fearless, respect for rule of law and yet carries everyone along, and performing wonders in Rivers State.
“Who says this cannot be replicated in Nigeria?” he said.(NAN)