On Monday, ahead of the 2019 general elections, aspirants for political officers in Kogi State, protested at the Headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against alleged plan to give automatic tickets to serving members of the National Assembly.
The protesters demanded a level-playing field for all aspirants, saying that only a free, fair and credible election would be acceptable.
The group led by, Dr. Halimat Alfa, noted that offering automatic ticket to Senator Dino Melaye would be a clear violation of the Electoral Act, the party’s constitution and the party’s guidelines.
The group added that all aspirants must be given equal opportunity to be voted for either through indirect primaries or direct primaries.
According to Alfa, the alleged plot was exposed last week when an aspirant for the House of Representatives visited the Abuja home of one of the party’s leaders where he met a serving PDP senator. Alfa added that the senator told the aspirant that tickets for all the National Assembly positions had already been allocated to serving members of the both chambers.
“As if that was not enough, Senator Dino Melaye met with all the members of the seven local governments in Kogi West on Friday and boasted that the issue of the senatorial ticket had been settled by the highest organs of the party.
“Melaye also told them that the PDP’s senatorial ticket for Kogi West had already been given to him even as someone who recently defected to the PDP. This is in total disregard for the interests, eligibility and qualification of other aspirants.”
“We, the aspirants for legislative seats in the National Assembly on the platform of the PDP, shall collectively and wholeheartedly work for the interest of the party and any candidate duly nominated through a transparent primary.
“But should the party proceed with its pre-determined or manipulated elections to nominate any candidate, an implosion that would be inimical to the interest of the party might occur.”