The leadership and key stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will today persuade some of the 12 presidential aspirants to voluntarily withdraw from the race ahed of the convention which starts tomorrow in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The party is worried by the large number of aspirants and how to manage the possible recrimination arsing from the outcome of the convention.
A meeting has been slated with the aspirants in Abuja on this as well as to make them to sign an undertaking to accept the outcome of the convention in good faith.
They are also to make a written commitment to work with the party in projecting the eventual winner as the presidential candidate throughout the electioneering campaign.
Speaking with reporters at the party’s Abuja secretariat yesterday, party spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan declined to state the agenda of the meeting.
No fewer than 3619 delegates, including the aspirants, are to vote at the convention.
Delegates to the convention, which is to be presided over by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, include members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Others include former Presidents and former Vice Presidents who are still members of the PDP and members of the National Assembly, who are still members of the party
Others are past and serving governors, past and deputy governors who are still members of the PDP.
Similarly, all governorship candidates of the party are delegates, as well as members of the Houses of Assembly, who are members of the party.
Chairman and members of the Board of Trustees (BoT), members of the Zonal Working Committee, state party chairmen and secretaries, including those of the Federal Capital Territory, are also delegates.
State Women and Youth leaders, including those of the Federal Capital Territory are listed.
Also, one national delegate from each of the 774 local government areas and all elected local government chairmen will also vote as delegates.
All former members of the National Working Committee (NWC) who are still members of the party, are also eligible to vote as delegates.
Former Presidents of the Senate, former Deputy Presidents of the Senate, former Speakers of the House of Representatives, and former Deputy Speakers of the House of Representatives are also delegates, provided they are still members of the party.
Also yesterday, the PDP alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to disrupt the convention.
Ologbondiyan said the move is meant to ensure that the PDP does not produce a presidential candidate.
Ologbondiyan said: “We invite Nigerians to take note of this and we invite the international communities to take serious note of the plots by the ruling government to thwart the efforts of the opposition to elect a candidate that will go into the February general elections against President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We invite all Nigerians to take cautious note of this development. However, on our own part, we wish to inform Nigerians, particularly members of the PDP, that the national convention where our presidential candidate will be elected that has been scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, will go on as planned.
“No plot, no plan by the ruling government can stop our national convention. It’s machinations of all kinds; it can be through the court, by funding court decision. It could be any form of machinations.
“We are aware of plots which include effort to use the court to stop our national convention, and we are alerting Nigerians and the international community.”