National convention

May 28/29 PDP National Convention: Ortom puts pressure on Jonathan in a context of tension on the list of 4000 delegates

Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State

Ahead of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention scheduled for May 28-29 to elect the party’s presidential candidate in 2023, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State met with former President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.

The 40-minute closed-door meeting took place at the former president’s Abuja residence on Tuesday.

Ortom’s chief press officer, Nathaniel Ikyur, said the meeting was held “with the aim of strengthening the PDP family ahead of the 2023 general election”.

However, sources close to the party revealed that Ortom, who served as Minister of State, Trade and Investment under Jonathan’s administration, met with the ex-president to pressure him to attend. at the next PDP national convention.

“The party wants to pressure Jonathan to attend the National Convention and work for the PDP before and during the 2023 general election,” another source said.

Over the past two weeks, it has been reported that the former president will seek re-election in 2023 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Although Jonathan denied the media report that he had purchased the APC’s Expression of Interest and Presidential Nomination Forms for N100 million, his recent meeting with the party’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, suggested otherwise.

Mark, the others are fine

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the PDP National Convention Organizing Committee and former Senate Speaker, David Mark inspected the Moshood Kashimawo Abiola (MKO) Stadium in Abuja, the planned venue for the convention.

The 96th National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP had agreed that the 2023 National Convention of the party should be held in Abuja.

Given the closeness of the date to the APC date, the PDP opted for MKO Abiola Stadium as the ruling party has already paid to use Eagle Square, both in Abuja.

Exactly 10 days before the opposition party convention, Mark, together with Deputy Chairman of the Committee and Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Secretary of the Committee and former Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, and former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, inspected the nearly 7,000 capacity velodrome and other facilities at MKO Abiola Stadium as the proposed site.

Party congress/primaries

Likewise, the party had, in a letter to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, dated May 16, 2022 and jointly signed by the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr Iyorchia Ayu and the National Secretary Samuel Anyanwu, extended dates for party conventions/primaries.

As noted in the letter, conventions and primaries are now to be held as follows: State House of Assembly – Saturday, May 21, 2022; House of Representatives – Sunday, May 22, 2022; Senate – Monday, May 23, 2022; Governorate – Wednesday May 25, 2022.

The calendar, however, was silent on the date of the party’s presidential primary.

The party also noted that due to insecurity in the Southeast region with the ensuing home siege order every Monday, the Senate primaries in the region will be held on Tuesday, May 24.

“In the case of the Southeast region, due to the sit-at-home currently observed on Monday, the Senate primaries will now be held on Tuesday, May 24,” the statement added.

Plan found that the main reason for moving the primaries/congress was the unresolved controversy over the slate of delegates.

Over 3,000 delegates attended the party’s latest national convention held in Abuja on 30 October.

Therefore, approximately 4,000 delegates are expected to attend the next convention.

The party, according to its 2023 calendar of activities, was supposed to release a full list of delegates on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, but was unable to do so due to commotion about the list by presidential candidates and d other party stakeholders.

Generally, party stakeholders did not know when the list of delegates would be released.

A credible source who did not want his name mentioned in the press said that “the major problem is the list of delegates. Although the process is ongoing, the turmoil and fight for delegates among the 2023 presidential candidates is making it difficult for the party to conclude the process.

The source also revealed that “the party is working around the clock to resolve all issues and complete the compilation of the list of delegates to meet the INEC deadline.”