Towards Hitch-Free PDP Convention

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The National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt tomorrow is expected to produce the party’s flagbearer for the 2019 presidential election.
From all indications, everything appears set for the epoch-making event in which 13 presidential aspirants will be vying for the party’s flagship.
Already, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, venue of the convention is bubbling with activities, as a prelude to the main event, consisting of accreditation of delegates and the election proper.
Happily enough, all the aspirants have reportedly signed an agreement in Abuja, promising to conduct themselves in an orderly manner, devoid of acrimony, rancour and bitterness before, during and after the primary election. They pledged to abide by the rules, regulations and guidelines governing the convention and in accordance with the Electoral law.
PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement released in Abuja, expressed optimism that the convention would be smooth, credible, hitch-free and transparent as, according to him, all the aspirants were bound by an agreement that they would support any aspirant that will eventually emerge at the end of the electoral process.
As heart-warming as that assurance may be, Nigerians and, indeed, the international community expect nothing less from the PDP which governed the country for 16 years before handing over the baton to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on May 29, 2015.
It is expected that the PDP which prides itself as the largest political party in the African continent may have learnt its lessons from the experiences of the past.
The convention should, therefore, serve as a window and platform for the party to prove that it has come a long way and has evolved into a formidable front capable of upstaging the ruling APC which has been riddled in crises, confusion and inconclusive primaries at various levels and stages, preparatory to the 2019 general elections.
The Tide, therefore, welcomes PDP’s presidential aspirants and delegates to Port Harcourt, the Garden City of Nigeria. We strongly believe that the party’s choice of the Rivers State capital is not misplaced, as the state had previously hosted the party and other national and international gatherings.
We expect that the delegates will vote according to their conscience while the aspirants would exhibit the highest sense of maturity and responsibility in a free and conducive atmosphere, devoid of rancour and acrimony. Like sportsmen, contestants must accept the outcome of the election. Indeed, all Nigerians look up to the PDP to set the pace, as the rallying point of all the opposition political parties in the country today and a beckon of hope for a better Nigeria.
The Police, Directorate of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies should, therefore, synergise to ensure adequate security for all, before, during and after the exercise.
Luckily enough, the Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, who doubles as the Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee has assured that all hands are on deck for a smooth, hitch-free and successful convention.
More assuring is the fact that each presidential aspirant is expected to nominate two persons who would be involved in the accreditation of delegates and the election proper. Such process would, indeed, enhance the credibility and transparency of the electoral process to achieve the desired goals.
While we join other Rivers people to heartily welcome PDP, its delegates and presidential aspirants to Rivers State, we wish the party a very successful and hitch-free convention.