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WAIVER: PDP to amend constitution to favour Atiku

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FACTS have emerged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee on Thursday will reach conclusion on matters bordering on waiver for returnees to the party.

PDP constitution which allows for two years waiver is set to be reduced to six months, to allow the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who dump the All Progressives Congress on Friday to contest on the opposition party for 2019 Presidency.

But reacting to the development, former aide of Atiku and a chiefain in PDP, Dr. Umar Ardo, raised objection that the former Vice President has no legal right to attend the party’s convention as the former Vice President. The convention holds on December 9.

He told Leadership newspaper that the constitution of the party says that once a senior member decamped, he can not occupy the same position when he returns, therefore called on the party to maintain the current waiver against returnees, Atiku inclusive.

“It portends conflict and crises, because Atiku is not coming in to build the party; he is coming to further his own ambition, and that will be the source of the conflict. Already, the conflict has been sown in Adamawa State because we won’t accept the illegality he just created in the state, and it will blossom to the national level.

“In order to achieve his avid ambition he will still create more illegalities at the national level. For example, he will insist on attending the December 9 National Convention as a former Vice President.

“But he is ineligible because by virtue of section 8 (18) of the PDP constitution, any person who earlier left the party and later returns shall lose the seniority and privileges conferred on him by his previous status. That means he has simply lost the seniority and privileges conferred on him as former vice president.

“But knowing Atiku’s political psychology, he won’t take that and if the Makarfi-led CTC bulges to his pressure and allow him attend the convention as a former vice president in the guise of waiver, which there’s no National Working Committee to give, then that would set in another era of impunity that would ultimately lead to the final destruction of the party.

“Besides, there are other members who have been faithful and loyal to the party and also have presidential ambition but bore with equanimity all the shortcomings of the party and refused to decamp.

“Will it be fair to such party members to be displaced by one who had not been loyal to the party and who the party gave everything? Wouldn’t that also be an act of injustice and thus create another basis for conflict?

“While we want everybody in the party, I however believe the party will be better off with few faithful and committed members than having a large conglomeration of all sorts of characters. We must learn to reward faithful and committed members.

“To this end, I call on the party to maintain the current waiver period against returnees. As a National Delegate, I will vote ‘nay’ against the waiver amendment at the convention.”