The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, on Tuesday said it would not offer automatic tickets to its incumbent national assembly members in 2015 in spite of the spate of defections from its fold.
“There will be nothing like automatic tickets for anyone; incumbents and challengers seeking the PDP ticket must go through the normal process to secure it,” PDP chairman in Kaduna State, Joseph Gumbari, said.
Recent reports had quoted some federal lawmakers as insisting on automatic tickets for the 2015 race to stop them from joining others that defected to the rival Alliance for Progressives Change, APC.
The ruling PDP has lost five governors, some key leaders and 37 members of the House of Representatives to the APC in the wave of defections that hit the party in the past few months.
But Gumbari, a former member of the House of Representatives, said conceding to the demand for automatic ticket would “kill the PDP’’.
“No one can blackmail the PDP into making such concessions; we shall give the party’s tickets to only those who deserve it. Those who have performed and are still popular should have nothing to fear. There are many law makers today that cannot visit their constituencies for fear that they could be attacked by their constituents,” he said.
Gumbari stressed that PDP’s tickets would only be given to members that had been consistent in shoring up its image and strengthening it through effective representation.
He said that the APC was not a threat to the fortunes of the PDP in Kaduna State, adding that PDP last weekend received some top politicians that defected from the APC.
“APC members in their thousands, led by Mr Huseini Dembo, on Friday defected to the PDP; so while APC is receiving defecting PDP members in other states, we are equally receiving top APC members defecting to our fold in Kaduna State,” he stated.