THE National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is considering the postponement of the party’s presidential primary election, scheduled to hold today May 28 and tomorrow, May 29, at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
An emergency meeting of the PDP NWC was convened after the All Progressives Congress (APC) rescheduled its presidential primary election from May 29 and 30 to June 6, 7 and 8 following the extension of the deadline for political party primary elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
There are concerns among PDP leaders that the decision taken by INEC on the eve of its presidential primary has given the APC undue advantage in the race for Aso Rock in 2023.
The emergency NWC meeting has commenced, according sources at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja.
INEC had in a statement released on May 26 announced the extension of the deadline for the conduct of political party primary elections for selection of candidates for the 2023 general elections by additional six days.
The Commission said the decision followed a meeting with the leadership of the 18 registered political parties under the aegis of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Abuja.
The statement announcing the extension of the deadline was released late on Friday night, few hours to the commencement of the PDP presidential primary.
Less than an hour after INEC announced the decision, the APC released a statement, saying it has rescheduled its presidential primary.
“Following the Independent National Electoral Commission’s extension of deadline for the submission of list of candidates by political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) hereby postpones its Special Convention for Presidential Primary from Sunday, 29th – Monday, 30th of May, 2020 to Monday, 6th – Wednesday, 8th of June, 2022,” the statement issued by APC National Publicity Secretary Felix Morka said.
Reacting to the development, the PDP accused INEC of changing the goalpost in the middle of the game.
“The bedrock of democracy is certainty of elections and the fact that the rules are clear to every participant; and you cannot shift the goalpost in the middle of the game,” PDP National Publicity Secretary Debo Ologungba said in an interview with journalists at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja late on May 27, as the party was putting finishing touches to arrangements for the presidential primary.
The PDP spokesman noted that the party will take a look at the implications of the development, adding that the consequences of INEC’s action will be grave for the country.
Party officials absent as journalists wait for accreditation tags at PDP secretariat
Meanwhile, several journalists who came to pick up media accreditation tags for the presidential primary are currently stranded at the PDP national secretariat.
The journalists were invited to come to the secretariat in the morning to collect tags which would give them access to the venue of the convention.
However, the journalists are currently stranded as there are no relevant party officials around to attend to them.