By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it had uncovered plans by some elements within the party to hold a parallel national convention on Dec. 9.
The National Publicity Secretary of the committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, made this known at a news conference at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja on Friday.
Adeyeye alleged the move was a “sabotage’’ by some persons who had allowed themselves to be used by All Progressives Congress (APC) to cause divisions in the PDP.
He added that the attempt was totally uncalled for, noting that those making such plans were honest members of PDP.
He said that the caretaker committee had been working very hard to carry all party members and supporters along towards organising a successful convention.
“We are also putting our resources in place to address all the fears earlier reported by some national chairmanship aspirants.
“One of the steps taken by the leadership is to make available and in good time, the comprehensive names of all the delegates for the national convention to all the aspirants before the convention.
“We therefore see no reason for any honest member of this great party to want to disrupt our programmes, except they are of course working for the ruling party, the APC,’’ Adeyeye said.
He assured that the committee would address all concerns of members regarding the convention.
The spokesman, however, urged all party members to take advantage of the committee’s open-door policy to “ventilate their opinions, concerns and grievances.”
He pointed out that as part of subtle plans to weaken the PDP, some of its high profile members were recently arrested on “Trump-up charges of corruption.”
He particularly identified recent arrest of former governor of Taraba, Mr Abubakar Danladi and former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’’.
He recalled that the party had few weeks ago alerted that there was a list of 50 of its top leaders pencilled down for “arrest and incarceration”.
“In the last one week, Danladi and Anyim, two prominent members of our party, were arrested by the anti-graft agency, the EFCC.
“These are all part of the agenda to create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity around PDP members before and after the national convention.
“It is also part of the overall strategy of the ruling party to turn Nigeria into a one-party state,’’ he alleged.
On the resignation of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, from the APC, Adeyeye said that PDP’s door was wide open for him.
He said that Abubakar, who was one of the founding fathers of PDP, became Governor of Adamawa and Vice President under the party’s platform, adding that “he is a PDP man to the core”.
He said that Abubakar was deceived into believing that the APC was a platform that would correct all the ills in the PDP.
Quoting from the Bible that “and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’’, Adeyeye said “I believe that Atiku has seen the truth and the truth has now set him free and we thank God for that.
“Therefore, being a founding father and because we have an umbrella that is big enough to accommodate everybody, he is welcome to PDP, the democratic party.
“PDP is a free party and was conceived for all Nigerians and is free from all religious, ethnic and geographical divisions.
“It has capacity to accommodate everybody. Our doors are open for him to come back to his home without any pre-condition.
“He is free to come back like every other Nigerian and we want to appeal to those who have not seen the truth, to do so.”