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Government Primaries to Hold in Kogi, Bayelsa, Others

Although governorship polls were not held in these states in the April general election because the courts ruled that the tenures of the governors had not expired, PDP had conducted primaries and candidates had emerged based on the projection that elections would take place in the affected states.

But with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) releasing a new timetable for elections in these states starting with Kogi on December 3, 2011, PDP sources told THISDAY yesterday that the party would conduct fresh primaries in the affected states.

“There is already a precedent. In Anambra in 2007, we conducted a primary won by Chief Andy Uba. When the Supreme Court declared his election a nullity, we did a fresh primary in 2009, won by Professor Charles Soludo,” the source said.

Also, INEC is still expected to roll out the guidelines for the elections which will set the date for fresh primaries and the entire nomination process.

“We will not be able to operate outside of the guidelines of INEC,” the source added.
Another top source told THISDAY that “it is a decision of the NWC that the application fee paid by each of the governorship candidates in states where the election did not take place be returned to them. All the aspirants should get ready for a fresh primary election”.

Those to be affected are winners of the primaries conducted last year: Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa) and Jubrin Isa (Kogi).

Meanwhile, the  guidelines for the national convention and state congresses of the PDP has barred members who have not spent up to two years to the date of the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting from contesting elections into any of the executive positions at all levels.

According to a copy of the national convention and state congresses approved at the 56th NEC meeting obtained by THISDAY, the party also said that the chairmanship aspirants of the party would pay a fee of N500,000 for the application form, while national secretary aspirants are expected to pay N300,000 as application fee.

According to the copy of the guidelines titled: General Rules and Procedure for Conducting Congresses, “no member of the party shall be qualified for nomination or election or appointment into any party office unless he or she has been a registered member for at least twenty four calendar months.

“Notwithstanding the above, a waiver may be granted by the appropriate executive committee. And where appropriate committee rules, it must be approved by the immediate higher executive committee.”

By implication, new members that joined the party recently or have left the party in the past, but have returned  are not entitled to contest for any of the elective offices in the forthcoming national convention, states, local government or ward congresses.

The guidelines stated that each candidate for the national convention shall be nominated by at least 20 registered members in the country, five of whom must come from the aspirant’s zone.

Apparently in line with the planned amendment of the party’s constitution, the guidelines said that the election shall be through open ballot system and winner shall be by simple majority.

According to the national convention and state congresses guidelines, “any officer elected into the executive committee of the party at any level may resign his or her office by giving 30 days’ notice in writing to the appropriate executive committee, except in the case of resignation for the purpose of vying for an elective office which shall be effective within the period stipulated in the guidelines issued for such elective office by the NEC of the party.

“Accordingly, incumbent officers at all levels who wish to contest for positions other than the ones they are currently occupying shall resign days to the relevant election.”

The guidelines also stated that under the nomination procedure, candidates for elections at ward levels must be nominated by 10 registered members, while at the local government level, the candidates are to be nominated by two registered members from at least two-thirds of the wards in the local government.

In the same manner, at the state level, candidates for elections into the office of the chairman and secretary are to be nominated by two members from at least two-thirds of the local governments in the state, while other candidates for state offices are to be nominated by two registered members in each local government in their respective senatorial districts.

State chairmanship aspirants are to pay N50,000, deputy state chairmanship and others N30,000 as application fees.

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