Atiku Barred from Voting at PDP Convention, May be on Probation for 1 Year
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday stated that former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who recently returned to the PDP, will be barred from voting at the party’s upcoming convention.
The convention slated to hold at the Eagles Square in Abuja on Saturday, December 9 will be critical to the future of the PDP as a new national chairman of the party is expected to be elected.
There are five major contestants for the position of the PDP chairman and a number of presidential aspirants within the party have reportedly been making moves to mobilise support for a candidate who may be helpful to their political aspirations.
Atiku who has indicated interest in contesting to become Nigeria’s president in 2019 has not openly declared support for any of the chairmanship candidates but like all other presidential hopefuls may be nursing the intention to ensure the emergence of a candidate willing to support his bid for the PDP presidential ticket.
The current spokesperson of the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, while briefing newsmen about the convention, however revealed that the party had barred Atiku from casting a vote at Saturday’s convention.
Adeyeye explained that the party’s decision was in line with the party constitution which forbids new entrants into the party from voting at conventions.
While expressing delight at Atiku’s return to the party, Adeyeye maintained that the former vice president could and would only make a speech at the convention but not cast a vote.
Sections 8 and 9 of the PDP constitution require that persons who rejoin the party after leaving it, to apply to their ward secretaries for re-admission and “unless given waiver by the National Working Committee, be placed on probation for a period of not less than one year.”
Section 9 of the constitution also expressly forbids such persons on probation from contesting elections on the platform of the party, a provision which may affect Atiku’s chances should the party’s presidential primaries be scheduled for anytime within the next one year and without the national working committee granting him a waiver.
Punch however reports that there are indications that the PDP would be amending the said sections at the convention to allow returnees contest for any position and to vote or be voted for after a six-month probation period.