Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got the knocks from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for excluding the South West region for its chairmanship race.
It also accused the PDP of manipulating the process to favour the declared winners of national offices, saying aggrieved members who could “pass the integrity test” could come and join hands with the APC to bring about the much-needed change in the country.
In a statement in Abuja by National Publicity Secretary Bolaji Abdullahi, the APC said the PDP decided to deny the south western part of the country the chairmanship position because of their refusal to vote the PDP in the last general elections.
He added that the public display of money and systematic rigging of the election was a testimony of the fact that the PDP were not yet prepared to change, saying the it had displayed that it was a party with corruption deeply rooted in its system.
The statement reads: “In reacting to revelations of how money-for-votes and systematic rigging was brazenly perpetuated during the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) is mindful of the popular axiom: “A leopard cannot change its spot”.
“The abnormalities that trailed the PDP National Convention have further exposed the PDP as a Party not ready and willing to change. Indeed, the PDP has once again displayed itself to the generality of Nigerians that it is a Party with corruption deeply rooted in its DNA.
“Again, it is tragic that the PDP which used to pride itself as “the biggest political Party in Africa” has now been reduced to a regional party. By frustrating South West chairmanship candidates, it is unfortunate that the PDP has decided to punish the South West for not voting for the Party in 2015.
“We urge members of the PDP that can pass the integrity test to join the APC so that we can together bring about the much-needed Change the country deserves.”
But the new PDP leadership accused the ruling party of being jittery because of “the success of the convention.”
In the first official statement by National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described the criticism of the conduct of its Saturday’s elective convention by the APC as laughable.
“It is indeed laughable that the APC which has roundly failed in not only managing the affairs of the country but also its own internal issues would recourse to panic mode just because the PDP has succeeded in uniting its fronts by conducting of a very credible elective national convention.
“We were very much aware of the plots by the APC to scuttle the convention and failing, it has resorted to a failed attempt to discredit an elective convention that has been adjudged as creditable, novel and laudable by political stakeholders and lovers of democracy across the nation.
“This unwarranted attack is only symptomatic of a party that has lost control and only clutching on straws for survival, having been rejected outright by Nigerians.
“Is it not disgusting, reprehensible and embarrassing that the APC that has repeatedly failed to hold meetings, congresses and convention in the last three years, and has flagrantly continued to violate its own constitution, is questioning our party’s rights to perform her legitimate and constitutional obligation?
“Perhaps APC leaders have never read Article 25 (A)(i) of their party’s Constitution which stipulates that “the National Convention of the party (APC) shall be held once in two years at a date, venue and time to be recommended by the National Working Committee (NWC) and approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) subject to the giving of the statutory notices to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and at least 14 days notice given to members eligible to attend”.
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