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Nigeria 2015: PDP warns support groups not to involve party officials

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has advised various political groups in support of some individuals ahead of the 2015 general elections not to involve officials of the party in their activities until primary election to select candidates are held.

The spokesperson of the party, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Sunday said although the party leadership recognizes the inalienable right of citizens under the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to freely associate and publicly express their support for persons of their choice, “we however wish to restate in the strongest possible terms that no official of the PDP at any level should for any reason whatsoever be involved in such events until after the primaries”.

Mr. Metuh also advised that all support groups “struggling for legitimacy, supremacy or recognition should henceforth desist from trying to actualize such by using names of officials of the PDP”.

“The PDP issues this as a last warning to all such groups and will not hesitate to take strict measures against any further infraction on its integrity and that of its officials.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the leadership of the PDP recognizes that party officials as unbiased umpires have a sacred duty to observe the dictates of internal democracy and as such remain neutral until the emergence of candidates through our primaries in line with the provisions of the PDP constitution,” he said.

Mr. Metuh said that while the national leadership of the party has absolutely nothing against the activities and programmes of such groups, “PDP officials as administrators of the party should not be involved in any way until after the primaries”.

Only accredited delegates will attend Jonathan Summit

In a related development, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Affairs, Rufai Alkali, has declared that only delegates from verified and accredited pro-Jonathan Support Groups will participate in the first National Summit of Goodluck Support Groups.

Mr. Alkali, who is also the National Coordinator of the Goodluck Support Group, GSG, said in a statement in Abuja on Saturday that the clarification became necessary following numerous enquiries by various groups.

The GSG is planning its first summit on Tuesday at the Eagle Square, Abuja by 10:00 a.m.

“The office of the National Coordinator of the Goodluck Support Group (GSG) has in the last few days received numerous calls, text messages, e-mails and several personal inquiries from individual and groups seeking further clarification on guidelines for the attendance of the first National Summit of Goodluck Support Groups.

“The planning committee, having reviewed and deliberated on all issues raised wishes to state that only duly accredited groups who have been validly invited are expected at the summit,” he said.

Mr. Alkali had last month inaugurated a committee under a former Army General, A. T. Ibrahim, to screen the over 3,000 pro- Jonathan campaign groups with a bid to harmonising them.

While inaugurating the committee, he noted that the evaluation of groups supportive of Mr. Jonathan’s re-election bid in 2015 became imperative to ensure that they were organised in their activities.

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