There is a growing tension among the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party that some people within its fold are planning to hold a parallel national convention on December 9.
The convention, where national officers of the party are to be elected, is scheduled to hold in Abuja.
The party is currently selling nomination forms to aspirants who are seeking votes to occupy its various national offices.
However, the office of the national chairman seems to be the most sought-after as eight members of the party have picked nomination forms.
The aspirants are Prince Uche Secondus, Chief Gbenga Daniel, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi and Chief Olabode George.
The party had zoned the office to the southern part of the country and six of the aspirants are from the South-West while two are from the South-South. No aspirant has emerged from the South-East for the position.
Majority of the aspirants from the South-West have, however, called on the leadership of the party to micro-zone the office of the national chairman to the area, claiming that the area remains important in the quest by the party to return to power in 2019.
Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, had, however, refused to yield to the pressure, claiming that doing so would mean setting up a dangerous precedence ahead of the 2019 presidential ticket of the party which was ceded to the entire northern region.
Dissatisfied, both Adeniran and George had called on Makarfi to resign, accusing him of favouring one of the chairmanship aspirants in his actions. Makarfi had, however, denied the allegations.
But investigations by our correspondent showed that some people within the party were planning to hold a parallel convention with the aim of rubbishing whatever will be the outcome of the main convention.
A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu, had recently commended those who organised a parallel convention to tackle the party when it went to Port Harcourt, Rivers State to hold a national convention in 2016.
Mantu, who was speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by Adeniran and Dokpesi, said that those who organised the 2016 parallel convention could still do it if the national leadership of the party refused to hold a transparent convention.
Speaking on the issue, the spokesperson for the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said that the threat was real.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, Adeyeye said that the caretaker committee had indeed uncovered plans by “some unscrupulous members of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, to hold a parallel national convention on December 9, 2017.”
While saying that the plan was uncalled for and a complete act of sabotage, he said that those making such plans could not be said to be honest members of the PDP.
He described them as unpatriotic and that they were out to destroy the party, insisting that the caretaker committee was doing its best to hold a rancour-free convention.
Adeyeye said, “The National Caretaker Committee has been working very hard to carry all party members and supporters of the party along in all the preparations for the forthcoming national 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 working for the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress.”
He added that the party was not completely oblivious of the alleged plans by the APC to sabotage its convention.