A former acting National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode Ojomu, has warned the party against supporting any of its defectors for either positions of Senate President or Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He said those who defected from PDP to All Progressives Congress could not turn back to the party they decimated for succour.
Ahead of the highly anticipated election of principal officers for the National Assembly today, the PDP has reportedly directed its members to vote Yakubu Dogara and Bukola Saraki as Speaker and President of the Senate respectively in defiance of APC, whose official candidates for the respective positions are Femi Gbajabiamila and Ahmed Lawan.
Mr. Saraki is a former member of the PDP and he would be remembered for playing a major role in the decimation of the party’s ranks when he directed his loyalists including Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, to defect along with him to APC in 2013.
But Ojomu, in a statement Monday night, warned the PDP against playing politics of “pay-back time” against the APC.
The statement said: “It is worrisome to observe that many of those who walked out were former PDP members who joined the APC and are acting out exactly the same script of ‘give a dog a bad name to hang it’ adopted as strategy to exit from the PDP for their safe landing in the APC.
“Today, by their actions and inactions alongside, other several factors left PDP comatose and one wonders if everybody acted like them who will be PDP senators and House of Representatives members to be now courted to defend their interest for victory at all cost against their ruling party’s official position.
“They decimated the PDP and now want to rely on it as strength to climb to number three and four in our nation. That’s crass opportunism and the PDP leaders in the Red and Green Chambers should not provide themselves as ready tools for self-serving pursuits.
“Strengthening party supremacy, party discipline, national stability and cohesion in government are the gains of PDP in National Assembly, standing firm that any political party official position or policy shall stand.
“Nigeria needs men of stable character. After all, those who stand for nothing fall for anything. The men and women that constitute the Nigeria’s Legislature must stand for something and in these circumstances it is principled position on party supremacy, notwithstanding that the former A.C.N botched that principle in the choice of speakership in 2011”.
Ojomu said the APC had the right to put forward those who should be on its platform in the National Assembly leadership.
The statement said: “Let it be noted that if the party was ever right to sponsor senatorial/House of Representatives candidate for election, it must also be right to determine who to put forward on its platform.
“No responsible political party in a democratic process that outlaws individual, independent candidate for elective offices will abdicate its historical and natural responsibility to present a sole candidate for each of the NASS Principal Offices.
“It will be unconventional for APC to watch helplessly for its members to contest in a free for all manner in the Red and Green Chambers.
“The gladiators need to drop sophistry in their argument and be educated that there is nothing undemocratic in the ruling party adopted open balloting process as opposed to secret balloting that was preferred by contending parties. Option A4 adopted in the Third Republic with SDP and NRC was adjudged one of the best democratic processes this country has ever witnessed. You queue behind your preferred candidate or party”