Delta State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has rolled out its time table for the forthcoming Delta State Local Government Council elections, offering free nomination forms for intending female aspirants at all levels and lobbying for at least Three (3) automatic councillorship seats for women in all Local Councils in the state, amongst other highlights.
These were some of the disclosures made by the Delta State Chairman of the PDP, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso, while briefing the press on the level of preparedness of the party for the council polls, at the party’s Secretariat in Asaba, on Friday October 6, 2017, even as he added that the party had decided to take a prompt lead by rolling out its time table and stipulated fees for nomination forms for its Chairmanship and Councillorship Aspirants, following the recently released time table for the State Local Government elections by the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission DSIEC, which slated for the 6th of January 2018 as the date for the Council polls.
According to Esiso, the decision of the Delta PDP to offer nominations forms at no cost all to all female aspirants was to encourage full participation of women not only to participate actively in the electoral process but to also seek for elective positions at the third tier of government in the forthcoming coming local government elections, without fear of intimidation or being discouraged by the cost of purchasing the forms for the elections
Olorogun Esiso said whereas the women aspirants are to get the forms free of charge, their male counterparts will however get the chairmanship forms at one million naira only (N1, 000,000) and councillorship two hundred thousand naira (N200, 000) adding that sales of forms to aspirants will commence from Tuesday 10th – Tuesday 17th October, 2017, while screening of aspirants have been slated for Wednesday 18th – Saturday 21st October, 2017.
Giving further details on the Party’s arrangements for the LG Polls, the Delta PDP Chairman emphasized that, Councillorship Aspirants would be screened at the Senatorial Secretariat of the party in the respective Senatorial zones, while the Chairmanship Aspirants will have their screening at the party’s headquarters Asaba, adding that the Councillorship primaries would hold on 25th October at the Senatorial zones, while the Chairmanship Primaries would hold on 26th October at the Party Secretariat in Asaba.
Olorogun Esiso said that the run-off primaries has slated for the 27th October, if the need arises, while October 28th has been fixed for the consideration of appeals to be conducted by an Appeals panel, which will be set up by the Party for that purpose.
Reiterating that there would be no imposition of candidates on the people, even as he assured that the Party would provide a level playing field for all contestants to enable the party select the best to fly the PDP flag at the council polls, Esiso was also quick to affirm that nobody has been anointed for the election a any level, even as he urged stakeholders of the party in the various local government councils, to also consider three women for the councillorship positions in each of the local government areas.
Responding to the recent development of mock primaries conducted by the PDP across all the LGAs in the state, the Chairman said, “it is true that for the past two months, some form of exercises have been takIng place in the various wards and local governments to select candidates for the party. We decided as a party that we should use our head, do some thinking and come up with a novel idea considering two things; One, that the money paid for the forms is not refundable and because it is not refundable, let us avoid the old practice when we allow everybody that want to aspire to come here and buy forms.
“Secondly, that the process was to forestall incidences that may cause rancour in the party after the primaries due to the huge amount paid for the purchase of forms.”
Esiso further stressed that the party had, in view of these considerations, directed ward leaders to lobby all aspirants for the different positions on the need to allow only one person to pick up the nomination form, adding that the same applied for chairmanship aspirants were the LGA leaders were directed to play their role in limiting the purchase of the party’s ticket to just an individual, by conducting a process where whoever emerged would be the choice of the people. He however noted that the outcome of the exercise does not erase the intent to contest the party’s primaries by individuals who were not satisfied with the process.
“This does not preclude any other person from coming to buy the form, we will not stop you from buying forms, when that is done, the party will conduct primaries in that ward or Local Government Area. That is to Say that they did not agree in that Local Government area or ward and on the 25th and 26th we will conduct primaries for them.” he assured.
“It will be noted that when aspirants emerge as the Party’s Candidate after the primaries, they will then proceed to acquire DSIEC form of which the price is yet to be revealed. What we are doing is the internal affairs of our party and our arrangements for the forthcoming Local Government elections in the state. DSIEC has released the time table for the elections and we have set down our own guidelines for our members in accordance with our party constitution,” he said.
While praying that there will be no cause for members to be so aggrieved after the primaries to decamp other parties and emphasizing that Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff was still a member of the PDP as far as he was concerned, Olorogun Esiso however pointed out that the PDP was one big family where disagreements were bound to occur and while assuring that the party was working according to its constitution and not influenced by any actions elsewhere, in its bid to carry all its members along, waxed biblical by saying that, “Out of every 12, there must be a Judas”
He noted that, “What we are doing has nothing to do with what the DSIEC is doing. DSIEC will conduct an election for the whole state and will set out its own guidelines for all the registered political parties and not for PDP alone. It has already fixed a date for the polls so we are preparing for the elections,” he concluded confidently.
With the PDP Chairman at the briefing were members of the State Executive Committee of the Party including the State Publicity Secretary, Chief Ifeanyi Osuoza.