….“we will be glad to receive Jonathan into our fold” – State Chairman insists
The state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, Dennis Otiotio, has said that there is still room for the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to contest the forthcoming presidential election under the platform of the APC, even though the submission of nomination and expression interest forms has closed 12 midnight yesterday.
Speaking during a live radio magazine program, “Democratic Watch”, in Yenagoa, Otiotio said that since the National Executive Committee (NEC) has voted its powers to the National Working Committee (NWC) to function on behalf of the party for 90 days, the NWC has the power to convene an emergency meeting and grant him waiver to contest.
He, however, said that the huddle Jonathan has to face is that, according to the constitution of the APC, he must first officially tender a resignation letter to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he initially belonged and register with the APC at his Ogbia ward 13 level before the date for screening of aspirants.
However, the spokesperson of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, within the week said that the former President has not resigned his membership of the party, adding that it will be better if the former president addresses the situation himself.
Speaking further, Otiotio said that “the former President is a political bigwig, so he comes with lots of political capital. And we will be glad to receive him into our fold. This will signify that the PDP is dead and buried in Bayelsa State. However, there are procedures to follow to become a member of our party.
“The first is to apply to be a member at his ward level. And article 9 of our constitution says that before you join APC, you must not be a member of another party. So he has to formally write a resignation letter to the PDP he initially belonged to before joining us. But for now, he is yet a member of APC.”
When asked if a waiver could be given to Jonathan to run for president under the APC, considering the fact that the submission of nomination and expression of interest forms is closed, he said “it is still possible because during our last NEC meeting we donated our powers to NWC to perform our functions for the next 90 days.
“So the NWC can meet and grant him a waiver. But before he can be granted waiver he must have been registered as a member at his ward level first before the NWC can consider him. And I believe that all these can be done between now and the screening period. I think it is possible for Jonathan to still run for President under APC.”
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