Senator Dino Melaye, and son of former Kogi Governor, Ibrahim Idris, Abubakar, kept away from a solidarity press conference held by eight Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants to back the candidacy of Engineer Musa Wada to contest the Nov. 16 Kogi governorship race.
The seven men, including former Governor Idris Wada, who lost to his younger sibling; and a woman, Grace Adejoh, lost in the party primary to Engineer Wada.
Two others, AVM Salifu Atawodi (rtd), and Victor Adoji, said to have signed the joint statement presented at the press conference, were said to be abroad.
But Melaye and Ibrahim, who appealed to the PDP against the primary election, did not show up or sign the statement. Melaye had earlier turned down, on Twitter, an offer to be Wada’s head of campaign.
The 10 aspirants, under the aegis of Kogi PDP 2019 G-12, declared their support for Wada at a press briefing held at the party secretariat on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the aspirants who signed the text included Idris Wada, Emmanuel Omebije, Grace Adejoh, Dr Joseph Erico, Alhaji Kabiru Haruna, Adebayo Averehi, Mr Mohammed Tettes, and Aminu Sulaiman.
“Atawodi and Adoji have traveled out of the country. But before they left, they declared their support for Wada as their preferred candidate,” he said.
NAN reports that the names of two other aspirants – Sen. Dino Melaye and Abubakar Ibrahim – were absent from the list
“We have all resolved to work with Wada in the interest of the party and the people of the state after undertaking a postmortem analysis and empirical review of the Sept. 3 primary election which led to the emergence of Wada as PDP candidate in the State.
“In the course of the review, the two major unforeseen events which nearly cast doubts on the integrity of the exercise were thoroughly considered and evaluated.
“We reviewed the two events – a heavy downpour and a sudden outbreak of violence and gunshots – and sought advice from relevant professionals and members of PDP, including delegates to the primary.
“After extensive deliberations, the group resolved to accept the decision of the Chairman of the Elections Committee, Gov. Ahmed Fintiri, which produced Wade as PDP candidate.
“As members of the Kogi PDP 2019 G-12, the urgent need for intra-party cohesion and unity of purpose at this critical moment is recognised.
“It is for this reason that the candidacy of Wada is considered worthy of undivided support so that the task of rebuilding Kogi can start in earnest.
“The role of the National Working Committee of our great party, led by Prince Uche Secondus, in positioning the Kogi State chapter for victory in November, is fully acknowledged.
“The Kogi PDP 2019 G-12 is also aware of the various roles that have been played so far by various stakeholders in stabilising the political space in Kogi State.
“While some of these efforts to totally stabilise the party are still in progress, the Kogi PDP 2019 G-12 remains unflinchingly committed to the candidacy of Wada.
“Considering the reconciliation efforts of Wada and his preparedness to actively partner with 2019 PDP aspirants in Kogi State, this group, without reservation, accepts him as a partner in progress in the liberation struggle.
“We accept to work with him in the overall interest of the PDP and Kogi State,” he said.
Tettes notified leaders and coordinators of the various political structures of individual aspirants to forthwith make themselves available as willing ambassadors of PDP across the state and grassroots mobilisers for Wada.
Secondus, while commending the aspirants for their decision, pledged that the party was committed to a free, fair, credible and transparent election.
Secondus, represented by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the people of Kogi were determined to ensure that the PDP emerged victorious during the governorship election.
“Kogi State is the natural home of the PDP; the people are ready and determined to make a
change in this election. The party will support INEC to ensure a free and fair, credible election.
“We are not deterred by all the rumour going around. The reconciliation process of the party continues.
“If there are one or two persons who should be party to your team, the party will engage such individuals and aspirants to make sure that all the aspirants that ran the primary come together and support our candidate,” he said.
Additional reports from www.nan.ng