As embattled senator Dino Melaye is set to defect from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kogi West Elders Forum (KWEF) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected any attempt to impose him as the sole senatorial candidate on the people of the Kogi West in 2019.
The group made this known through its chairman, Hon. Shaibu Momoh, at a meeting held in Lokoja, over the weekend.
The group declared that its main objective was to work with other leaders in Kogi West, to present a credible candidate from Yagba axis, warning that imposition of candidate by any group or individual will be resisted vehemently.
“That the news of an attempt to impose the controversial Senator Dino Melaiye on the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) Kogi West, by the National Leadership of the party, as Automatic Senatorial candidate for the 2019 National Assembly election is hereby Rejected in it totality and unacceptable”, he said.
According to the group, Senator Dino Melaiye comes from a Ijumu local government area of kogi West that has been producing the senator for the Senatorial district for the past 12 years and adding another 4 years will make 16 years while the rest 6 local government areas will still be waiting for their turn.
He stressed that of recent the need for a shift to other local government areas became inevitable, universal option and it has become a serious campaign issue.
“PDP Leadership in kogi West endorsed by the state Leadership was the first Party to take a firm decision to shift/zone the position to other Federal constituency of the state for equity and justice, since over a year now.
“Known aspirants have emerge from other areas excluding Ijumu in PDP and they have being on the field carrying out their consultations and preparing their structures in preparation for the party Senatorial primaries expending huge amount of resources and time for the past 12 months.
“To now impose a strange candidate under a questionable reasons will not only be wrong, unjust and unfair but it will totally collapse all efforts by our highly respected leaders at rebuilding and rebranding the party in the state there by giving an opportunity and undue advantage to the opposition party APC that is in government to contend with”, he warned.
The Chairman noted that Senator Melaiye, as he stands today, was not an asset to PDP but a very big liability because he has no noticeable structure and followers that can substantially erode the consequential damage, such imposition could course on PDP in the state.
“The result of his recall failure by Government backed agitators are not because of his political strength but rather it is the reflection of the wider rejection by the people of the sitting APC government, their policies, unpaid salaries, pensions and gratuities and ethnic coloration rather than the love for senator Melaiye, infact many people despite Dino’s rough behavior and they will not want him back.
“He is seen as too controversial and his unacceptable behaviors are the serious negative views of the public against him.
“He can not win any election in a free and fair atmosphere and PDP should therefore not gamble with him as a candidate for now.
“He needs a serious reformation period which PDP Kogi state do not have the luxury of time to dispense.
“The leadership of PDP in the state under the apex leadership of two former governors of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, Captain Idris Wada, senator Tunde Ogbeha Alhaji Musa Ahmadu and host of other critical stakeholders have been struggling to rebrand a PDP that can recapture power from an aggressive none performing government of APC in the state.
“They have reconcile several prominent strong men and women who came back to the party and their re-entrance back to PDP is without any condition or concession but genuine.
“Some restructuring on House of Representatives, Governorship and state Houses of Assembly are on-going and imposition of a Senatorial candidate will cause a major derailment and unimaginable crises that PDP may not be able to overcome before the general election.
“The critical leaders are on ground and they understand this great danger and trap, hence their rejection of this Dino imposition”, he lamented
According to him, the case of Kogi State was far different from that of Kwara, Sokoto or Kano where the APC defectors have very large followers sufficient enough to cover revolts, Kogi case was peculiar and we employ the National Leadership to listen and abide by the views of the apex leaders of the party from the state.
“Senator Dino Melaye is welcome to PDP as specified under the Constitution of the party. He is free to aspire to any position of his choice but must take cognisance of existing mutual arrangement.
“He will not be discriminated against in any form in the conduct of the affairs in the state. He should come into the party with genuine open mind and contribute meaningfully to growth of the PDP like any other senior members of the party”, he noted.
The group therefore appealed to the National working committee any senior organ of the party to reject in totality the forced imposition, impunity of candidates, provide level playing ground for all aspirants to the party’s various contestable positions, be transparent and conduct very open and credible processes leading to the selection of there various candidates so that the whole world will see that PDP was truly prepared to retake control of government come 2019.