Former Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, has said the party’s constitution will decide the zoning of the presidential candidate of the party for 2015 or the agitation for power shift to the North.
Baraje also said the party’s constitution will also determine whether there would be automatic return ticket for president, governors and members of the National Assembly as being canvassed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih.
Baraje said PDP would adhere to its constitution, the electoral law and the rule of law in addressing the issue of automatic return ticket.
He spoke to journalists in Ilorin on Saturday on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony of 81 students and pupils from the Baraje Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Baboko, Ilorin.
He said, “The PDP has a stand and that stand is a constitutional issue. The PDP, being a party that is law abiding, will follow its constitution at the appropriate time on the zoning issue. If you look at Section 2 sub section 7 of the constitution of our party, it is very clear and the PDP will follow that as and when necessary.
“We are in a democratic country and the party is Peoples Democratic Party. We are in a kind of phenomenon, where people can say ‘yaaah we want this.’ People are expressing their views. The constitution of the party is also clear on this automatic ticket.
“Not only the constitution of the party, the electoral law is very clear about what parties should do to come up with their candidates.
“So people may be so carried away and make whatever views they feel but the PDP will follow the rule of law.”
The former PDP secretary added that the PDP was not jittery about the emergence of the All Progressives Congress. He added that APC was a welcome idea because it would keep PDP on its toes.
On the crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Baraje noted that NGF was not an organ of PDP, and so there was little that the party could do to assert its authority on it.
He stated that the PDP constitution encouraged pressure groups, saying NGF was desirable as members were elected representatives of their people, who he said, were delivering dividends of democracy for the people.
Noting that NGF should not be ignored but rather be carried along, Baraje, however warned that it must not become a headache to the party.
“The NGF crisis is an internal issue among the governors. Look at the Constitution of the PDP, the NGF is not an organ of the party. Therefore, there is very little that the party can assert authority on NGF. I personally regard NGF as a desirable pressure group.”