Ahead of Saturday’s national convention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the senator representing Ogun-East senatorial district, Buruji Kashamu has called on party delegates, leaders and stakeholders to reject candidates undergoing corruption trial at the various courts.
In a statement he issued in Abuja on Thursday, the senator warned that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was planning to arrest some of the candidates with corruption cases.
Kashamu said, “While it is true that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty, our great party cannot afford to close its eyes to this potential threat. “It is a no-brainer that if a national chairman with a corruption case is elected, the party will literally be put on trial with him.
“This is one avoidable risk that is too much to take. You can be sure that a corruption trial of the national chairman of an opposition party will come with a lot of bad publicity that will sound the death knell the party”.
Kashamu pleaded with delegates and stakeholders, particularly those from the Southeast, to support the quest by the Southwest to produce the national chairman in the interest of equity and justice. “Our brothers and sisters from the Southeast need to be categorical now in support of the Southwest on the ongoing national chairmanship tussle between the Southwest and the Southsouth.
”The implication of this avoidable tussle is to make uncertain the settled Southeast vice-presidential quest in 2019. If the Southeast expectedly takes a principled stance in support of the Southwest, naturally as a reliable race in adherence to agreements, the Yoruba people would reciprocate without any prompting.
“What is currently happening is glaringly an orchestrated assault on the Southwest to end up with nothing in 2019, just like we did when our party was in power. This is a dangerously illogical political permutation for 2019 national elections”, the senator added.
Kashamu said without prejudice to the right of others to seek elective positions at the convention, he however said such should not be done at the expense of established norms and agreements. The senator said, “Without prejudice to anybody’s right to aspire for party positions, it is an open secret that the PDP national chairmanship had been conceded to the Southwest pre-Port Harcourt convention.
“It was because of this that the other positions zoned to the Southwest are innocuous deputies to substantive offices except the National Treasurer. “All these are because of the fact that the national chairmanship had already been conceded to the Southwest.
“It is in the light of the above that I wish to reiterate my call on our notable leaders, elders and delegates to put the interest of democracy and the future of our great party above any pecuniary interest or considerations. This is the time we have to rebrand our party and reposition it”.
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