The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo, says he is confident that he will emerge as the next chairman of the party.
Jalo said he was more qualified than six other candidates vying for the position because “of my integrity and credibility and because I am one of the few in the PDP who has not been implicated the $2.1bn arms scandal.”
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent on Saturday, Jalo said a former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, who recently declared himself as the chairman of the party, would support his ambition.
The PDP has been in crisis over the selection of its substantive national chairman since its defeat in the 2015 general elections. There are indications that the party would get a substantive chairman on Wednesday when the members of its National Executive Committee would meet in Abuja.
According to Jalo, those presently eyeing the position include Senator Saidu Kumo, Prof. Rufus Alkali, Ahmed Gulak, Senator Paul Wampana , Ambassador Umar Damagum and Bala Mohammed.
The PDP had zoned the national chairmanship to the North-East. While Jalo, kumo and Alkali are from Gombe, Damagun is from Yobe State, Gulak and Wampana are from Adamawa while Mohammed is from the Federal Capital Territory.
Jalo, however, said Gombe State deserved to produce the next chairman of the party because it is one of the two states in the North-East that was not captured by the All Progressives Congress in the last general elections.
He said, “I will certainly emerge as the next PDP’s national chairman because I have integrity and because of my credibility. I am one of the few in the PDP who have not been implicated nor accused of benefitting from the $2.1bn arms funds allegedly diverted. I have served meritoriously in improving the image of the party. The PDP lost in the last general elections because of impunity, imposition of candidates and nepotism.
“I will not waste my time in probing the past leaders of the PDP because I believe that party problems should be solved through internal mechanism. The PDP is like a car involved in an accident. What the party needs is a good panel beater.
I will reach out to the people and hand over the real leadership of the party to the people. The people’s interest will supersede my interest.
“Gulak respects me a lot. He has nothing against me and I have nothing against him. When I emerge as the PDP chairman, we shall team up to rebuild the party.”
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