Members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Nigeria House of Representatives have turned their back on the party which wanted them to endorse the rejection of the use of the Card Readers and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the deferred polls.
It was gathered that about 100 members of the PDP in the lower chamber of the National Assembly were earlier summoned to a nocturnal meeting in Abuja by the House Leader, Mulikat Akande and her deputy, Leo Ogor. It was learnt that despite the attempt by the leaders to make them toe the line of the party, they stood their grounds that they would not lend their support to any move that could truncate the nation’s democracy.
A member of the ruling party from one of the South-South states, who was at the meeting held in Apo, said that members were aggrieved that the Presidency and the leadership of the PDP were trying to exploit them for selfish political gains after dumping them during its just-concluded primaries.
The members were said to have shouted down on the conveners of the meeting for trying to exploit them after denying most of them tickets to return to NASS.
The aggrieved PDP members are reported to have asked the House Leader to convey their displeasure to the Presidency and the PDP leadership over their refusal to assist them either politically or financially to pursue their ambitions.
They said it was wrong for the party to seek their support for any cause after abandoning them to the whims and caprices of governors when they needed its support most during the primaries of the party last December.
They reasoned that although President Goodluck Jonathan initially agreed to give some of them a chance to return to the House, the party sided with their governors and rejected the presidential intervention, leaving most of them out of the contest.
The members reportedly requested the party and the presidency to refund the money which some of them spent to prosecute their political ambition as a first step in discussing any issue or forget it.
“As soon as the issue of card readers and PVCs was mentioned by the conveners of the meeting most of the members present rose against it and that was how the meeting ended in confusion,” the lawmaker said.
“None of us gave them any chance to even discuss much in the issue since we already knew where they were going. As far as we are concerned, it would be difficult for the PDP to get the kind of support it is looking for to discredit the elections, which the country spent a fortune to organise.
“How are we going to explain to the outside world that we who spearheaded the electoral reforms and spent a lot of money to acquire the facilities to ensure a credible election and give Nigeria a good image will be the same trying to discredit the system?” [myad]