Fresh crisis has hit the Kogi State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the disqualification of some aspirants for the Kogi West senatorial district.
The affected aspirants have protested to the national leadership of the party.
They said their disqualification was meant to pave the way for Senator Dino Melaye representing the district in the Senate.
Some of the disqualified aspirants include Sunday Karimi, a serving member of the House of Representatives; Mr. Clarence Olafemi, a one-time Speaker of the state House of Assembly and former Acting Governor of the state Mr. Henry Ojuola, a two-term member of the state House of Assembly and Mr. Oreniya Salaudeen, former member of the state House of Assembly and former Chairman of Yagba East Local Government in the state.
In a statement they jointly issued in Abuja yesterday, the politicians accused the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki of masterminding their disqualification.
According to them, the Senate President was bent on imposing Senator Melaye on the district, despite stiff opposition from the electorate in Kogi West.
Describing Saraki’s action as cruel and unkind, the aspirants said Melaye, who only defected to the PDP in July, was being favoured to the detriment of members who stood by the party through thick and thin.
Vowing never to leave the PDP, the aspirants said they have resolved to remain in the party and work against the interest of the PDP in every election that will take place in the Kogi West district.
They said: “We will not quit the PDP but to stay put and wreck it in the 2019 elections should the leadership fail to do the needful over the injustice now being done to us.
“We were all disqualified and we appealed the disqualification but nothing changed even after series of protests. But a special panel was raised that eventually cleared us for the primaries.
“However, to our surprise, other cleared aspirants were issued with clearance certificates, leaving out the four of us from Kogi West senatorial district because of Senator Dino Melaye’s automatic ticket
“The battle line is drawn from now on, because our people back home are saying no to imposition.
“They want primaries where they can pick a candidate of their choice and not an imposed candidate that will not be able to come and campaign at home with his people ahead of the election.”
The disqualified aspirants added: “As for us, we are not leaving PDP for strangers. We will stay within to fight this impunity of the highest order being promoted by Senator Saraki.