Senator Paulker Emmanuel, member representing Bayelsa Central senatorial district in the National Assembly, has carpeted the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for lack of internal democracy.
Paulker, one of the disqualified governorship contenders for the PDP’s ticket in Bayelsa State, said this yesterday in Yenagoa, at a forum with members of his campaign organisation.
The Senator, who expressed his displeasure at his disqualification by the PDP’s zonal screening committee in Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently, noted that internal democracy remains key to democracy in Nigeria.
He lamented that since his inexplicable purported disqualification, the party’s appeal panel had yet to come out with the result of their screening.
During the screening, Paulker, a three-time Senator, and a former Chairman of Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area, Chief Ebikitin Diongoli, were disqualified, leaving Governor Seriake Dickson as the sole candidate of the PDP.
The party’s delegates affirmed the candidacy of Dickson last Thursday.
“For our democracy to thrive in this country there must be internal democracy. Without internal democracy, it is difficult for a party to reflect democracy on the playground.
“It is better to quarrel in the process of internal democracy than to shut out internal democracy out of our democratic experience.
“Regarding our disqualification, up till now, the appeal panel has yet to come out with the result of the screening. Power comes from God. Irrespective of parties, Bayelsa belongs to all of us. If a government is formed tomorrow, all of us will benefit from it. Any government in power owes all of us a duty of service.
“Like I told them at the screening panel, when they criticised me that members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, attended my ceremonies, I said the party required more Paulkers now than ever because we require ambassadors to go out of this party to canvass for votes in order for us to win,” Paulker said.
Also, Director General, Renewal 2016, Senator Paulker Emmanuel Governorship Campaign Organisation, Dr. Ayakeme Whisky, said what happened to their principal, Paulker during the screening was a rape on democracy.
Whisky, who is a prominent member of PDP Unity Group, an association within the PDP, said the forum which held alongside a dinner, was an avenue to strengthen those behind him (Paulker) and to cultivate a bond of relationship.
He said, “Paulker, as a loyal party member and our principal has given up on his disqualification. What else do you want him to do? If the party he aspired for its flag, till this minute as we speak, has not released the outcome of their appeal screening, what do expect him to do but to defer to God?
“At the lower screening committee, they said he was not cleared. Six months ago, they cleared the same man to fly the flag of thr party to contest for Senate.
“He contested and won the Senate for the PDP, he is a serving member of the Senate, the same man you did not clear today, on what grounds?
“It is quite inexplicable. The same man appealed the disqualification. Expectedly, the appeal committee should have come out with the result, either upholding his disqualification or non-clearance or giving him clearance to contest.
“But even as we speak, the timetable for the PDP primary is over. As we speak, the outcome of the appeal panel has not been released.”
He said part of the problems of the PDP, which he had been complaining about was lack of internal democracy, insisting that the PDP lost so many elections in the 2015 general elections because the party never upheld internal democracy.
He said, “We felt that as parts of the rebuilding process, the party would have learnt its lessons and enthrone internal democracy.
“As I said before, a presidential election, the PDP decided to print only one presidential nomination form and handed over the form to the sitting President.
“That development angered five sitting governors who got out of the nomination primary and before you know it, those five governors cross carpeted to the opposition.
“It was the beginning of the problems of the PDP and I thought the lessons of that experience should have impacted on every leader of the party so that going forward, we should have got things right, but it appears we can’t learn as a party.”
On his part, another disqualified aspirant, who has since aligned with Paulker, Chief Ebikitin Diongoli, expressed the need to unseat “King Saul” in Bayelsa State.
Diongoli said, “What they did to us at the screening comittee was to insult a ranking senator and myself, a grassroots politician.
“There is no reason to disqualify us. The governor, Seriake Dickson, called me after the screening and said I was not disqualified. He said they only did not clear me for the purpose of this election.”

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