National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, challenged the federal government to extend the ongoing probe of the 2015 campaign funds to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Also, PDP Concerned Stakeholders led by Professor Jerry Gana reneged on the truce reached on Monday and announced plans to hold a parallel convention on March 21, same day the party will hold its convention in Port Harcourt.
In a communiqué read by the PDP National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, at the end of the 71st National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting held at the its national secretariat, Abuja, the party lamented that its members are being hounded and detained by the government over the money it expended to prosecute its 2015 election campaign.
According to the party, other political parties, including the ruling APC spent money for their campaigns last year and it is illogical to single out only the PDP in the probe of campaign funds.
While declaring that about 20 members of the PDP are presently in detention over campaign funds, the party called on the international community to take note of the hounding of its members by the federal government in the guise of campaign funds probe.
“NEC also observed that members of the PDP were being arrested by anti-graft agencies. Over 20 of our members are under lock by anti-graft agencies because of the funds the party used for its campaign.
“We believe that the PDP is not the only party that went for election, we are urging the APC and other political parties to also be investigated. We are not against anybody being investigated, but it should be a uniform rule for all parties in Nigeria.
Sheriff also announced that the PDP NEC approved the conduct of fresh congresses in seven states where controversies trailed the exercise.
Among the states affected are Sokoto, Zamfara, Lagos, Yobe and Anambra.
The national chairman did not disclose the names of the two other states where fresh congresses are to be conducted.
He declared that “as a result of all the resolutions we reached with the Board of Trustees, NEC agreed on three major items: that our convention will take place in Porth Harcort as scheduled; in the convention venue, we will take a resolution to the effect that the presidential candidate of the party will come from the north. The resolution will also state that the chairmanship of the party will go to the south after the emergence of the presidential candidate in 2018.’’
But while the PDP was holding its NEC meeting, aggrieved members of the party led by Gana held a parallel meeting in the Abuja premises of DAAR Communications where they inaugurated a steering committee with Gana as its Coordinator.
Though independent journalists were not allowed into the venue of the meeting, it was gathered that the group resolved to hold a parallel congress in Abuja on March 21.
The group also mandated its members to go to various states to mobilise members to the Abuja convention where a parallel executive committee will be elected to run the affairs of the party.