As embattled Senator Dino Melaye gets set to defect from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kogi West Elders Forum (KWEF) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected any attempt to impose Senator Dino Melaye as the sole senatorial candidate on the people of the Kogi West in 2019.
The group made this known through Hon. Shaibu Momoh, its chairman, at a meeting held in Lokoja, over the weekend.
The group declared that its main objective was to work with other leaders in Kogi West, to present a credible candidate from Yagba axis, warning that imposition of a candidate by any group or individual would be resisted vehemently.
“That the news of an attempt to impose the controversial Senator Dino Melaiye on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kogi West, by the National Leadership of the party, as an Automatic Senatorial candidate for the 2019 National Assembly election is hereby rejected in its totality and unacceptable,” he said.
The group said Senator Dino Melaiye comes from an Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi West that has been producing the senator for the Senatorial district for the past 12 years and that adding another four years would make 16 years while the rest six local government areas would still be waiting for their turn.
He stressed that of recent, the need for a shift to other local government areas became inevitable, universal option and has become a serious campaign issue.
“PDP Leadership in Kogi West endorsed by the state leadership was the first party to take a firm decision to shift/zone the position to other Federal constituencies of the state for equity and justice, since over a year now.”
“Known aspirants have emerged from other areas excluding Ijumu in PDP and they have been on the field carrying out their consultations and preparing their structures in preparation for the party Senatorial primary expending a huge amount of resources and time for the past 12 months.
“To now impose a strange candidate under a questionable reasons will not only be wrong, unjust and unfair but also it will totally collapse all efforts by our highly respected leaders at rebuilding and be rebranding the party in the state thereby giving an opportunity and undue advantage to the opposition party APC that is in government to contend with,” he warned.
The Chairman noted that Senator Melaye, as he stands today, was not an asset to PDP but a very big liability because he had no noticeable structure and followers that can substantially erode the consequential damage, such imposition could cause on PDP in the state.
“The result of his recall failure by government-backed agitators is not because of his political strength but rather it is the reflection of the wider rejection by the people of the sitting APC government, their policies, unpaid salaries, pensions and gratuities and ethnic colouration.
“He is seen as too controversial and his unacceptable behaviours are the serious negative views of the public against him.
“He cannot win an election in a free and fair atmosphere and PDP should therefore not gamble with him as a candidate for now,” he stated.