The opposition Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday extended the deadline for the submission of forms for a fourth time. However, impeccable sources in the PDP told The PUNCH that the party decided to extend the sale of forms in order to accommodate defectors from the All Progressives Congress across the 36 states.
The last day for the submission of already completed forms is now Monday, April 25, 2022, while the deadline for purchase of forms is Friday (today). The party, however, noted that the shift did not affect its dates for primary elections.
The PDP originally fixed the closure of forms for April 1 but extended it to April 8 and then to April 14. However, it shifted the date to April 20 and now April 22 (today).
In a statement signed late Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the party said “After a thorough consideration of various issues and concerns in the party, the PDP has further adjusted its timetable and schedule of activities to extend the closing dates for the purchase of expression of interest and nomination forms for the 2023 general elections to Friday, April 22, 2022.
“Under the reviewed timetable, the last day for the submission of already completed forms has been extended to Monday, April 25, 2022”
The date for screening House of Assembly and National Assembly aspirants is Wednesday, April 27, 2022, governorship is Thursday, April 28, 2022 while the date for screening of Presidential aspirants is Friday, April 29, 2022. Appeals on all screening exercised: Monday, May 2, 2022
Under the updated timetable, the three- person Ad-Hoc Ward Congress has been fixed for Saturday, April 30, 2022 while the Local Government Area National Delegates Congresses will now hold on Thursday, May 5, 2022.
Speaking with The PUNCH on Thursday, a chieftain of the party said the main reason for the extension was to give defectors enough time to purchase the forms.
The chieftain, who wished to remain anonymous, said many APC defectors had already purchased the forms by their proxies but had yet to make it public.
“One of the reasons for the extension is to accommodate some of the people defecting. You will be shocked to know the identities of some of the APC politicians that have already purchased forms. We have serving senators and former governors. The PDP will grow stronger in the coming days,” he said.
Already, the lawmaker representing Katsina North senatorial district, Senator Ahmed Kaita, has defected to the PDP and is expected to buy the party’s form. Katsina North senatorial district is where the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is from.
Others who are expected to join the PDP soon include: a former Governor of Gombe State and serving lawmaker, Senator Danjuma Goje; a former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’Aziz Yari; and a former Zamfara Senator, Kabiru Marafa.
Aminu Achida and Abubakar Sulaiman, the Speakers of the Sokoto and Bauchi Houses of Assembly respectively have also defected to the PDP from the APC.
The defections, it was learnt, were due to the crisis that emanated from the party congresses in the states which led to the emergence of factions. There are over 200 court cases challenging the legitimacy of factions. However, the party has made it clear that only factions loyal to governors will be recognised.
With party primaries beginning next month, APC factions who have lost out are now defecting at a fast rate. Some of the states where the APC is witnessing crisis include: Kano, Akwa Ibom, Osun, Kwara, Bauchi, Sokoto, Delta, Ogun, Rivers, Kebbi, Enugu and Oyo.
In some states, the crisis is between the governors and the senators while in states where there are no governors, the crisis is mainly between the ministers and the senators.