The Peoples Democratic Party has said former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar will not vote at its December 9 national convention, which holds at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
It says this is because of the provision of the party’s constitution that deals with new entrants into the party.
However, the party said Atiku would be allowed to speak at the convention. The Publicity Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, who spoke with journalists at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, said the party’s constitution should be used as a guide on the issue.
“All you need to do is pick up the constitution of the party and see whether Atiku is qualified to vote or not,” Adeyeye stated.
When pressed further, he said, “First of all, I can tell you that we are happy with Atiku coming back to the PDP. It is very exciting for all of us. It is a good omen to everybody in the PDP.
“He was one of the founding fathers, one of those who built this party and he is coming back home. His room was never occupied, so we have opened it for him.
“He will be part of this convention. He will even make a speech at the convention but he may not be voting at the convention.”
Chapter 2 (Part 1) of the party’s constitution deals with admission of members into the party.
On Procedure for rejoining, Sections 8 and 9 explain, “A person, who desires to rejoin the party after leaving it shall apply to his Ward Secretary for re-admission; and unless given a waiver by the National Working Committee, he willbe placed on probation for a period of not less than one year.
“Subject to the provision of Section 8(b), a member on probation shall have the right to attend all meetings of the party, but shall not be entitled to vote at such meetings, nor shall he be eligible to contest elective office on the platform of the party.”
One of Punch correspondents gathered that the party was planning to amend the above sections at the convention.
The expected amendment will place returnees on six months probation before they could contest any position or be voted for.
Atiku, who was a foundation member of the party, defected to the All Progressives Congress in 2014, claiming that the then opposition party would be his “last bus stop.”