· Holds non-elective Convention Aug 12
After due consultations, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), through its 74-member National Executive Committee (NEC), has dissolved the committees set up by its sacked chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
The party explained why it fixed August 12, 2017 for its non-elective National Convention scheduled to hold in Abuja.
In an interaction with journalists after the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and NEC meetings, the spokesman of the National Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said that the leadership of the party dissolved the illegal caretaker committees set up in Jigawa and Benue States.
He hinted that the Governor Seriake Dickson-led Reconciliation Committee had also been dissolved.
The party hierarchy gave the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee the mandate to set up standing disciplinary and reconciliation committees.
Adeyeye said: “It is particularly impossible to have an elective convention before August 16. We cannot meet the conditions for an elective convention. The non-elective convention requires lesser conditions.”
“Therefore, NEC took a decision to convene a non-elective special convention on August 12.”
The PDP spokesman said that the NEC resolved that “all state caretaker committees set up after the Appeal Court judgement onFebruary 17 stand dissolved. (But) If you are properly elected, we have no issue with that.”
According to him, Jigawa and Benue States had duly elected state executives, but when local government elections were coming up in the two states, the Sheriff group said that they didn’t recognise the executives and replaced them.
He said: “You will recall that immediately after the Court of Appeal judgement on the 17th of February and March in Port Harcourt, which gave our victory to Ali Modu Sheriff, he set about installing caretaker committees in some states of the federation, particularly in Jigawa and Benue States.”
“The Ali Modu Sheriff group then in authority set up caretaker committees in both Jigawa and Benue States and tinkered with the executives of some other states.”
“So, we brought a motion before NEC today and the motion was duly passed. NEC declared and affirmed the leadership of the party in Jigawa and Benue States that emerged after the April/May 2016 congresses.”
“That is bringing normalcy back to the party, installing legality and constitutionality”.
Adeyeye said that some of the proposed amendments, which have been circulated to the state chapters, would take care of issues of discipline, ensuring internal democracy in the party and the penchant of the party members not taking advantage of internal conflict resolution mechanism before rushing to the court.
He said: “People know that this party has been rocked by very terrible disciplinary issues, which nearly brought the party down completely. NEC decided to set up standing Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees. And the National Caretaker Committee has been directed to establish and inaugurate these committees immediately.”
The NEC meeting, which is the first since the PDP crisis broke out on May 21 last year, was preceded by meetings of the Expanded National Caucus and Board of Trustees (BoT).
Among party chieftains in attendance at the meetings were former President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, his Taraba State counterpart, Darius Ishaku, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as well as Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.
Also in attendance were former PDP national chairmen, Vincent Ogbulafor and Ahmadu Ali; former deputy chairman, Uche Secondus; members of the National Assembly, former governors, ex-ministers among others.
Only on Monday, Jonathan had assured PDP faithful that the party had passed its worst moment.
Jonathan, who led other party chieftains to the expanded national caucus meeting of the party in Abuja on Monday night, arrived at the venue to a rousing welcome from members of the party.
He urged PDP leaders to focus on rebuilding the party structures which were almost destroyed during the leadership tussle, adding that Nigerians still want the party.
On his part, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu said:
“God gave us the victory because he loves Nigeria. He saw the suffering of the people and gave us the victory.”
The National Chairman of the PDP Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, thanked the members for their steadfastness and confidence in the judiciary.
On behalf of the BoT, Alhaji Aminu Wali, said: “This is a new PDP. By the Grace of God, it is going to have a new beginning.”