The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has dropped its plan to hold its national convention to elect new leaders on August 16. Instead, it will hold a special non-elective convention on August 12.
The decision was taken Tuesday at the party’s 74th National Executive Council meeting held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Briefing journalists of the development at the end of the meeting, the spokesperson of the party, Adedayo Adeyeye, said that the National Convention could no longer hold on August 16 as previously scheduled because of certain provisions the party needed to meet.
“Practically, it is going to be impossible to have our national convention before August 16 because we need to give statutory notice to INEC. Our own constitution has some important provisions that we need to meet, and there is no time to meet all those provisions. So practically, it is impossible to hold an elective national convention before August 16,” he stated.
“Therefore, NEC took a decision today that in view of all the circumstances, NEC invoking the power conferred on it under section 31, sub-section 2, today decided to convene a non-elective national convention on August 12 in Abuja”, he continued.
Mr. Adeyeye added that it was “one of the most important decisions” taken at the large gathering of leaders of the party.
The National Caucus of the party also met Tuesday. The meeting which was presided by the chairman of the party’s caretaker committee, Ahmed Makarfi, was attended by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the party’s National Secretary, Ben Obi, Acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Aminu Wali, and some state governors including Ayodele Fayose, the Ekiti State Governor who is the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, and Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State.
Also in attendance were two deputy governors John Gboribiogha (Bayelsa State) and Ude Chukwu (Abia State).
Others at the meeting include members of the National Caretaker Committee, National Vice Chairmen and State Chairmen, Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, House Minority Leader Leo Ogor, and some principal officers of the National Assembly.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Makarfi congratulated the leaders, members and supporters of the PDP for their steadfastness and commitment throughout the trying period of the party’s leadership crisis which was resolved following the judgement by the Supreme Court on July 12 that confirmed him as the leader of the party.
He specially praised the PDP governors for remaining in the party and also thanked Nigerians for standing with the party.
Some key decisions reached at the meeting according to Mr. Adeyeye include:
1.The reinstatement of all State Excos that were elected at the April 2016 Congresses and later reversed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff after the February 17, 2017 Court of Appeal Judgement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
2. Directing Memo for the Amendment of certain Sections of the Party Constitution to the wards, local government, and state levels for contribution before the next NEC, and
3. Approval of the Constitution of a Standing Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to deal with all issues regarding Party discipline and to reconcile all aggrieved members of the Party before holding electoral National Convention.
Many party members and political watchers had expected the party to roll out a comprehensive timetable towards an elective national convention especially following the excitement that greeted the decision of the Supreme Court which was seen as an opportunity for a new beginning.
Much attention will remain focused on the party as it tries to navigate its way to competitiveness post-crisis.
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