From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), yesterday, set up a panel to resolve the crisis rocking the party.
The committee comprising governors, members of the BoT, National Assembly caucus of PDP, the National Working Committee, former governors and ministers is expected to report back within 72 hours.
Former Senate president, David Mark, told newsmen the committee was needed not just to resolve issues related to recent resignation of seven deputy national officers but to make PDP more united.
He also denied rumour that Governor Nyesom Wike of River was summoned to the meeting, saying he attended in his capacity as a member of the board.
Asked if the current NWC would be allowed to complete its tenure, former Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said the committee members would meet between 48 to 72 hours for way forward.
He advised against making point out of who attended the meeting for the first time, saying as a member, he was attending for the first time for long time.
“We all came together to addresses some issues and because of the urgency of the matter, we agreed to set up this committee urgently.
“Within the next 48 hours to 72 hours the committee will meet and at the end of the meeting, the country will see the direction the party is going.
“The commitment of everybody to attend this meeting and subject themselves to the decision of the meeting shows the interest of everybody.
“The presence of all of us here is because this meeting of today is important in addressing some of those issues.
“My message to Nigerians is that we know the importance of this party to this nation in addressing the challenges ahead of us. So, let us come together as a party and salvage this country,” Saraki said.
The BoT Chairman, Sen. Walid Jibrin, in his remark said now was the right time for PDP to put its house in order, to enable it prepare for its upcoming elective convention for the election of its national leaders, as well as prepare for the 2023 general elections.
“In order to achieve complete success, we must do away with any personal interest and unnecessary in-house fighting, capable of killing the objectives set by the party.”
He said the board must look critically at the party approved organs, advising all to wake up by functioning very well, in order to fulfil the dreams of PDP’s forefathers.
“In the light of the foregoing, it is very important therefore, that the BoT being the conscience of the party, must today come up with necessary strategy for election of our national leadership, based on free and fair election that will produce credible and competent officers of our party,” he said.
Jibrin noted that the BoT was always ready to listen to any group, committee, or individual with good intentions for the party, aimed at promoting peace and unity in PDP and Nigeria.
He urged members to put their collective interest ahead any personal interests in making sure that PDP new leaders emerged only through free and fair election at the national convention.
“There is also need to take a firm stand to drastically reduce suits by aggrieved members, by following procedures enshrined in the PDP constitution, before referring any matter to court.
“Anyone that takes the party to court should be seriously disciplined,” he said.
Jibrin stressed the need to look at why many past PDP national chairmen, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Alhaji Ahmed Mua’zu and Alhaji Alimodu Sheriff, did not complete their tenures successfully.
“We must sit with the national chairman and the NWC to come out with decisions that will make our party strongest. While truth is bitter, we must cope with the bitterness by taking serious actions to handle this situation.”
He also disclosed that he had completed all arrangements with the PDP Governor’s Forum, the National Assembly Caucus and Forum of State Chairmen, for effective consultation on the way forward for the party.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said the meeting was critical not only for members of the NWC but the entire PDP. He added that it was time for the party to brace up and come out strong and even stronger.
“I believe that in every human endeavour where there are issues, the issues must be tabled, discussed and come out with solutions. That solution will make our party very strong,” Secondus said.
Briefing on the state of the party, including the pending congress in nine states, Secondus said the reconciliation committee had done great work in Plateau and Niger. He said for the remaining states, forms were being sold to those who wanted to contest.
Secondus said that after the state congresses, PDP was looking forward to a smooth and peaceful convention coming up in December, adding that the office of the national organising secretary was already preparing.
“Soon, the schedule of events, timetable and others shall be presented before the caucus, BoT, NEC and all organs of our party for action, leading to the convention,” Secondus said.
On the seven deputy members of principal working committee of the party that resigned, he said the NWC met them on the day they tendered their letters.
Meanwhile, the PDP deputy national publicity secretary, Diran Odeyemi, has withdrawn his resignation letter.
Odeyemi, who was one of the seven deputy national officers, who tendered their resignation letters, on Tuesday, said his decision was because of the activation of internal conflict resolution mechanism by the PDP leader.
In a letter dated August 4, 2021 and addressed to the PDP National Secretary,Odeyemi said:
“I write to withdraw my letter of Resignation as the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of our great party.
“This decision is taken in view of the activation of the internal method of resolving issues by our leaders across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“I also wish to state expressly that whatever embarrassment the resignation has caused the party, its leaders, members and supporters is highly regretted.
“Most importantly, in view of the fact that the tenure of myself and other members of the present National Working Committee (NWC) will expire in another three months, it is my view that the boat should not be rocked under any guise.
“Consequently, I pledge my loyalty and commitment to the party and the Prince Uche Secondus led NWC, and will continue to play my roles to ensure a successful National Convention, which will usher in new national officers.”