- As attempt to scuttle convention fails
From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Attempts to stop the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) special non-elective convention, scheduled for today in Abuja, through a court order on Thursday has failed.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye disclosed this yesterday in Abuja while briefing journalists on the preparation for the party’s convention.
He said: “Some people tried to scuttle the convention through the courts but they failed.” When asked for details, the party spokesman said since the plot did not succeed, there was no point talking about it.
However, Saturday Sun reliably gathered that the attempt was made by some chieftains of the party in the South West zone, which is still enmeshed in crisis.
This is coming as indication emerged yesterday that the PDP National Caretaker Committee headed by former Kaduna State governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi may get tenure extension.
Adeyeye confirmed that the tenure of the Caretaker Committee will be part of the major decisions to be taken at today’s convention.
His words : “The reason for this convention is simple. It became practically impossible to conduct an elective convention. There is need for the convention to do something about the tenure of the caretaker committee.”
Saturday Sun reliably gathered that although the choice open to the party is either to extend the tenure of the Makarfi-led committee or to disband it and appoint a new one, party leaders are however more favourably disposed to an extension for the interim leadership of the party to enable it consolidate on its recent successes.
The tenure of the caretaker committee is supposed to elapse on August 16.
The caretaker committee was set up at the PDP in May 2016, with a mandate to organise an elective convention within three months.
After a convention convened in Port Harcourt, Rivers State last August to elect substantive party executives was scuttled through a court order, the tenure of the caretaker committee was extended by one year.
Apart from the tenure of the caretaker committee, another major business for today’s convention is ratification of proposed amendments to the PDP constitution.
Some of the amendments to be ratified is reduction of the minimum period of membership before a member could seek the party ticket for an election or get political appointment from two years and one year respectively to a uniform period of six months.
Other proposed amendments are the incorporation of the party’s national vice chairmen into its National Working Committee (NWC), introduction of two deputy national chairmen among others.
Adeyeye said no fewer than 3000 delegates from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) will participate in the Special non-elective National Convention.
He noted that the convention will also be observed by the various foreign missions and international organizations.
The PDP spokesman said the special convention will be an avenue to reunite members of the opposition party after the 14 months leadership crisis that bedeviled it.
According to him, the “Unity Convention”, will afford the PDP members across the country an opportunity to celebrate the Supreme Court victory that rescued the party from the precipice.
Besides, Adeyeye said the PDP will use the convention as an avenue to send a strong signal to the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) about its preparedness to regain power in the country in 2019.
He said with its leadership crisis over, the opposition party is poised to sack the APC-led government, which he described as “an abysmal failure” in every aspect.
Adeyeye added that the present administration has destroyed the economy and all the achievements of the PDP in the 16 years, it governed the country.
“We wanted to make it a unity convention . Hence we decided to bring so much people to serve in this committee. Those who were with Sheriff have been intergrated in the convention committee. The policy of no ‘victor, no vanquished’ has been fully implemented by the caretaker.
“We have seen so much enthusiasm by members. It is going to be a carnival like convention. PDP members across the country are coming
“We are expecting over 3000 delegates. Foreign missions are invited. International Organisations are coming to observe this convention. Our members in the diaspora have started arriving ,” he stated.