From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
Chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have finally fixed August 17 for the conduct of a fresh national convention that would produce new set of national officers.
Chairman of the Caretaker Committee put in place at the last convention held in May in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi announced the development at the end of a stakeholders summit in Abuja, yesterday.
Speaking with reporters after a closed-door session that lasted for several hours, the former Kaduna State governor also dropped hints that the office of national chairman, which has beenn a lingering tussle between him and former Borno governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has been thrown open to chieftains of the party in the southern part of the country.
He said: “We discussed some programmes leading to the convention, meaning that the convention will hold on August 17 where we will elect new national executive officers of the party. We have also discussed and agreed on a new amendment to the constitution, in view of recent court judgments, in order to align the constitution to the judgments that have been delivered by court of competent jurisdiction.
“We also discussed about zoning. Within the next few days, a committee will be set up on zoning. The convention set aside the previous zoning arrangement, so, a new zoning arrangement has to be made, and we have agreed that within the next 48 hours, this committee should be put in place and given a week to come out with a new zoning arrangement.
“But, taking a cue from the decision taken at the Port- Harcourt convention, that the president will come from the north, of course, it is incontrovertible that the chairman of the party will come from the south, and it will be open to all and not consigned to any geo-political zone or state in the south.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jubrin expressed confidence that Sheriff would submit himself to decisions reached at the summit.
“If you see Kashamu coming to our side fully, embracing our national caretaker committee, whatever this group says will be acceptable to him.
“We have been meeting with Senator Sheriff. Even yesterday, we met until 4am this morning. And there is progress with Sheriff. He is a human being and I am sure he will follow suit.”