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Fresh Crisis Hits PDP Over Planned Reform Conference

Posted: Sep 17, 2015 at 12:25 am   /   by   /   comments (2)

• NWC Orders Indefinite Postponement  • We’ll Go Ahead, Stakeholders Insist

A fresh wave of crisis has hit the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over calls for reform in the party, which is still struggling to survive after losing the general elections.

The new crisis is engendered by the resistance mounted by members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) against the plan to reform the party as spearheaded by stakeholders within its fold.

Some founding members of the party led by Professor Jerry Gana had put together a Reform Conference Committee to look into the challenges and prospects of the party and fashion a way out of the quagmire for the party that was in power at the federal level for 16 straight years.

The stakeholders had picked October 23 for the all-important conference after consultation with relevant organs of the party.

However, the NWC yesterday announced an indefinite postponement of the conference, precipitating another round of crisis in the party.

National Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Wale Oladipo, in a statement he personally signed, made the position of the party’s NWC known yesterday.

But the conference planners will have none of it, as they dared the NWC in a swift reaction to the pronouncement, saying the conference would hold as planned.

Prof. Oladipo said the decision to halt the programme was to create room for further consultations and critical consideration by stakeholders of the report of the PDP Post Election Assessment Committee, headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, which is due for submission this month.

“The national leadership notes and appreciates the eagerness, commitment and dedication of our leaders and members in the rebuilding of the party; we have also noted the need to allow proper consideration of the report of the Senator Ekweremadu-led Post Election Assessment Committee accordingly, especially as that committee is headed by the highest elected PDP member in the nation.

“In that regard therefore, the NWC directs that all activities of the said committee on the proposed PDP National Conference be put on hold forthwith.

“The consideration of the report of the PDP Post Election Assessment Committee will include input from members of PDP leadership organs, including PDP Governors’ Forum, PDP National Assembly Caucus, Board of Trustees, National Caucus, National Working Committee (NWC) and the National Executive Committee (NEC), immediately upon receipt of the report.

“The NWC reassures that in the final composition of all the committees to be inaugurated by the leadership of the party in due course, all critical stakeholders will be consulted and all necessary interests accommodated,” the statement said.

The party had been battling for survival since March when it lost massively to the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) in what has been widely acknowledged as the fairest and freest election since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999.

Besides Adamu Mu’azu who resigned his office as National Chairman of the party after the electoral loss, other NWC members have tenaciously held on to their positions in the national executive, against the mounting pressure from party members who want them out.

Some critical stakeholders have recently been pushing for a radical reform to which the party had submitted, with an approval for e-registration committee led by media mogul, High Chief Aleogho Raymond Dokpesi.

The conference, according to the organisers, was to formulate a new policy direction at making the party rebound to its place of reckoning politically in the country by submitting to the ideals of the founding fathers.

Proponents of the new initiative were attuned to pursue an all-inclusive party, promote the sustenance of internal democracy and enforce party discipline among its members.

This posture they believed tallies with the vision and philosophy of the founding fathers whilst returning the party to the people.

The brains behind the project include Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. ABC Nwosu, former political adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo and later Minister of Health,  Hon. Nkoyo Toyo; High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, and John Dara.

Sources within the party revealed that the NWC members were not disposed to the radical pattern of reform being proposed by the conference organisers, believing that it might pave the way for agitation against them for alleged poor handling of the party’s activities that led to its failure in the last elections.

John Dara, a member of the conference planning committee, in his reaction said: “We believe the reform conference will take place because it is not the party’s national secretariat that is driving the conference.

“The PDP Governors’ Forum believes we need a reform conference. The BoT believes we need the conference. The only group that has shown hostility and lukewarm attitude to the conference is the National Working Committee.

“Such statement postponing the conference is not surprising and does not reflect the wishes of overwhelming majority of party leaders and members.

“Sovereignty of the people in any organisation supersedes the interest of a handful of elected people.

“Definitely, members of PDP will take the party in their hands and make sure PDP is brought back to winning ways with the people of Nigeria.

“So, we will make sure that the wishes of the overwhelming majority in the party come to pass,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, also decried the position of the party leaders, saying the decision of the NWC members is not in tandem with the reality within the party.

“The PDP NWC position is very hasty and highly unwarranted and provocative. I think that all parties should meet after Sallah and fine-tune the details of the conference,” he said.

Comments (2)

  • Sep 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm MONICA TERNA

    why are they beefing the PDP APC will is already crawling in all the promises they made to Nigeria we will all see where this their acting will lead them at the end

  • Sep 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm benny agafa

    Is umbrella not big enough to accommodate the again?

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