PDP Holds Fresh Convention August 17, Zones Chairmanship To South | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Holds Fresh Convention August 17, Zones Chairmanship To South

Posted: Jul 15, 2016 at 4:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…Buruji Kashamu Openly Dumps Modu-Sheriff, Aligns With Caretaker Committee


Rotimi Akinwumi

Abuja – The caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after a meeting with stakeholders of the party on Thursday fixed August 17 for its national convention where leaders of the party will be elected.

The party also announced that it was not adopting specific zoning of the chairman’s seat to any geopolitical zone in the South, or any specific state, but that all states in the southern part of the country are free to aspire for it.

The disclosure was made by the chairman of the caretaker committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, at the end of a lengthy meeting held at Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.

The crisis rocking the party showed another face on Thursday when Senator Buruji Kashamu a staunch backer of the factional chairman of the party, Ali Modu-Sheriff, openly fraternised with the caretaker committee as he attended the stakeholders’ summit.

Signs of crack within the camp of Modu-Sheriff were evident on Monday when the embattled former national chairman issued a statement denouncing Kashamu as his godfather.

Speaking after the meeting on Thursday, Makarfi told newsmen that the meeting agreed to take the convention back to Port Harcourt while the chairmanship should be made open to all states in the South.

“We discussed some programmes leading to convention, meaning that the national 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.

“Equally, we received reports of reconciliation. You can see by yourself our brothers, friends and associate, Sen Buruji Kashamu. That is evidence of the reconciliation making progress and I can assure you that we will never foreclose full reconciliation with Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff and another person that may still be associated with him.

“What we want is an all inclusive PDP. An equitable, fair and just system in the PDP.

“We equally have set up a special committee led by DSP Sen Ike Ekweremadu, to further cement the reconciliation within the South West so that all issues that must have led to the division in the South West would be resolved accordingly.

“Of course, the convention will be taking place in Port Harcourt on August 17, 2016”.

Giving an insight into the decision taken on the new zoning arrangement to be adopted by the party, Makarfi noted that a special zoning committee will be put together by tomorrow (Saturday) to look into the sharing formula.

He, however, stated clearly that the office of the chairman may not be re-zoned within the Southern states, but left to all interested persons from the Southern states to contend for.

“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, 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 of course 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 geopolitical zone or state in the South” he said.

Sources at the meeting told Independent that Chief Bode George succeeded in reconciling the warring Buruji and the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose.

The source said that Senator Buruji told the gathering that he got angry with the way he was treated by the governors especially Fayose who he allegedly said introduced him to Modu-Sheriff in the first place.

“The crisis between Senator Kashamu Buruji and the Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, was settled at the meeting today (yesterday). We are thankful to Baba Bode George who was able to calm frayed nerves.

“Senator Buruji said emphatically that he gave support to Modu-Sheriff to spite the governors who refused to carry him along when the decision to dump Modu-Sheriff was taken.

“He specifically told the gathering that Governor Fayose was the one who introduced him to Modu-Sheriff and asked him to give all support to him because the party had concluded arrangements to make him the chairman at the convention ground in Port Harcourt.

“No matter what happened, we are thankful that the crisis is over. We are now one” the source said.