PDP National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Alkali
By Chuks Okocha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the end of its National Working Committee (NWC) meeting Wednesday, summoned an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting stated for February 20.
The NWC said the emergency NEC meeting was subject to the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan and other stakeholders in the national caucus and Board of Trustees (BoT).
According to an NWC source, “we have summoned an emergency NEC meeting for Monday, but this is subject to the approval of the President, if the date will not clash with his official state duties.”
With the summons of an emergency NEC meeting, it was gathered that the national caucus meeting and BoT meeting will now hold on February 18 and 19 respectively.
According to the NWC meeting, the meetings of the various organs of the party have double agenda of approving the dates of the various elective offices of the party starting from the ward congresses expected to hold on March 4 in all the 8,800 wards of the federation to elect new executives as well as harmonising the zoning of national offices.
Also ill-feeling is brewing within PDP as some members have accused the National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, over using his office to campaign for the office of the national chairman.
The members accused Alkali of using his current office as his campaign office, instead of acquiring an office like other national chairmanship aspirants.
THISDAY gathered from the NWC source that the National Caucus and BoT meetings would approve and ratify the remaining zoning of offices, especially the office of the National Organising Secretary which is a bone of contention between the northwest and the southeast.
The party is in a dilemma as its constitution has no provision for a Caretaker Committee (CTC). This is even as the present NWC tenures will end on March 8 having been elected into office on March 8, 2008.
PDP had summoned an emergency meetings of its various organs last two week to deliberate and approve the dates for the congresses and national convention, but had to postpone the meetings, when it clashed with the dates the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) scheduled for the governorship elections in Adamawa, Bayelsa, Sokoto and Cross River State.
But at Wednesday’s NWC meeting, it was agreed that the national caucus, Board of Trustees and NEC meeting should meet next week to ensure that the ward congresses, local governments, states, zonal congresses an d national convention hold within the month of March to avoid any breach of the party constitution.
Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, has called for a level playing ground among all the national chairmanship aspirants. He also cautioned against character assassination.
“Prof. Alkali has always advocated for the provision of a level playing field not only at the Party level but also elections at all levels in the country,” the statement stated.
While reacting to accusations that he was using his office to give an undue advantage to his national chairmanship aspiration.
The Youth Council for PDP progress had in a statement signed by its Secretary Mohammed Abu Kurfi, and National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Shettima Gumel, accused the party’s spokesman of taking advantage of his office to campaign for the office of national secretary.
But in a reaction signed by his campaign spokesperson, Bonaventure Mela, Alkali cautioned against character assassination and undue bitterness.
“This contest should therefore not be a platform to engage in character assassination and undue bitterness. We wish to also dispel the misguided idea in some quarters that our candidate is taking undue advantage of his current office as National Publicity Secretary to shortchange other aspirants.