Gana’s committee submits report today
By Chuks Okocha
Barring any last minute changes, the Prof. Jerry Gana-led committee, which was mandated on January 8 this year to restructure the membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustee (BoT) will submit its report today, which may end up eliminating those believed to be anti-Olusegun Obasanjo members of the board.
Also, it was gathered that the committee adopted a formula that any member of the board who has defected to other parties between 1999 to date should automatically be said to have lost its privilege status of being a member of the PDP BoT.
According to inside source, three strategic members of the BoT are said to be affected by this new rule adopted by the Gana’s committee.
They are former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba and Chief Don Etiebet.
THISDAY also gathered that the adoption of this formula was to pave way for members of the BoT considered as anti-Obasanjo’s elements to be weeded out.
Also affected alongside Atiku, Na’Abba and Etiebet were all those who left the PDP for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) during the 2007 general election when the former vice-president contested the presidential election as ACN presidential candidate.
It was, however, gathered that the decision was still controversial as the PDP constitution made all former vice-presidents, speakers of the House of Representatives as mandatory members of the board, with a caveat, if they are still members of the party.
THISDAY gathered that the Gana’s committee recommended that though the affected members that once defected to another party have returned, such privileges of being members of the BoT, which is the conscience of the party, should be denied them.
The source in explaining the decision said: “This is to guide against senior members of the party who often decamp to other parties over minor disagreements. This should not be encouraged.”
It was further gathered that though, the Secretary of the Board, Senator Walid Jibrin, and former national chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, were from the same geo-political zone, the Gana’s committee in its recommendations, said Ali was still eligible for election as the chairman.
By implication, the PDP BoT would be operating from a new position which stated that all positions would be thrown open for election after the submission of the Gana’s report today.
At the last BoT meeting on January 8, the Senate President, David Mark, from the North-central zone nominated Jibrin as the secretary of the Board, while the former acting national chairman of PDP, who was also a former Minister of Defence, Dr. Mohammed Harilu Bello, seconded his nomination.
With the expected submission of the Gana’s report today, there is the indication that the BoT meeting will be summoned to elect its chairman, where the former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme; former Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih; former national chairman of the party, Ali are among the top contenders for the office of the chairman of the BoT.