PDP BoT Grants Sheriff’s Request to Hold Convention in Abuja

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  •  Give Makarfi-led caretaker committee thumbs up

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has yielded to one of the demands by the former National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, to hold its next national convention in Abuja.

The BoT monday directed the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee to consider Abuja as the venue for the next national convention as part of efforts aimed at resolving the lingering leadership crisis rocking the party.

While passing a vote-of-confidence on the National Caretaker Committee, the BoT charged the committee to as soon as possible convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee to accordingly approve proposals for moving the party forward.

The embattled former national chairman of the party had given some conditions as part of the conditions to resolve the crisis in the party, one of which is to hold the national convention in Abuja.

Sheriff also demanded the removal of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as head of convention planning committee.

In a communiqué read by its Chairman, Senator Walid Jubrin, shortly after its meeting which lasted for about four hours, the BoT directed that a new convention planning committee be immediately constituted by the caretaker committee.

However, Jibrin said the planning committee, BoT should be approved by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) this time around.

The BoT communique read: “The next convention should be held in Abuja. To ensure a credible, transparent, free and fair convention, a new convention planning committee should be constituted by the national caretaker committee and approved by NEC.”

As part of the plans to seek alternative funding platform for the convention, Walid said the BoT had accepted to facilitate the raising of adequate funds for the party.

He said the board had resolved that the reconciliation committee headed by Prof. Jerry Gana should continue with all its efforts to achieve full reconciliation.

Meanwhile the Sheriff-led faction of the party has defied the latest peace overtures made by the PDP BoT and has continued to pursue its own agenda.

The group claimed that its faction of the National Working Committee had directed a comprehensive review of the outcome of primary it held for aspirants for the Ondo State governorship election.

In a statement issued by its National Organising Secretary, Mr. Okey Nnaedozie, the faction said it had received series of serious phone calls and petitions regarding the processes of the primary it ordered for the Ondo State governorship election, which was held in Ibadan yesterday morning.

According to Nnadozie, while the result from the exercise is at best tentative, until approved by the NWC, “the NWC wishes to assure all aspirants, stakeholders, members and teeming supporters of the party in the state that it will comprehensively review the processes and circumstances of the exercise accordingly.”

Nnadozie said the decision was as a result of serious reports claiming that proper accreditation was not done for the exercise.

“The review therefore will enable the NWC take an informed decision on whether to conduct a fresh primary or uphold the result from today’s (August 29, 2016) exercise.

“The NWC notes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given political parties up to September 19 to conduct primaries for the Ondo governorship election.

“Finally, the National Chairman, Sheriff, assures all aspirants, members and supporters of our great party in Ondo State and across the nation that the NWC will come out with the best possible position on this matter,” he said.