By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Smarting from the victory at the apex court of the country, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi has said the party would adopt the recommendations of the 220-member strategy committee led by Prof. Jerry Gana as a means chatting the way forward.
Makarfi said the first leg of such measure would be to present the report to the National Executive Council (NEC) which hopefully would hold next week,
Speaking in an interview on THISDAY sister Media network, Arise Television in Abuja, Makarfi said PDP planned take seriously, the efforts at rebuilding and rebranding the party so as to correct the bad image it erroneously had been labeled with.
“About a year ago before the Court of Appeal judgement, we set up a wide powerful committee of over 220 led by Professor Jerry Gana to look at all aspects of PDP; the constitution, the manifesto, internal democracy; all issues and this report is ready and by the first leg, the National Executive Council which we hope to hold by next week, some of the recommendation of this report will begin to be presented to NEC for approval so that we begin taking action,” he said.
Makarfi said that the committee which was set up in the wake of crisis in the party had covered ground, adding that it’s report was going to assist the leadership is deciding on how best to drive the reform in the party.
“I think what we are going to do is to take steps to make deep analysis of where we went wrong and how we should correct that and that report is ready for implementation,” he said.
On what the party intends to do to rebrand its battered image, especially as we gradually inch towards the 2019 elections, Makarfi said the party would be tactful in order not to fall prey in the hands of the ruling All Progressives Congress again.
“First of all no decision has been taken on name change. The general argument that I have heard is that we must avoid taking any process that would require any institution of government to give us approval because as an opposition party, you can if you play into the hands of those who want to pull you down therefore whatever we have to do; organisation, rebranding should be what is within our power so that we donâ€™t need anybody sanctioning,” he reasoned.
Makarfi said that PDP was gradually but steadily warming up into the hearts of Nigerians who had comparatively seen that it was better than the APC in governance.
“People now proudly walk with PDP flags in areas where if they see you before they chase you away. Now they see you with PDP flag they wave at you, they come and shake hands with you because they are not happy with the situation they have found themselves in; they were misled, PDP was given a bad name.
“I am not giving excuse for our mistakes, I agree that people have now come to realise that our errors and mistakes were not as much as what they are seeing today,â€ Makarfi explained.
On the issue of reconciliation with Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and other aggrieved members, Makarfi said there was no alternative than for those who lost to join hands and rebuild the party.