• Disbands illegal state chapters •Sets up reconciliation/disciplinary committee
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has approved August 12 as date for its non-elective convention.
At the end its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting yesterday in Abuja, the party also resolved to disband all state caretaker executives set up by the former National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, after the May 21botched national convention.
It also decided to set up two standing committees, the disciplinary committee and reconciliation committee expected to handle alleged wrong doings of the former executive led by Sheriff.
Before the NEC meeting, another meeting of the national caucus and the Board of Trustees (BoT) were held in which all the issues were presented and endorsement obtained.
While speaking with journalists on the outcome of the NEC meeting, the spokesman of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC), Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the party approved the removal of state caretaker committees in Jigawa and Benue States.
Adeyeye said: “You will recall that immediately after the Court of Appeal judgment on February 17and March in Port Harcourt, which gave our victory to Sheriff, he set about installing caretaker committees in some states of the federation, particularly in Jigawa and Benue States.”
He explained that the affected state caretaker committee were the ones set up by the Sheriff group during the crisis.
“So, we brought a motion before NEC today and the motion was duly passed. NEC declared and affirmed the leadership of the party in the two states of Jigawa and Benue that emerged after the April/May 2016 congresses.
“All state caretaker committees and state parallel executives set up after the Court of Appeal judgment of February 17, 2017 in Port Harcourt are to be dissolved and the duly elected officers returned to the office forthwith. That is to bring normalcy back to the party, installing legality and constitutionality,” he said.
On the tenure of the members of the NCC, Adeyeye said August 17, 2016 Port Harcourt convention had asked the committee to continue in office for 12 months, which would lapse in August 16, 2016 but that due to the prolonged litigation, it could not dispense of the mandate.
“We have been in court since May 2016. So, the prolonged litigation of the National leadership tussle ended only last week on 1st of July when the Supreme Court when the Supreme Court gave judgment in favour of the NCC, leaving barely one month for the conduct of proper elective national convention, taking into account the relevant statutory notice that we need to give to INEC and the requirements of the PDP constitution 2012 (as amended).
“Practically, it is going to be impossible to have an elective national convention before August 16 because we need to give certain statutory notices to INEC. And our own has some special provisions that we have to meet and there is no time to meet up with those provisions.
“Therefore, NEC took a decision that in view of all the circumstances, NEC invoking the powers conferred on it under Section 31 (2a), decided to convene non-elective national convention onAugust 12, 2017.
“NEC decided to set up a standing Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees. And the NCC has been directed to establish and inaugurate these committees immediately.
“Finally, we took a decision on important constitution amendments that we intend to effect at the next elective national convention that will come up later in the year. The constitutional amendment proposals have been circulated to relevant personalities and organs of the party.
While giving details of the proposed amendments to be effected by the party, Adeyeye said the party is out to address some of the issues that have affected its smooth operation such as poor discipline and the issue of incessant litigation by party members without recourse to internal conflict resolution mechanism.
According to him, the amendments are aimed at ensuring more internal democracy within the party.
He said all the proposed amendments have been circulated to relevant party organs for their considerations and inputs before the convention.
On whether the disciplinary committee was targeting Sheriff and his loyalists who stood on his side throughout the crisis, Adeyeye said nothing of such is intended but that the committee being a standing one, can handle any issues presented before it.