â€¢ Chairmanship race: We canâ€™t enforce micro-zoning, says Makarfi
â€¢Party approves Dec 9 for convention
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Forum of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors on TUesday expressed disappointment over what it called series of scandals and allegations rocking the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
This came as the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC), of the party, Ahmed Makarfi, disclosed that the party has only endorsed the zoning of presidency and national chairman to the North and South respectively.
The Chairman of the PDP Governorsâ€™ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, berated the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration led by President Buhari over series of alleged cases of impunity and corruption.
Fayose urged PDP to continue to expose alleged excesses of the APC, declaring that â€œif we donâ€™t expose them, nobody will do so.â€
Fayose likened the administrationâ€™s anti-graft war to the scenario where armed robbers engage perceived thieves in fierce battle.
â€œThe opposition (APC) is now in many scandals, we have to keep our voices up to expose them. Armed robbers calling people thieves, who are the armed robbers now?
â€œBuhariâ€™s anti-corruption fight is like Satan calling Judas Iscariot a sinner.â€ Fayose said.
The Ekiti State governor charged party members to ensure that the December 2017 elective convention succeeds, pointing out that â€œthe last convention was applauded; I want to believe that this one will be the same. In this convention, there will be winner and loser, but in all, the party must win. The fact that you did not win should not make you to destroy the party.â€œ
Meanwhile, while reacting to insinuations that the leadership was behind the move to alter the micro zoning arrangement which ceded the national, chairmanship seat to the South west, Makarfi said there was no truth in such insinuationâ€
He also cautioned against pushing the leadership of the party to assume powers that might make it act in an arbitrary manner and which the party would later regret.
Makarfi who spoke at the 76th National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, said the NCC has no power ascribed to warrant its interference inÂ the choice of chairman of the party.
â€œI want to make one thing categorically clear that it is Â very unfair insinuation. Some people think that I as the chairman of the caretaker committee should assume the power that we donâ€™t have.
â€œWe have no power beyond the convention, and I want to remind all of us that, the only thing convention did was to zone two positions, and as chairman or caretaker committee, you cannot go beyond that.
â€œBut to assume that the chairman of the caretaker committee to exercise power that he doesnâ€™t have, and start dishing out orders, that will be undemocratic and will have no basis or foundation in our constitution,â€ he said.
On the outcome of the meeting with aspirants, he said they sought and obtained from the aspirants that they would all approach the contest with decorum.
He told the meeting that the caretaker committee has been able to restore order and sanity in troubled states.
Makarfi also said the party has also meted out disciplinary actions on some erring members in Anambra State while cases of others have been referred to the disciplinary committee.
Among the aspirants that met with the caretaker committee included Chief Bode George, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Prince Uche Secondus, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, Alhaji Rasheed Ladoja, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Mr. Jimi Agbaje.
While addressing the NEC meeting, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibril, said success of the partyâ€™s convention would depend on the unity and love for the party as the outcome is going to determine the success or the death of the party as every Nigerian is waiting for PDP to come back and rule Nigeria again.
He stated that members of the party should not begin to adopt people without seriously adhering to rules and regulations of the party.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, urged the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee to ensure that the forthcoming national convention is conducted in a very transparent manner to serve as a lasting legacy for the party.
Meanwhile, the NEC of the party has formally ratified December 9 as date for its national convention.
While choosing the date for the national convention, the NEC also said the venue of the event would be at Eagle Square in Abuja.
However, yesterdayâ€™s NEC meeting witnessed a drama when the senator representing Ekiti South senatorial district, Senator Abiodun Olujimi, brought a petition against the Ekiti state governor, Fayose over his alleged interference in the selection process for the partyâ€™s governorship candidate in the state.
Fayose was said to have unilaterally declared that his deputy, Prof. Olusola Eleka, would run as the PDP governorship candidate in the next yearâ€™s election.
Addressing journalists late evening after the meeting the partyâ€™s spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, said Olujimi brought a complain of alleged acts of impunity by the leadership of the state chapter.
When asked about the NECâ€™s response to the petition, Adeyeye said the matter was referred to the chairman of the caretaker committee, who told members that an action was already being taken to resolve the issues in order to avoid a catastrophic outcome of its convention.
He said the NEC approved a general weaver for every one coming into the PDP in Oyo and Anambra States.
He also said the meeting approved guidelines for the conduct of congresses and national convention.
In addition, Adeyeye disclosed that the caretaker committee submitted the budget for the convention to the NEC for its approval.
On the controversy over the eligibility of the governorship candidate of the party in Anambra State, Henry Obaze, the PDPâ€™s spokesman said that the candidate was given weaver before he contested for the primaries in the same way Senator Ademola Adeleke was granted weaver before emerging victorious as a senator.
â€œMost significantly the meeting looked at the various proposals for constitutional amendments,â€ he said.
Explaining why the meeting took so long, Adeyeye said it looked several touchy issues that warranted extensive deliberations.
According to Adeyeye, the meeting was painstaking in considering amendments to the constitution in order to avoid mistakes which could drag the party into problems like the one that led to the prolonged crisis that besieged the party.