Electoral Reforms: PDP Sets Up C’ttee, to Partner CSOs

Kola Ologbondiyan

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

As an aftermath of its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up a committee of elders to work towards ensuring effective and efficient electoral reforms before the next general election.
To that extent, the party said it would partner civil society groups to work with it and its members at the National Assembly to reform the electoral act.

This was disclosed to newsmen by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, who claimed that electoral reforms were one of the high points of the PDP NEC meeting.
“For us in the PDP, we believe that until there are improvements in our electoral laws, our elections are not going to be credible and this is going to endanger our democracy.

“So, the PDP has resolved to constitute a committee that will work in tandem with National Assembly members elected on the platform of our party and other interested parties as well to form a broad-based committee that will work with our parliamentarians.

“We need to engage the civil societies on electoral reforms, because as a party, we have seen that the issue of electoral frauds, abuses and hijack of electoral process by the APC can only be redeemed if every Nigerian agree in unison that we must amend the rules.

“This was why the PDP has agreed to work in concert with CSOs, faith-based organisations and community leaders to entrench a law in the system in which the people can truly elect their representatives,” Ologbondiyan said.

On the membership of the reforms committee, he said, “We haven’t decided that yet. The NWC will work on the modalities and present it. We will act on behalf of NEC, work on the modalities of membership and work on the areas of interest concerning the party and the nation. As soon as we constitute the committee, we will make it known”.

He also announced that the PDP would from the first quarter of next year embark on electronic membership drive.

His words: “We are also going on electronic membership drive as you know even INEC is contemplating going for electronic election. If you look at the election that was held in Edo State, where results were transferred from the units, the base of the election to the collation centre, that negated and ruled out the tendency of hoodlums to hijack results and change them.

“We believe that in our party too, we must immediately go into electronic membership drive. The NWC has gotten approval prior to now on the need for that and also presented it to NEC yesterday. By first quarter of next year, we would have been able to begin the pilot scheme.”

He said the NEC has approved the strengthening of the reconciliation of aggrieved member in the party, noting, “NEC also agreed that we should strengthen the processes of our reconciliation both at the zonal level and at the national level. Modalities have been created already and I am sure that before the end of the year, we are likely going to see leaders coming in.

“Even the governors forum and other organs of the party have also agreed to go into reconciliation with our members and leaders, when we have issues,” he explained.

The PDP spokesperson said the NEC has agreed for a review of the manifesto of the party to meet the agitations and expectations of Nigerians before the next general election.

He said: “Our party and NEC have decided that in view of the new exigencies in our nation, and in order to be able to meet the demands of Nigerians; in order to prepare Nigerians ahead of 2023 elections, we are going to create a committee that will review our manifesto and make sure that it meets the requirements of today particularly, the exigencies of today.”

On the outcome of the review of the 2019 general election, he said, “The Bala Mohammed Committee briefed NEC on how far they had gone on the issues the committee is looking into, the reasons the 2019 election went the way it did, because we believe Nigerians voted for our party in the 2019 Presidential election. They brought a preliminary report to NEC and they divulged the areas that they have been able to cover in the assignment and they asked for more time.”