The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) plans to hold a non-elective national convention in Abuja on August 12.
The convention is expected to extend the tenure of the Ahmed Makarfi–led executive to allow the Caretaker Committee conduct an elective convention before December. The tenure of the executive will end on August 16.
The decision was taken on Tuesday, following series of consultative meetings involving the party’s National Caucus, the Board of Trustees, the National Executive Committee and members of the Caretaker Committee.
Spokesman Dayo Adeyeye explained that time constraint forced the party to opt for the non elective convention.
According to him, given the August 16 expiration of the tenure of the Caretaker Committee, it would be practically impossible to meet timelines prescribed by the Electoral Act and the party’s constitution for the conduct of elective convention.
Going by provisions of the Electoral Act, the party is required within 21 days, to notify the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in writing of a pending elective convention.
The Makarfi-led leadership, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court on July 12, has lost the 21-day window.
Another resolution is the decision to disband the caretaker committees set up in Jigawa and Benue States by sacked National Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff shortly after he was declared chairman by the Court of Appeal in February.
The two state chapters have been directed to revert to their executive committees prior to their dissolution.
Many other states where parallel executives were set up by Sheriff are also to revert to their original status.
The party plans also to set up standing Disciplinary Committee and a Reconciliation Committee to handle discipline and reconciliation.
Adeyeye said the two committees would have no time frame.
The spokesman gave hints of amendment to some provisions of the party’s constitution, saying the draft of the proposed amendment had been circulated to the organs of the party for their input ahead of the August 12 convention.
According to him, the proposed amendment will be geared toward entrenching internal democracy and checking impunity within the party.
Adeyeye said the party will participate in the governorship election in Anambra State billed to hold in November.
He said the meeting did not discuss the Lagos State local government election coming up on Saturday, adding that the matter has been left to the Lagos State chapter to handle.
The meetings, which were held at the party’s secretariat attracted many party faithful across the six geopolitical zones.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan and many of tthe governors elected on the platform of the party attended the meetings. So did members of the National Assembly.
Also there were former governors, former ministers, past party chairmen and other former executive members.
Sheriff and his loyalists however stayed away.
Former President Jonathan said Nigerians still believed in the capacity of the PDP to lead the country.
Jonathan, who spoke at the expanded National Caucus meeting, said this was demonstrated with reactions to the Supreme Court judgment on the party’s leadership crisis.
”Nigerians still believe in the PDP because when the Supreme Court judgment was given, I was so surprised because some people called and sent text messages to me.
“They are not even politicians but they are so happy that PDP has come on stream because they were worried that PDP will go down.
“So, if people who are not even members of PDP are so happy that PDP has now gotten a platform to operate, in spite of the negative propaganda against us, it means people still believe in PDP.
“PDP is a party that Nigerians still believe in,” Jonathan said.
He added: ”The first thing we need to do is to rebuild the party because when the party is strong, everything will be added to that.
Makarfi said only a miracle would stop PDP from regaining power in 2019.
Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, urged party members and leaders to return “home” and mobilise Nigerians at the grassroots.
“If this party must win, if PDP must get the confidence of Nigerians, if this party must be restored, our leaders must go back home and work,” Fayose said.
At the meeting were David Mark, Remi Bakare, Stella Omu, Godswill Akpabio, Nyesom Wike, Sule Lamido, Ahmadu Ali and also Uche Secondus.
Others were Olisa Metu, Jonah Jang, Jerry Gana, Grace Bent, Gabriel Suswam, Emmanuel Udom, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Darius Ishyaku
The other persons were Jonah Jang, Tom Ikimi, Vincent Ogbulafor, Ahmadu Ali, Jimi Agbaje, Solomon Ewuga, Liyel Imoke, Ibrahim Mantu, Emeka Ihedioha and Dimeji Bankole.