By; Yaki Samson.
A group of elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the Board of Trustees (BoT) should take over the affairs of the party in place of dissolved National Working Committee (NWC).
Co-Chairman of the group – Concerned Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders – Sen. Ibrahim Mantu, stated this in Abuja on Saturday while reacting to the developments from the national
convention of the party held in Port Harcourt.
It would be recalled that delegates at the convention dissolved the party’s NWC, the National Executive Committee (NEC), quashed the zoning of national chairmanship to the North- East, among other resolutions.
The convention constituted a caretaker committee, headed by former governor of Kaduna state, Sen. Ahmed Markafi to manage the party for 90 days and conduct a fresh national convention within the period.
But Mantu told newsmen that the group rejected the caretaker committee, saying that the only constitutional organ to run the affairs of the party in a situation as had arisen was the leadership of BoT.
“There is a body that is constitutionally mandated to take over the affairs of the party and that body is the conscience of the party called the Board of Trustees (BoT),” he said.
He said that the development at Port Harcourt was a clear vindication for the group’s demands and principles.
“We were opposed to the zoning and indeed the zoning has been cancelled or set aside.
“We were also opposed to the convention, and the convention did not take place courtesy of the court.
“Again, we were opposed to the way the congresses have been conducted, that, they fell short of our expectations. Now these congresses and conventions have been set aside.
“This group can confidently say that we have achieved all the targets we set to achieve,” Mantu stated.
Also speaking at the news conference, former Minister of National Planning, Mr Saminu Turaki, said that it was time the BOT stepped in and took charge of the party.
Turaki said that the PDP Constitution empowered the BOT as the conscience of the party to take over during situations as such as it was happening currently.
“There shouldn’t be any vacuum and we are concerned that what is coming out of the party from Port Harcourt may likely deepen our disagreement.
“In this situation, therefore, the BOT leadership must take up its responsibilities over the reign of the affairs of the party.
“They need to bring all the members of our party back home, for us to sit down and find a way forward as members of one family,” Turaki said.
Saying that the events at Port Harcourt had further factionalised the party, he said it was unfortunate that instead of working towards strengthening and bringing all members together, they ended up scattering it more.
“There is a group now behind Sheriff saying that everything that has been done is illegitimate and wrongful, while the other groups are saying that Sheriff has been dissolved.
“We don’t want to destroy this party; we want to strengthen the party and bring all members as it were as one family back home together. That is why we are worried.
“Instead of them coming to say that we were right, that they have agreed with our arguments, they ended up factionalising their
“We are saying that this is a very serious situation we need to appraise before taking a decision,” he said.
By; Yaki Samson.