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Convention: PDP Governors Set For Face-off With Makarfi-Led Committee

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Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are currently at loggerheads with the Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee for breaching the agreement they had when the committee was put in place.

According to Punch, the governors, the national leadership of the party and its Board of Trustees, had told the committee when it was inaugurated in Port Harcourt on Saturday, May 21, 2016, that none of its members should contest any elective position in the forthcoming national convention.

At different fora, Makarfi and the spokesperson for the caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, had reiterated the determination of the committee members to abide by the agreement.

Apart from Makarfi and Adeyeye, other members of the committee are Senator Ben Obi, Senator Odion Ugbesia, Senator Abdul Ningi, Mr. Kabiru Usman and Hajiya Aisha Aliyu.

“None of us is contesting any elective position in the National Working Committee of the party and therefore, with this, we would be able to be impartial during the elections,” Makarfi had said.

However, it has been gathered that at least two members of the caretaker committee had perfected plans to contest various positions during the forthcoming August 17 national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The members said to be planning to contest are Usman and Aliyu, who are from the North-Central and North-West respectively.

While Usman was said to have settled for the office of the national publicity secretary, Aliyu was said to have decided to be the next national women leader.

It was gathered that the chairman of the National Convention, who is also the governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, raised the issue at the convention committee meeting in Port Harcourt on Sunday, August 7, 2016.

A member of the caretaker committee, who spoke on condition of anonymity said other governors had called to register their displeasure on the issue.

He said, “Wike was angry over the issue of our members contesting at the convention because this is against the mandate given us on May 21.

“Yes, it is true that some of us were pressurised to contest the election. Some even came to us to shift the convention date and stay on because of the crisis in the party.

“But we resisted. But the two people said their zones have asked them to run. They couldn’t resist the pressure and that is the problem and the moral burden we are facing now.

“Apart from Wike, other governors are also raising the matter but I think because of the urge to just leave the stage, we are not paying attention to it. But it is bad.”

Meanwhile, the BoT of the party has said that the party will settle its differences before the convention.

The chairman of the Board, Walid Jibrin, stated this in Abuja on Monday, August 8, 2016, while inaugurating the board’s 18-man reconciliation committee.

The committee, which is headed by a former minister of information, Prof. Jerry Gana, has been given seven days to submit its report.

The committee, according to Jibrin, was saddled with the responsibility of negotiating with the faction of the party being led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

 Jibrin said it was unfortunate that the party was currently having more than 15 cases in court, saying that it was certain that the judiciary would not be able to settle the crisis within the former ruling party.

He said, “We are gathered to inaugurate a special committee of the BoT to reconcile our members. You are aware that the BoT members have been meeting with some organs to review the situation in the party.

“We have, therefore, decided to set up a special committee with a view to resolving the problem. With the calibre of the people we have chosen to represent the BoT, I am very optimistic that the end of this conflict has come and that we shall all come out smiling very soon, before our convention.

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