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PDP Crisis: BoT Set For Stormy Meeting Today

Makarfi-vs-SheriffThe Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party has called an emergency meeting where the crisis rocking the party will be discussed.

It was gathered that the meeting might be stormy and that far-reaching decisions might be taken on how to reposition the troubled party.
The meeting, which holds in Abuja on Monday (today), is to be presided over by the Chairman of the Board, Senator Walid Jibrin.
Our correspondent gathered that the meeting would discuss the report of the Prof. Jerry Gana-led peace committee which was set up by the BoT.

The committee was appointed to negotiate with the aggrieved members of the party, especially the faction led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
The report of the committee was submitted to the board two days before the last botched national convention of the party scheduled for Port Harcourt, Rivers State on August 17.

Gana and other 17 members of the committee had recommended that the convention be held in Abuja and that both Sheriff and the leader of the National Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, be allowed to play a major role there.
The committee had recommended that a convention planning committee be reconstituted to have nominations from both sides
Excerpts from the report said, “Agree on co-chairmen to preside over the convention Planning Committee; ensure a credible, transparent and superbly organised convention to produce highly qualified and suitable national officers through a process of free, fair and highly credible elections.

“Both Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to address the national convention, with Senator Ahmed Makarfi declaring the convention open as convention chairman and Senator Sheriff to hand over to the new chairman after the elections.
“Party’s national convention to be shifted from Port Harcourt to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, but the convention should still hold on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.”

However, none of the recommendations was accepted by the National Convention Committee led by the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike.

The governor, backed by other governors, especially his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr. Ayo Fayose, went ahead with the planning of the convention.
However, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja and presided over by Justice Okon Abang, halted the convention with its order on August 16.

The order prevented the party from holding the convention where its national officers would have been elected.
It, however, extended the tenure of the caretaker committee by one year, and was given a fresh mandate to organise a fresh national convention that would be elective.

It was gathered that the BoT meeting might be a prelude to other meetings to be held by the different organs of the party during the week.
Speaking on the issue, a member of the Board, Chief Bode George, said the meeting would be very critical to the survival of the party.
George, who spoke with our correspondent on Sunday, said, “This week is going to be very crucial to the survival of our party. The BoT will meet and other organs of the party are also expected to meet as well. The founding fathers of the party will also meet.

“We are expected to also have an expanded national caucus meeting as well. We are going to be frank in our discussions and decisions.”
George, an aspirant to the office of the national chairman of the party at the botched convention, said he was satisfied with the decision not to hold another election until next year.

Also speaking, a former Minister of Transportation who is also a member of the BoT, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, said the BoT would not allow individuals to hijack the party.

He said, “The game is over. Those two governors (names withheld) will not be allowed to hijack the party. We are not going to Port Harcourt for another convention again.”


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