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PDP: Time To Consolidate Is Now

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At last, a Federal High
Court in Port Harcourt on July 4, 2016 has finally barred the factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff from office. The court’s judgement put a final seal to the coffin of Sheriff’s chairmanship, keeping him away from the secretariat of the party in Abuja. By the judgement, it is now clear that whatever agenda Sheriff had for or against the PDP is dead and buried.
A member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party in an interview with newsmen before the judgement, said: “we know he has an agenda. He wants to kill the PDP and return to where he is coming from but that would not happen. He has been parading himself all over the place like a masquerade. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to him now. Let us wait for the July 4 judgement. After that day, then, we will know who the chairman of the party is.”
Justice A. Liman of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt had on May 24, ordered Sheriff and members of his National Working Committee (NWC) to stop parading themselves as officers of the party. That decision gave legal teeth to the May 21 Port Harcourt National Convention that produced the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP.
Justice Ibrahim Buba at the Federal High Court in Lagos had affirmed Sheriff and his faction as the national officers of the party.
The constitution of the party as provided in Section 43 stipulates that such powers are conferred on anybody by the National Convention of the party as held in Port Harcourt on May 21, 2016. On that day, the power was transferred to the Makarfi Committee through the convention. It was from that day that Sheriff ceased to be the national chairman of the party by law. The INEC officials were on hand to observe the convention.
Addressing the conven-tion which was attended by PDP members from the 36 States of the Federation including Abuja, former and sitting governors, senators and House of Representatives members, members of State Houses Assembly, BOT of the party and supporters, Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike who was chairman, National Planning Committee, said the event had showcased PDP as the largest and a united party in Nigeria and Africa at large.
He assured that the convention would be successful and that the PDP was working not only in Rivers State but also in Nigeria as a whole. Wike also assured the business community and investors that Rivers State was peaceful and well secure contrary to sponsored reports.
Also addressing the convention, the former Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who declared it open, said the time had come for PDP members to come together and eschew all wrangling, knowing that the party was for the people.
According to him, only PDP can save the country from the difficult situation it is passing through, saying that the APC had failed. “There is general hunger and the populace is yearning for PDP to come to their rescue. We must make sacrifice since we cannot do anything outside the convention as the control switch of the party. We must make sure that PDP succeeds and remains together because the world is looking towards PDP to move the country forward.”
Speaking in an interview with The Tide, Secondus described the so-called division or crisis in the party as a mere distraction and not a crisis as being speculated, pointing out that there was no crisis in the party as what was happening so far was a mere distraction from a handful of members who were being used to create the scene that looked like a crisis. The party, he said, was intact and united even more than ever before, adding that the party was not in any crisis as all the members of the working committee, Board of Trustees and National Assembly members were intact and in support of the decisions reached at the party’s convention in Port Harcourt.
“The convention of any party is the highest decision-making body of the party and all party men are supposed to abide by it,” he said and advised Sheriff to read the party’s constitution and stop behaving the way he was going about things, if he was not being used by the ruling party to divide or weaken the opposition in the country.
In his speech, the BOT chairman, W. Jubril affirmed the board’s commitment to ensuring the oneness of the party and urged all members to remain resolute, cooperative and keep to the party’s constitution. He noted that the convention came at the right time when some members of the party were aggrieved and assured that they will all come together and return to the party.
“The party will come back to power in 2019. All problems will be addressed in line with our constitution,” he assured, calling on members to remain calm and supportive to the party and not to do anything that will create division and a different agenda.
Also speaking, Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu said, “today is a history of unity despite the opposition. We are reminding the world and Nigeria that we handed everything to APC. We stand for unity and by this time next year, we will be preparing to take over the government in 2019.”
Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimikko and PDP governors’ Forum chairman, in his remarks said, “We stand in absolute solidarity and will do everything possible to protect and make the party sand. Nigerians are clamouring for better governance. We were all prudent because we believed in the rule of law and democracy in all the 16 years of PDP and we got it perfectly well despite the criticisms. Ours was better than what people are seeing now.”
According to Mimikko, “there was prosperity in PDP’s rule and the party will do more than what it did, knowing that it owes the people the duty to provide good governors to rule the states. PDP governors are the best in Nigeria today. We should remain united.”
Former Senate President David Mark expressed optimism that the PDP would in 2019 elections sweep the pools, calling on members to untie and work together to achieve the goal. Chanting the slogan ‘change the change.’ Mark said “the people to change the change is PDP.”
At the convention, a resolution was passed to zone the presidency to the North in 2019 while a caretaker committee headed by Ahmed Makarfi was constituted and mandated to conduct an election within 90 days from the date of the convention, as well as reconcile all aggrieved persons and harmonise issues.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the end may be in sight for the lingering crisis in the leadership of the party as factional leaders, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi, have commenced negotiations on how to engender peace. Disclosing this at a press conference in Abuja recently, the immediate past National Vice Chairman of PDP for South-South, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, said the Sheriff Camp had made its terms for truce known to the Makarfi group through an ‘intermediary.’
But Ojougboh insisted that any negotiation for peace must always consider that Sheriff remained the authentic chairman until a properly constituted convention of the party said otherwise. He declined to give other conditions outlined for peace to reign in the party.

 

Shedie Okpara

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Ex-APC National Chairman Tasks Party On Responsive Leadership

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Chief John Odigie-oyegun, former National Chairman, All Progressives Congress APC), has charged the party’s leaders to be more progressive and responsive to the people.
He said this at the public presentation of a book”APC’S Litmus Test, Nigerian Democracy and Politics of Change”, written by Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressives Congress Forum (PGF) in Abuja, yesterday.
“We are in charge today, a progressive government, a progressive regime, and I think it is proper that we show to the nation that when the people want some degree of change, “we should be responsive to it, we should address it, compromises have to be made, there’s no question about that,” Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that the APC document on true federalism was still being worked upon before its release.
Odigie-Oyegun said the ideas of people from different parts of the country would be different up to the extent that they would want to go with the proposals in the document.
He said it was however, necessary, vital and mandatory in the interest of the survival of the country that issues regarding federalism were addressed.
“We cannot continue to allow the subject to become something that threatens our nation at any turn.
“So, the earlier we address it, the earlier we show that as a party we are responsive to the feelings of the people, the desires of the people and the wants of the people.
“It becomes easier then, to diffuse the kind of stresses that the nation is passing through today,”Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that for those at the formation of the APC, the uniqueness of its Constitution and its manifesto promised change was meant by all members with their hearts and beings.
He said unfortunately, the forces of economics had made things not quite the way it was planned.
The APC former national chairman said there was need for the party members to do everything possible to keep it not just alive but very virile.
He added that in spite of general belief, the APC was one party that had put together things that meant hope for the country.
He said the fact that things were bad and people were angry and hungry was not questionable, saying that these were worldwide phenomenon.
Odigie-Oyegun decried the current security challenge in the country.
“It is my hope that we will begin to get control of the security of this nation,” he said.

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PDP Rep Harps On Justice, Dialogue To Secure Nigeria

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), House of Representatives member has enjoined Nigerian leaders to tow the path of justice, equity, dialogue, and rule of law in the country.
Rep. Toby Okechukwu, the Deputy Minority Leader of the House, said this in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja to commemorate the Democracy Day
He added that such path would help to arrest worsening insecurity and arrest separatist agitations across the country.
Okechukwu said that opportunities still abound in preserving the nation’s democracy and reconstruct the union to a more workable piece.
He said that June 12 was designated Democracy Day in honour of a symbol of the nation’s democratic struggles, the late Chief MKO Abiola.
He added that Abiola was unjustly denied the opportunity to exercise an overwhelmingly popular mandate handed him by the Nigerian people on June 12 1993, but only to be celebrated at death.
“The greatest debt the governments and leaders of Nigeria owe every part of this country and every Nigerian is a sense of justice and equity according to the letters and spirit of our constitution.
“The golden rule of justice is to do unto others as you would have them to unto you,” he said.
 He called on the Federal Government to take conscious steps to do things that would promote national unity and earn it loyalty.
He also called on leaders to be proactive in creating a clement environment for peace to reign to arrest the present security challenges in the country.
Okechukwu commended the leaders of the South East and the Federal Government for the June 11, dialogue in Enugu to deescalate tension in the region.
He stated that it was a right step that should be sustained and replicated nationwide, while wishing Nigerians a happy Democracy Day.

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Democracy Day: PDP Lawmakers Wants Observance Of Rule Of Law

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has called for strict observance of the rule of law to improve democratic practice in the country.
The caucus made the call  in a statement by its Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) last Saturday in Abuja.
Chinda called for an environment that would guarantee freedom of speech and standard operations for the fourth estate of the realm.
The lawmaker  stressed the need to place greater value on Nigerian lives and for decisive and pragmatic steps to end the avoidable deaths in the country.
He called on the government to restrain the Police and other security agencies from further unleashing violence on unarmed youths and other peaceful protesters.
“They choose to go out and exercise their rights in commemoration of  Democracy Day.
“June 12 is a symbol of democratic freedom and supremacy of the people’s power and should be respected by ensuring that all the tenets of democracy are adhered to in all ramifications.
“June 12 is not only about introspection, it is about renewing the commitments of all to the growth of democracy in our dear county.
“It is about ensuring that our country is never again enveloped by darkness, hemmed to the abyss by the sinister forces that threaten our collective rights and freedoms,” he said.
Chinda urged all Nigerians to hold on to democratic principles in spite of the challenges facing the country saying that “good will triumph over evil.”

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