PDP releases template for convention committee
THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Standing Committee on Reconciliation has submitted a template for the formation of a national convention committee to conduct what it is calling a unity national convention.
Chairman of the committee and Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson submitted the document to the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Sheriff, at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the template, Sheriff is expected to select, in consultation with party stakeholders, 12 members of the national convention planning committee.
The Standing Committee also urged the national convention planning committee to consider appointing to the planning committee, seven state governors, seven senators including the Deputy Senate President, 12 members of the House of Representatives and six members of the Board of Trustees.
Also to be considered for membership of the convention planning committee according to Dickson, are National Vice Chairmen (one per zone), three State Chairmen per zone, six serving Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly and six former governors.
Others suggested for inclusion are six former Presiding Officers of the National Assembly (who are still members of the party), six prominent Women Leaders, six Youth Leaders of the party and six former Ministers of the Party and
Governor Dickson restated the commitment of the Standing Committee on Reconciliation to the pursuit of a political solution as the best option for resolving the ongoing challenges facing the party without prejudice to the ongoing judicial processes.
He explained that this need necessitated a template that would culminate in a Unity National Convention.
He said the convention shall be responsible for the conduct of the elections to all national offices the party including the zoning of such offices.
He said as part of the sacrifice to be made in order to reposition the party, the committee was of the view that all national officers who may claim that their tenure still subsists beyond the proposed convention “are hereby requested to relinquish their claim in the interest of the party.”
According to the template, “for the purpose of the convention, all officers elected at the ward, local, state and zonal levels before the first Port Harcourt convention of 21st May of 2016 are deemed validly elected except for the election held in some states that were declared by NEC as inconclusive.
“That the proposed National Convention should hold as soon as possible and not later than 30th June 2017.”
The governor said the Committee shall continue to engage the party leadership and all relevant stakeholders with a view to having a hitch free convention.
While appreciating the efforts of former President Goodluck Jonathan, governors and other leaders of the party at resolving the leadership crises in the party, he called on all and sundry to work towards the realisation of this objective.
In his response, Sheriff promised to study the template to see if there would be a need for adjustments.
Meanwhile, Sheriff has declared that he would never be a stooge of anybody.
He stated this on Tuesday when the Northern Zone stakeholders of the Party led by the former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Mantu paid him a courtesy call at the National Secretariat of the Party in Abuja
He insisted that his ultimate aim was to prevent a clique within the party from hijacking it for their own selfish interest.
According to him, “am not a stooge of anybody, I will never be a stooge to anybody. You can’t sit down when your house is being destroyed by the people whose mission is not known.
“In a democracy, it must not be me or it must be Malaria or a governor and no one again. If that is the case, it is no longer a democracy. Democracy is for the People by the people and for the People
“That has been my position. We must conduct a transparent convention and hand over back the party to the people. This is what I stand for. Some people are out to hijack the party.”
He promised that the timetable for the National Convention would be released anytime from now after due consultations with the stakeholders