10 September 2021
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Caucuses defer to governors
Fintiri heads convention planning committee, Ugwuanyi to chair zoning panel
FORMER Senate President, David Mark may emerge as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, The PUNCH has learnt.
Although consultations are still ongoing, it was gathered that party leaders are zeroing down on him considering his track record of service and commitment to the party both in and out of office.
A top-ranking member of the party leadership who craved anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue told our Correspondent, in Abuja, on Thursday that, “We are in the process of rebuilding our brand and sacrifices will have to be made by all of us for us to succeed.
“Discussions are also ongoing about reconstituting our Board of Trustees and some of us are considering someone like former Senate President, David Mark for that role.”
In the same vein, the party has commenced its search for a new National Chairman, as successor for Uche Secondus.
Our Correspondent gathered, in Abuja, on Thursday, that governors elected on the platform of the PDP who held a series of meetings with various interest groups in the party on Wednesday and Thursday, agreed that the party should forge ahead with its plans to hold a national convention and elect new leaders.
A source privy to one of the meetings who spoke to our Correspondent on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said, “The truth is, we are preparing for our national convention, the search for a new national chairman has commenced in earnest.
“When the PDP Governors Forum met with former governors last night (Wednesday), there was an understanding that they would present a consensus candidate from among themselves for the position.
“All the caucuses agreed to support serving governors and take all steps necessary to reposition the party and return it to winning ways as we approach 2023.”
Asked if the issue of Secondus was discussed, the source said, “What we are all working towards now is the Anambra State governorship election and a successful conduct of our national convention. It is not about individuals; it is about the PDP.”
Earlier, the National Executive Committee of the party, ratified the appointment of the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, as Chairman, 2021 National Convention Organizing Committee.
The NEC also approved the appointment of his Bayelsa State counterpart, Douye Diri, as Deputy Chairman while Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, is to serve as Secretary of the committee.
It also appointed Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, as Chairman and Secretary of the zoning committee respectively.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan announced this after the 93rdNEC meeting of the party held at the party’s National Secretariat.
Ologbondiyan said, “NEC met today to further discuss critical issues concerning the party. NEC approved the composition of the National Convention Planning Committee as well as the Zoning Committee to zone National Working Committee offices.
“NEC approved Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Fintiri, the Governor of Adamawa state as Chairman, 2021 National Convention Organizing Committee.
“Senator Douye Diri, the Governor of Bayelsa State is Deputy Chairman of the committee, while Seyi Makinde, the Governor of Oyo State is to serve as Secretary.”
Ologbondiyan further said, for the zoning Committee, “NEC approved Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Governor of Enugu State as Chairman of the Zoning Committee.
“Dr. Samuel Ortom, the Governor of Benue state is Deputy Chairman and Mahdi Mohammed is secretary of the committee.”
He also said the party’s NEC received the report of the Senator David Mark-led committee set up to look into certain issues relating to the leadership challenges in the party.
According to him, the committee assured the party that efforts are on to find a solution of all matters relating to the court cases instituted by feuding members.
In his welcome address, the acting National Chairman of the PDP, Yemi Akinwonmi, said the party’s National Working Committee made proposals which he hoped NEC would carefully study and take a decision in the interest of the party.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar while expressing gratitude to the party’s governors for their support, urged members to close ranks to strengthen the party and prepare it for the task ahead.
Also, in a goodwill message at the gathering, the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, reiterated the resolve of members of the forum to do all within their power to support the party achieve its goals.
Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe in his remarks said Nigerians were waiting for the chance to return the PDP to power.
He noted that the ruling All Progressives Congress had nothing to offer Nigerians.
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, on his part said Nigerians were waiting for the PDP.
He, however, said, “Nevertheless, it is ‘not yet uhuru’. The charge beckons on us all, now than ever before, to be even more united in jettisoning all personal interests and assuming a more nationalistic approach in all our decisions and discourses so as to provide our compatriots with the much-needed platform to forcefully rally for the task ahead.”