OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has extended the tenure of its National Caretaker Committee by four months. The tenure of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi -led Caretaker Committee would now end on the 12th of December, 2017.This is one of the crucial resolutions taken at the non-elective convention held in Abuja on Saturday.
Also, the party has dissolved its executive committees’ in Anambra, Adamawa, Borno, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun and Osun States.
The dissolution of the executive committees according to the party is informed by the failure of the different warring camps to agree and have one executive committee in each of the states.The National Caretaker Committee was empowered by the convention to set up caretaker committees in those states until proper congresses were conducted.
The motion was sponsored by Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State and seconded by Governor Victor Ikpeazu of Abia State.
The seperate motion for the sack of Anambra parallel executive committee was sponsored by the Rivers State governor Nyelsom Wike and seconded by former Women Affairs minister, Mariam Inna Ciroma.
In approving the motion sponsored by Senator Godswill Akpabio and seconded by former Jigawa Governor, Sule Lamido, for the extension of the tenure of the National Caretaker Committee, the convention ruled that the extenaion takes effect from yesterday.
The extension was to allow the caretaker committee enough time to organise an elective convention where national officers of the party would be elected.
In his welcome address, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State who was the chairman of the convention noted that PDP has learnt it’s lessons in the last two years as an opposition party.He said, “we cannot shy away from the fact that there are lessons to be learnt also. For with our defeat at the presidential election, the loss of many states at the governorship election, and the slide into minority in the National Assembly came the sobering lesson that the PDP had become a victim of its own success. Internal democracy took a backstage, aggrieved party members were disregarded and impunity became the order of the day at various leadership levels in the party. In short, we cut short the hopes of Nigerians with our failure to manage our success. The travail of the last two years, I am persuaded, is our divinely ordained chastisement for this pitfall.
“I am convinced that our wilderness experience may well be a blessing in disguise, for two reasons. First, it afforded us the rare opportunity to look inwards and do some soul searching. In life, you do not always have the opportunity for a second chance. But to God be the glory, we have had the marvellous opportunity of understanding ourselves better, identifying our mistakes, suffering the painful consequences of defeat and learning the lesson of a lifetime. The wilderness experience has refined us, sharpened us and made us stronger. Like the saying goes, “sometimes you have to go through the wilderness before you get to the Promised Land.”
“The second advantage of our wilderness experience is that Nigerians have had the opportunity of experiencing another party govern at the national level. They can now compare and contrast. As leaders we must read the times and take responsibility. We must condition our hearts for a new beginning. We must root out the past mistakes and model the right attitudes. It is time for self re-examination and a return to what is right. To build a solid team, we must be warm and inviting; the love for impunity and exclusion must cease. There must be integrity and discipline in our democratic system at all levels of party governance, and we must put to fore those things that add value to the growth of our party.”
He called on the delegates to chart a new course for the party, and to also stay true to the vision and mission of the founding fathers of PDP.”On this day, we need to reaffirm our commitment to the democratic ideals of internal party democracy, sovereignty of the people, majority rule and minority rights, the rule of law and good governance, respect for civil and political rights, and inclusive participation of all in party administration.”On this day, we must understand that our nation is at a cross road. Therefore, our emphasis must be about building a party focussed on fashioning a better society founded on the principles of fairness, equity and justice. We must commit to making the needs – and aspirations – of the Nigerian people the centrepiece of our party’s democratic agenda.
“On this day, we must call for a paradigm shift in our party leadership style. Too often, we have demanded service – and worship – from the very people we have been called to serve. That must change. We need leaders, sincere leaders, strong leaders who understand that power is held in trust for the people and, therefore, must be administered for their good and advancement.
” Finally, on this day, we call on all true PDP faithfuls to return home. It’s time to forgive. It’s time to heal the wounds of the past. It’s time to get over the hurts of the past. It’s time to embrace love and reconciliation. It’s time, brothers and sisters, to come back home!”
National Chairman of PDP, Senator Makarfi has called on the delegates to rally around the leadership of the party to ensure that the party returns to government come 2019.The convention was attended by present and former governors and National Assembly members of the party, former ministers, stakeholders and leaders of the party.
For a better society