Fresh Crisis Rocks PDP As Jerry Gana, Dokpesi, Others Announce Steering C’ttee To Manage Party

Jerry GanaThe unending crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday took a turn for the worse as a former Minister of Information and a founding member of the party, Prof. Jerry Gana, led a group of other leading members to announce the takeover of the party from its current national chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff.
The former minister, who heads a group within the PDP called “Concerned Stakeholders”, met on Thursday at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, where they made their stand known.
After the meeting, a communique signed by a former Deputy President of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu; a former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, and media mogul, Raymond Dokpesi, was issued rejecting the decision of the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, to extend the tenure of Mr. Sheriff to May 21, 2016.
The group said as far they were concerned, the tenure of the current National Working Committee, NWC, elapsed since March 24, 2016.
They argued that a national convention should have been convened to either elect a new NWC or approve the composition of a caretaker committee.
“The purported extension of the tenure of the Chairman and other members of the national working committee by the Party by the NEC was an illegality and therefore untenable and contrary to the provisions of our party Constitution which gives such powers ONLY to the National Convention of the Party”, the group said.
They also said in line with that position, “all actions purportedly taken by the said NEC and the National Working Committee, including the Ward, Local Government, State Congresses and the planned National Convention of the Party slated for the 21st of May 2016 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State constitute a nullity and are of no effect”.
They equally said the zoning arrangement as announced by the chairman of the “purported” Zoning Committee led by Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa-Ibom State was unacceptable, because it ran contrary to the PDP’s “established principles and practice”, which, they said, had sustained the party in continuous unity for the last 18 years.
“Deriving from all the above and in order to stop further slide into unconstitutional confusion and widespread disenchantment of party members nationwide, We the founding fathers, stakeholders and leaders of the party from all the 6 Geopolitical zones hereby announce a 21 member steering committee to manage the affairs of the PDP, and work intimately with our respected members of BOT who are the conscience of the party till such a time that a proper, lawfully organized National Convention of the party, where a new authentic leadership of the party will be duly elected in accordance to the provisions of our party constitution and guidelines”, they said.
They added that the new steering committee will soon embark on a nationwide tour, to address and resolve all issues and areas of conflict in every state of the federation.
The group said the steering committee will immediately put in place a National Reconciliation Committee to reconcile all previously aggrieved party members.
The “Concerned Stakeholders” equally condemned what they called an attempt by the “illegal” NWC of the party to amend the constitution of the PDP in order to “muzzle and control the BOT” and thereby subject it (BOT) to the “villains and caprices” of the NWC.
The Gana group also called on governors elected on the platform of PDP, as well as senators, House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly members to “take up the gauntlet and support this noble cause”.
“We need to come together as a family, to fight the cancer of impunity that has eaten deep into the tissues of our party”, they said.
Our correspondent reports that the meeting was attended by PDP chieftains including former a former Minister of Transportation and Nigeria’s ex-Ambassador to Canada, Ojo Maduekwe; former National Chairman of the PDP, Okwesilieze Nwodo; ex-Deputy National Chairman of the PDP (South-west), Chief Bode George; Governor of the defunct Gongola State and former PDP National Chairman aspirant, Ambassador Wilberforce Juta; former Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Shettima Mustapha; former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed; former Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki; Dr. Akilu Indabawa, Mrs. Remi Adikwu and Professor Sulaiman Abubakar.
Others were Ibrahim Bunu, Adamu Maina Waziri, Senator Grace Folashade Bent, Ambassador Ester Audu and Senator Ibok Essien.