Ibori Makes A Comeback With PDP Convention Committee Membership

IBORI MAKES A COMEBACK WITH PDP
CONVENTION C’TEE MEMBERSHIP
Former governor of Delta State, Chief James
Ibori was listed as member of the national
convention planning committee for
tomorrow’s special convention of Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), EYES OF LAGOS
findings have revealed.

Ibori, who was recently released after
serving a four-year jail term in a British
prison was listed as No 41 in the main
organizing committee of the party.

Tomorrow’s non- elective national
convention is meant to extend the tenure of
the Makarfi-led NCC to enable them
conduct the elective convention which is
speculated to hold in November.

The convention is also billed to see to the
amendment of the party’s constitution.

Ibori who has not attended any political
meeting at the national headquarters since
he returned to the country, was, however,
absent at the inaugural meeting of the
committee last Wednesday.

His successor and Delta State governor,
Ifeanyi Okowa is the chairman of the
committee. Reacting to the development,
former media aide to Ibori, Mr Tony
Eluemunor, argued that Ibori’s nomination
in the committee was normal and that he
had not left the party.

The media aide stated that the former
governor was equally invited to the last
National Executive Committee (NEC)
meeting, even though he didn’t attend.

“It is a privilege given to every former PDP
governor. Ibori is a former governor and he
has not left PDP. So, there is nothing
unusual in his name being included in the
list. He was invited to the last NEC meeting
but he did not attend,” he said.

Eluemunor, however, noted that he would
not be able to confirm if the former
governor will be at the convention.
Meanwhile, elder statesman and former
federal commissioner for information,
Chief Edwin Clarke, has warned that the
Sen Ahmed Makarfi -led National Caretaker
Committee (NCC) should not be allowed to
exceed three months in office.
Clarke who recalled that he has warned
that party in 2014 not to impose candidates
urged the party to jettison a practice where
governors, government functionaries and
candidates provide logistics and convey
delegates to Abuja and other voting
locations.

Clarke also advocated the adoption of direct
primaries ahead of the elective convention,
just as he declared his support for zoning
of the party’s 2019 presidential ticket to the
North and the national chairmanship seat
to the South.
He, however, insisted that all party
members from those regions are free to
contest those positions.

The former PDP chieftain who declared his
resignation from partisan politics after the
2015 general election justified his warning
to the party on the grounds that he remains
a statesman and stakeholder in the Nigeria
project, and has been contributing to the
peace and development of the country.
He said, “I have observed the Constitution
of PDP and the 1999 Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)

and wish to state as follows. Senator
Ahmed Markarfi’s Caretaker Committee
should be given at most, another three
months to allow new executives and other
organs of the party to be elected. Any time
longer than three months will not be in the
best interest of the party and its members.
“If Presidential election is to take place in
February 2019, the minimum time required
by an elected executive will not be more
than 12 months to settle down. If there are
interested members of the Caretaker
Committee for elective positions, such as
President, Senator or Governor, such
persons should not remain in office as
members of the Caretaker Committee for
more than three months.

“On the Zoning of Presidency and
Chairmanship of the Party, Clarke, who
endorsed the post-election and
reconciliation committee led by deputy
senate president, Sen Ike Ekweremadu
Committee Report which zoned the
presidency to the North, and the National
Chairmanship to the South”.

He added: “Let all Presidential aspirants
from the 19 states of the North be subjected
to one Primary, whereas, all National
Chairmanship candidates from the 17 States
of the South be subjected also to one
Primary to contest together, so as to
produce the best candidate, to practicalize
democracy.

“Nigeria’s Democracy, as a State Policy in
Nigeria is expressed in Chapter 2, section
14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and shall
be stated based on the principles of
Democracy and Social Justice.

“It is hereby accordingly declared that: (a).
Sovereignty belongs to the people of
Nigeria from whom Government, through
this Constitution derives all its powers and
authority.

“The participation by the people in their
government shall be in accordance with
the provisions of the Constitution.

Governors and other functionaries of
government should not impose Candidates
or delegates from their States.

“This was my warning in 2014, when I
issued a press statement that PDP will
destroy itself through the imposition of
candidates, and that was what happened,
when the then National Chairman of the
party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu and then
incumbent governors imposed unpopular
candidates on the electorate.

“A situation where governors, government
functionaries and candidates provide
Logistics and convey delegates to Abuja and
other voting locations should be jettisoned.
I strongly recommend that direct primary
election should be adopted where delegates
would be made to vote at their localities,
where no one will take advantage of and
manipulate them.

“In order words, the recommendations of
Prof Jerry Gana led- committee should be
implemented”.

In a related development, chairman of the
convention committee and Delta State
Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has said
the party is set to welcome high profile
Nigerians defecting from other parties
Okowa stated this while inspecting the
Eagles Square, venue for the convention.

He said, “We just came to see what is on
ground; I believe that our people will be
safe because we have everything under
control. we are not expecting any hitches
at all.

“We are doing very well as a party and as a
committee, in this kind of planning you
will have some challenges here and there
but there are solutions being proffered for
everyone of it and we are confident that
we are on the right track and it shall be
well on Saturday”.

He assured that high profile Nigerians will
join the party within the next three weeks,
He said, “This is a new PDP and with the
excitement we saw after the Supreme Court
victory, we did see amongst Nigerians and
not only PDP followers, I believe that a lot
of people who thought that the party was
going to implode by itself will realise that
we are back alive and ready to offer what
it takes to better the lives of Nigerians.

“Many of our members that left earlier due
to one form of disagreement or the other
will return back to their party because the
National Caretaker Committee has has
constituted a Reconciliation Committee as
well as a Contact and Mobilization
Committee to reach out to them.

“From the way things are going presently
in this country, I believe Nigerians will
realise that PDP is the only alternative that
can bring Nigeria out of her present
economic challenges”.

In a related development, national
chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed
Makarfi, has assured members of the party
that the issues relating to the South West
zone of the party have been resolved.
He said, “In politics, there are always
issues but what is important is that we sit
down and resolve the issues in a civil
manner.

“Yesterday, we had a long meeting with the
leaders from the zone to resolve the issues
and no matter what you are doing as a
political party you must lose some members
and also gain others. As a party, we will
continue to work hard not to lose anybody,
but will work much harder to bring in
more members to the party”.

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