No less than 6,000 delegates will elect the next National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the October 30 national convention.
Chairman of PDP national convention organising committee, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State disclosed this in Abuja shortly after inaugurating 15 sub convention committees yesterday.
The event was attended by top party functionaries and Governors Nyesom Wike, Duoye Diri and Seyi Makinde of Rivers, Bayelsa and Oyo states respectively. The party’s national elective convention is slated for October 30/31 this year in Abuja.
Addressing newsmen at the event, Fintiri said, “We are expecting over 6, 000 delegates by our new constitution and we are fully prepared for that. We’re expecting everybody in every ward that is a delegate to attend the convention.”
He said the leadership crisis in the party is at the verge of being fully resolved.
He said, “We are moving on. I am the chairman of the convention committee and you can see that we are doing our work. Everybody is happy and participating. I don’t see any crisis in this party.”
Fintiri however refused to comment on provisions of the party’s constitution that are likely to be amended at the convention, noting instead that the committee assigned to review the constitution is allowed to complete its job.
The has also appointed Governors Wike, Emmanuel and Darius as chairmen of Special Duties, Constitutional Amendment and Contact and Mobilisation sub-committees respectively.
Meanwhile, the process of zoning party offices within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the October 30-31 national convention appears to have assumed a new dimension as two camps have emerged within the 44-member zoning committee over how the positions should be zoned.
It was learnt that the groups comprise of those who want the zoning of party offices to remain the way they currently are and those who want all the posts presently occupied by the South to be transferred to the North and vice versa.
It was however gathered that the Ugwanyi Committee may resort to voting among members to take decisions on which area will produce the party chairman at the October 30th national convention of the party.
The 44-man zoning committee led by Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi Committee was charged with zoning PDP NWC offices.
The meeting was hosted by the Chairman of the committee, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the Lion Building, Government House, in Enugu yesterday.
Members started arriving for the meeting from about 2pm.
Deputy chairman of the committe and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom arrived the venue of the meeting at about at about 4.30 pm, after attending an event organised by the Federal Radio Coporation of Nigeria, Enugu Network Center.
However a source privy to the undercurrents of the meeting, disclosed to LEADERSHIP that the first group called the ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’ wants all the party offices to be retained in the geographical side to which they presently are.
The second group called the ‘Move Around Group’ wants all the posts presently in the South to be transferred to the North while the ones in the North should move southward.
It was learnt that while a former Senate President from the South East with support from some South-South and South East members is leading the Move Around Group, a South West governor is spearheading the Maintain the Staus Quo Group is led by Governor Seyi Makinde with the support of key party leaders from the Southwest and the North.
The source added, “By the calculation of the ‘Maintain the Staus Quo’ group, the chairmanship of the Party will be retained in the South while the National Secretary will move to the North. However, the ‘Move Around Group’ wants the next chairman of PDP to emerge from the North while the South produces the Secretary.
“Also while the ‘Move Around Group’ believes that zoning the chairmanship group to the North will make the Presidential ticket to be automatically zoned to the South, they continued to insist that the issue at hand now is party position and when the party gets to the point where it has to nominate the presidential flagbearer, the matter will be resolved.
“However, the ‘Maintain the Status Quo’ group believes that the zoning committee should also adopt the position of the Bala Mohammed Committee which reviewed the performance of the party in the 2019 general election should clearly declare that the presidential ticket of the party will be thrown open for aspirants from all the six zones,” the source said.
The source added that the camp that is desirous of maintain the status quo hinge their position on the notion that mass transposition from North to South and vice versa, would defeat the argument that some members of the current NWC are being removed from office on grounds of performance.
“If not for the issue of performance which some leaders raised against the continuation of Secondus and his team, the members of the current NWC would have been eligible to seek second term.
We are prevailing on them not to seek second term because we believe they did not do well and that there is need for change of strategy, approach, injection of new hands and some energy, vigour and wisdom into the party. So, to make mass switch across geo-political divide will defeat the argument,” the source said.
Another source which condemned the Move Around Group argued that “this group consist of people who want the Presidential ticket zoned to their backyard.
They are afraid of going across the country to canvass for votes and seek support that will give them a popular party mandate”.