Ojo Maduekwe emerges secretary
Barely one month after the Board of Trustees, BoT of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gave the party’s national chairman, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, ultimatum to quit office on May 21, the board yesterday made a u-turn saying he was at liberty to superintend over the national convention.
This is coming as Modu-Sheriff told members of the BoT that the National Working Committee, NWC, had suspended the proposed amendment of section of the party’s constitution that would have given the national chairman powers to moderate the activities of the BoT.
Responding to a question at the end of the BoT meeting held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, who was elected the new secretary of the board, said the BoT as the conscience of the party could only advise PDP members and it was left for them to either accept or reject the advice.
In the resolution read by Chief Maduekwe, the board said since the party had zoned the office of the national chairman and its presidential ticket to the north, whoever was elected at the May 21 national convention as the party’s chairman would quit office during the mid-term convention in 2018 for someone else from the south.
He said the board also resolved that all grievances arising from the just concluded congresses of the party should be resolved before the national convention.
The board urged the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, to table before the convention its earlier resolution that the north should produce its 2019 presidential candidate for ratification.
Apart from Chief Maduekwe, the BoT also elected Senator Wahid Jubrin as its substantive chairman.
Speaking earlier during the opening session, Senator Modu-Sheriff told the BoT members that several meetings were held in the past couple of days to resolve some of the issues that were tearing the party apart, including the controversial constitution amendment.
He was very emphatic that contrary to speculations in some quarters that he was the brain behind the proposed amendment, the issue was already on the table long before he became the chairman of the party.
He stressed that the proposed amendment was the outcome of the constitution review committee headed by the party’s national legal adviser, Victor Kwon, which submitted its reports to his predecessors.
It was gathered that the BoT meeting was characterised by heated debate as some of its members that belonged to the PDP Concerned Stakeholders Forum insisted on their demand for shift of the national convention date.
Modu-Sheriff, who was shuttling between the BoT meeting and another meeting with PDP Governors Forum, with the support of some of his followers, was eventually able to sway the BoT members to soften their stand as their demand may do more harm to the party, since the process for the convention has since commenced with the congresses at the state level.
He also confirmed to journalists at the venue of the BoT meeting that he would contest for the chairmanship of the party following his endorsement by the North-East zone of the party last weekend.
Meanwhile, Prof Jerry Gana yesterday shed light on the N500million he collected on behalf of the party that has resulted in litigation between PDP and a bank.
He confirmed that he collected the money as chairman of the party’s fund raising committee when the committee was sourcing for funds to organise a fund raising dinner.
Gana said the committee collected the money as “working capital to legitimately raise money for the party.”
He declared that though he was chairman of the committee, he was not signatory to the account into which the money was paid as the party’s national financial secretary was in charge of the account.