Barely six months after the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lost the general elections, fresh crisis is brewing in the party as the National Working Committee, NWC, tackles key members of the Board of Trustees, BoT, and party elders over plans to reform the party.
Some PDP BoT members and elders led by former Information Minister, Prof Jerry Gana and media mogul, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, had on Tuesday inaugurated various committees to prepare for PDP Reform Conference scheduled to hold in October.
The conference is expected to holistically address the various challenges affecting the party with a view to reinventing it in tune with the vision of its founding fathers ahead of the 2019 general elections.
However, members of the NWC stayed away from the International Conference Centre, Abuja, where the PDP Reform Conference committees were to be inaugurated.
Jolted by the plans to reform the party, the NWC yesterday postponed the reform conference indefinitely.
But the organisers of the conference, which has the backing of the PDP Governors Forum, insisted that the conference would go on as scheduled.
In a statement signed by PDP national secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo, the NWC said the decision to postpone the conference “is to create room for further consultations and exhaustive consideration by critical stakeholders, of the report of the PDP Post Election Assessment Committee headed by the deputy Senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, which is due for submission this month.
Part of the statement read: “While the national leadership notes and appreciates the eagerness, commitment and dedication of our leaders and members in the rebuilding of the party, we have also noted the need to allow proper consideration of the report of the Senator Ekweremadu-led Post Election Assessment Committee accordingly, especially as that committee is headed by the highest elected PDP member in the nation.
“In that regard, therefore, the NWC directs that all activities of the said committee on the proposed PDP National Conference be put on hold forthwith.
“The consideration of the report of the PDP Post Election Assessment Committee will include inputs from members of PDP leadership organs, including PDP Governors’ Forum, PDP National Assembly Caucus, Board of Trustees, National Caucus, National Working Committee, NWC, and the National Executive Committee, NEC, immediately upon receipt of the report.
“Finally, the NWC reassures that in the final composition of all the committees to be inaugurated by the leadership of the party in due course, all critical stakeholders will be consulted and all necessary interests accommodated.”
Reacting to the postponement, a member of the organising committee of the reform conference, Deacon John Dara said the conference had the backing of majority of members of the party and the NWC could not stop the conference.
Dara said members of the NWC were the only ones that were against reforming and reinventing the PDP.
His words: “We believe the reform conference will take place because it is not the party’s national secretariat that is driving the conference.
“The PDP Governors Forum believes we need a reform conference. The BOT believes we need the conference. The only group that has shown hostility and lukewarmness to the conference is the National Working Committee.
“Definitely, members of PDP will take the party in their hands and make sure PDP is brought back to winning ways with the people of Nigeria.
“So, we will make sure that the wishes of the overwhelming majority in the party come to pass,” Dara emphasised.
In his own reaction, the chairman of the Reform Conference Publicity Committee, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi described the attempt to stop the conference by the NWC as provocative.
Since PDP lost the general election the NWC had failed to call for the quarterly meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC.
An ex-officio member of NEC told Nigerian Pilot on condition of anonymity that the NWC was apprehensive that they might be sacked by NEC over the role they played in the shameful outing of the party during the election, and that this informed their decision to keep the NEC meeting in abeyance.

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