ABUJA/Nigeria: Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had recovered and returned to restore vibrancy and integrity to Nigeria’s democracy, hence and admonished Nigerians to partner with the party.
He said this at the opening of the party’s National Non-Elective Convention in Abuja on Saturday and added that the party had become reformed and refocused to win all future elections in the country, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Okowa, who is the Chairman of the Convention Committee, said that the past two years presented great challenges to the party.
He said that the loss of presidential election and the gale of defections were enough to sink the party’s ship, but expressed delight that the party had overcome the challenges.
He therefore called for the support of Nigerians for the party, assuring them that it would not disappoint the country.
Describing the PDP’s travails as “baptism of fire’’, Okowa said that the party had survived was a testimony to the resilience of its grassroots’ structure, organisation and appeal.
“Ours is a party firmly anchored on the grassroots, connected to the people in a unique way that recognises that power truly belongs to the people.
“We are rebounding back, realising that there is a champion in each of us in the party.
“A collective leadership and partnership, resolved to do things right is all that we need to build the strength to recapture power,” he said.
The committee chairman said that the fact that the party became a victim of its own success was one of the sobering lessons that it learnt from its defeat.
Going by the decision of the Non-elective National Convention of the country’s opposition party, the National Caretaker Committee has extended, by four months, the tenure of Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the Caretaker Committee Chairman.
The extension is in order to allow time to, reorganize, strengthen and prepare the party to conduct an elective National Convention to elect new officers for PDP.
Party members voted overwhelmingly for extension of the tenure of the Caretaker Committee at the convention, which held at the Eagles Square with over 5000 members in attendance.
This is the first national gathering of the party members since the Supreme Court judgement that reaffirmed Senator Ahmed Makarfi as the Caretaker Committee Chairman after ousting the former chairman, Ali Sheriff.
The party equally dissolved its executive committees in 7 states of Adamawa, Borno, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun and Osun States.
The dissolution of executives, according to party leaders, was the fall out of the crises bedevilling the party in the affected state in which case, parallel and conflicting organs had arisen.
The National Convention in addition, mandated the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee to set up caretaker Committees which in turn would conduct states and local government congresses in the 7 states by the party’s mandate.
Also, the PDP ratified the results of the Congresses which successfully held across the states of the federation between May and March in 2016.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate Caucus, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, assured that the party will not support any separatist agenda in the country.
Governor Akpabio assured of the PDP’s support to policies of the present administration, which were aimed at taking the country out of recession but, however, said that the party would not support any policy that would plunge the country into depression.
Those in attendance were former President Goodluck Jonathan, his former Deputy Namadi Sambo, Chairman of the 2017 Special Non-Elective National Convention Planning Committee, Sen. Arthur I. Okowa, former Governor of Akwa Ibom state and Senate Minority Leader, Chief Godswill Akpabio and Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT), Sen. Walid Jubril.
Also in attendance were Governors Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, River state, Chief Nyesom Wike, Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Udum, Taraba state, Arc. Darius Ishaku, Gombe state, Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwanbo, Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state, Rear Admiral, John Jonah, Deputy Governor of Cross River state, Professor Ivara Esu, Deputy Governor of Ebonyi state, Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, National Vice Chairmen, State Chairmen, Party stalwarts and other leaders of the PDP nationwide.