Nigeria News

Nigeria: PDP BoT election ends in stalemate

The three-hour meeting of members of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday failed to produce a new chairman of the board as expected.

The meeting was meant to elect a replacement for former President Olusegun Obasanjo who resigned from the position last year for personal reasons.

Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting which ended at about 11.30pm, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, said a committee was set up to streamline membership of the board in preparation for the election of a new chairman.

The committee has three weeks to conclude its assignment.

Maduekwe was joined at the briefing by the board’s Secretary, Senator Walid Jibrin; former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, and presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati.

Maduekwe said the mandate of the committee was to properly align membership of the board in such a way that the election of the next BoT chairman would be a model of internal democracy.

He however said apart from the procedure for the election, the meeting did not come close to discussing the aspirants or endorsing any of them.

“The meeting did not come close to election, nomination or endorsement of any aspirant. There was no deadlock and no gridlock,” he said.

Gana, on his part, admitted that the decision to set up the committee arose because some members were already challenging the legality of some people to vote.

He also faulted reports that some PDP governors were planning to unseat the party’s chairman, Bamanga Tukur, saying the governors were law abiding party members.

Jibrin said so far, 12 members of the board had shown interest in the chairmanship job.

He said it was when Gana’s committee concluded its assignment and submit report that a date for the election will be chosen.

Maduekwe however added another dimension when he said the BoT had no constitutional duty to conduct election in the meeting.

He said the latest move was to reduce likely area of challenge since the simplest of election would stand the risk of being challenged.

Maduekwe said the committee, which would be headed by Gana, has Dr. Shettima Mustapha, Governor Ibrahim Shema, Chief Olabode George, Hope Uzodinma, and Mrs. Stella Omu as members.

He added that the meeting resolved that Jibrin should continue in his position as the secretary.

He denied reports of any rift or cracks in the PDP.

Maduekwe however said as a big party, minor disagreements based on interests could not be overruled.

He said while efforts were being made to resolve issues, including that of Adamawa State, members of the National Working Committee had been directed to stop media war.

On the Adamawa issue, Gana said a committee of party elders including the President, Vice President, leaders of the National Assembly and some others would resolve the issue.

President Goodluck Jonathan presided over the meeting which was attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo; President of the Senate, David Mark; and Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwwal.

Obasanjo did not attend the meeting.

Others who attended the session were former Vice President Alex Ekwueme; Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur; Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Women Leader, Kema Chikwe; former chairmen of the party -Bello Haliru Mohammed; Ahmadu Ali; Barnabas Gemade, and Vincent Ogbulafor.

Others are former Presidents of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara and Ken Nnamani; former Speakers of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba and Patricia Etteh; former Deputy President of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu; Governors Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Mrs. Josephine Anenih, Ambassador Hassan Adamu, Don Etiebet, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Danjuma Goje and Shuaibu Oladokun.

Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe; his United Kingdom counterpart, Senator Dalhatu Tafida; Chief Richard Akinjide, Chief Olabode George, Chief Jim Nwobodo, Chief Emmanuel Nwanyanwu, Mrs. Josephine Anenih, Don Etiebet, Senator Bode Olajumoke, David Jemibewon, Victor Attah, Shuaib Oyedokun and Ebenezer Babatope also attended.

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