The party’s top executives are meeting behind closed doors.
The Peoples Democratic Party national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, retained his seat Thursday at a crucial National Executive Committee meeting of the party where several officials resigned and new ones emerged, with a vote of confidence passed on President Goodluck Jonathan.
Former House of Representatives deputy speaker, Chibudom Nwuche, emerged as replacement for Sam Jaja, the party’s former deputy national chairman, while Tony Okereke was named as replacement for former publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh.
Former aviation minister and women leader for the party, Kema Chikwe, has also been replaced with Oyibo Nwaneri. The appointees are all in acting capacity.
The former exco members of the party announced their resignation shortly before they were excused from a closed-door session of the NEC on Thursday.
They were “elected” through a faulty process, the Independent National Electoral Commission said in a monitoring report in April.
Despite coming more than two months after the report’s release, the party insisted the resignations were in adherence of the electoral body’s directive.
Those affected are the deputy national chairman, acting national secretary, national woman leader, national treasurer, and national youth leader. All the eight deputies in the party also resigned their appointments as well as ex-officio members from the South West also resigned their appointments.
After stepping down, they were thanked by senate president, David Mark and Cross River state governor, Liyel Imoke.
A special convention of the party is to hold July 15 where new elections will be conducted to fill in the more than 16 vacant positions.
The convention committee is headed by former information minister, Jerry Gana, while Akwa Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio, will serve as the deputy. Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, is the secretary.
Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa state and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state-known critics of President Goodluck Jonathan- did not attend the meeting; as well as some of the president’s supporters-Governors Gabriel Suswam of Benue, Martins Elechi of Ebonyi, Sullivan Chime of Enugu and Ibrahim Shema of Katsina states.
Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, also stayed away, understandably, since the governor is on suspension. Messrs Lamido and Shema were represented by their deputies.
The meeting kicked off at about 2.03 pm after the president and Vice president Namadi Sambo arrived.
The NEC meeting, delayed for more than a year, was expected to feature intrigues amid concerns several governors planned to move against the national chairman, Bamanga Tukur.
Mr. Tukur’s concerns for his job is said to have partly informed the party’s refusal to schedule the NEC meeting for several months. But Mr. Tukur retained his position after the meeting.
The party passed a vote of confidence on President Jonathan.
Jonathan wants two big parties
In a speech ahead of the executive session, Mr. Jonathan said he wished there would be “two big political parties”, one which would be the PDP. He said the party is solid and has been helping to stabilize the country.
The president said he wished more opposition parties could merge. “We want a situation where it is PDP versus one,” the president said..