The National Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has ratified its plans for the conduct of the party’s National Convention on December 9.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, who briefed journalists on Thursday, disclosed this while highlighting the major decisions made at the 77th NEC meeting held at the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.
He said the National Caretaker Committee of the party submitted reports on the just concluded congresses in the states.
Recalling that the party in its last convention on August 12 decided to dissolve the executive committees in some states and elect replacements, he said this had been done except in Osun State.
The affected states are Lagos, Ogun, Adamawa, Anambra, Kwara, Borno, Kebbi, Kogi and Oyo.
He said over 2800 delegates, consisting special and statutory delegates, are expected to participate at the convention.
Mr. Adeyeye said the NEC approved the composition of the Convention Planning Committee and the amended guidelines for the convention but refused to disclose the names of the committee members till they are published.
He said from the discussions and deliberations at the meeting, he was confident that no member of the party would contemplate holding a parallel convention.
The PDP spokesperson also emphasised the commitment of the caretaker committee to organise a free, fair and credible national convention.
He said during the NEC meeting, aspirants were admonished to be civil in their campaigns, and avoid attacking each other, noting that nobody’s ambition is more important than the party and that after the elective convention they will still come back as party members.
“We are going to organise a free, fair and credible party convention. Nigerians still believes in the PDP,” he said.
“Nobody will have any issue. We are not under any threat that there will be a parallel convention. We are optimistic that we are going to have a successful Convention by the grace of God,” he said.
Earlier, the chairman of the NCC, Ahmed Makarfi, commended the NEC for standing by the committee in the past 18 months.
Mr. Makarfi also urged the aspirants to conduct themselves with decorum and see the convention as a family affair and not a do or die situation.
He said there was need for the party to remain united.
“United we stand, divided we fall. PDP is like Nigeria. It is a diverse political party but it is a united party. What you don’t get today, you will get tomorrow. That is how life is,” Mr. Makarfi said.
The Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dakwambo, who spoke on behalf of the party’s governors, pledged their support for the caretaker committee to conduct the convention.
“PDP Governors are solidly working with the Caretaker Committee and all relevant stakeholders to ensure a free, fair and successful convention,” he said.
The Deputy Senate President,Ike Ekweremadu, also urged the aspirants to various positions to avoid making trouble if the outcome of the convention does not favour them.
“The least we can do in our convention is to be transparent. I assure that we will do everything possible to ensure that the convention is free and fair and transparent. I want to appeal to those who may not succeed and may want to disrupt the party. Those people may be the ultimate victims.”
Shortly before the NEC meeting went into a closed door session, a minute silence was observed in honour of former vice president, Alex Ekwueme.
Mr. Ekwueme, who passed on recently in a London Clinic, was the founding national chairman of the party.
Absent at the meeting were Chairman, PDP Governors Forum and governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi; Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade; Governor Ishaku Darius of Taraba State and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
In attendance were Governors Ibrahim Dakwambo, Nyesom Wike, Emmanuel Udom and Ifeanyi Okowa of Gombe, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Delta states respectively.
Governor of Bayelsa State, Serieke Dickson; and the Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu; were represented by their deputies.
Others prominent persons in attendance were former Senate President David Mark; former PDP chairmen, Vincent Ogbulafor, Ahmadu Ali, Okwesilieze Nwodo among others.