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Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party became more visible on Thursday as majority members of its Board of Trustees, National Caucus and others stayed away from its National Executive Committee meeting which was held in Abuja.
BoT members and others were said to have been angered by the decision of the national leadership of the party to hold NEC meeting without following due process.
Traditionally, NEC meeting is held after both the BoT and the National Caucus of the party must have met.
However, the National Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff, was said to have tactically refused to call for the meetings of the two organs of the party before he hurriedly called for the NEC meeting.
Both the BoT and the National Caucus ought to have reviewed issues slated for discussion at the NEC meeting.
It was gathered that Sheriff decided not to allow the two meetings to hold because of the resolve of their members to oppose the recommendation of the zoning committee.
The committee, headed by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, had recommended that the next national chairman of the party should come from the North-East.
Sheriff, a former governor of Borno State, is the only formidable candidate from the zone contesting the position of the national chairman at the party’s national convention slated for May 21 in Port Harcourt.
Earlier in the day, a member of the BoT from the North-East, had called the attention of our correspondent to what he described as an “open confrontation” to the members of the board and the national caucus by Sheriff’s style of leadership.
The BoT member said, “We were not told about the NEC meeting. Text messages were sent to the people they wanted to be there. Ordinarily, the meeting of the BoT and the National Caucus ought to have been on Tuesday and Wednesday before the NEC meeting.
“At these two meetings, we would have reviewed the report of the zoning committee and take a position on the zoning of the office of the national chairman to the North-East. We wouldn’t have supported it.
“It is apparent that these set of leaders want to kill the party, but God in His infinite mercy won’t allow it. We would regroup to take action.”
Only the Acting Chairman of the BoT, Walid Jibrin, and two other members were seeing at the meeting.
Apparently aware of the anger of the members of the Board, Jibrin said that the exclusion of the BoT members from the meeting was not deliberate.
Jibrin said, “The exclusion of the BoT members from the meeting is not deliberate and I appeal to all members of the BoT that they should not take offence that there was no meeting of the BoT.
“We will have another meeting after this one. We are very aware of the various meetings everywhere, I have decided that I will not attend any meeting apart from the properly organised meetings, because we have to be very careful in the way we hold meetings these days.
“Anyway, we have to use these meetings positively in a way that they will benefit the party.
“Many of us who are founding members of the PDP will not leave the PDP and the PDP will never die.
“We will continue to be in the PDP and whatever mistake is there we will remain there to correct and make our contributions because leaving the PDP is not the answer.”
Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee of the PDP has approved the zoning of the party’s national offices.
The party took the decision at its poorly-attended NEC meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The new officers are to be elected at the party’s national convention slated for May 21 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The zoning, as released by the party are National Chairman(North-East), Deputy National Chairman (South-South), National Secretary(South-West), Deputy National Secretary(North-Central), National Organising Secretary (South-East) and Deputy National organising Secretary(North-Central).
Others are National Treasurer(South-South), Deputy National Treasurer (North-West), National Legal Adviser (North-West), Deputy National Legal Adviser (South-South), Woman Leader (North-West), Deputy Woman Leader(South-South), Financial Secretary (North-Central), Deputy Financial Secretary (South-East), National Auditor (South-West), Deputy National Auditor (North-East), National Youth Leader (South-East), Deputy National Youth Leader(North-West, National Publicity Secretary (South-West) and Deputy National Publicity Secretary (North-Central).
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Source: Punch News