The National Reconciliation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chaired by Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, on Tuesday in Abuja submitted its report to the chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, with a proposition that he should hold the national convention as soon as possible.
The committee also stressed the need for a template that would culminate into a Unity National Convention.
Dickson, who read the resolution of the committee in its report during a visit to the PDP national secretariat, restated its commitment to the pursuit of a political solution as the best option for resolving the ongoing challenges facing the party without prejudice to the ongoing judicial process.
“We hope that our party will have the opportunity to put behind us needless crisis which has engulfed the party since last year. Many of our leaders are impatient to see us come back together and once again represent the people of Nigeria”, he stated.
The committee, according to him, proposed that the Convention Planning Committee should have 7 State Governors, 7 Senators, including the Deputy Senate President, 12 members of the House of Representatives, 6 members of PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) and 6 National Vice Chairmen (one per zone).
Others are 3 State Chairmen per Zone (18), 6 serving Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, 6 former Governors, former Presiding Officers of the National Assembly (who are still members of the party), 6 prominent Women Leaders, 6 PDP Youth Leaders, 6 Former Ministers of the Party and 12 others to be nominated by the National Chairman in consultation with stakeholders.
The committee also resolved that the Convention Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the elections to all National Offices of the Party, including the zoning of such offices.
Dickson said, “As part of the sacrifice to be made in order to reposition the party, the committee is of the view that all national officers who may claim that their tenure still subsists beyond the proposed convention are hereby requested to relinquish their claim in the interest of the party.
“For the purpose of the convention, all officers elected at the ward, local, state and zonal levels before the first Port Harcourt convention of May 21 2016 are deemed validly elected except for the election held in some states that were declared by NEC as inconclusive.
“The proposed National Convention should hold as soon as possible and not later than June 30 2017. The committee shall continue to engage the party leadership and all relevant stakeholders with a view to having a hitch free convention and calls upon all and sundry to work towards the realisation of this objective.
“The committee appreciates the efforts of the former President, Governors and other leaders of the party for their efforts at resolving the leadership crises in the party.
“This my committee has been in touch with you to resolve the crisis. We are not alone. Many people intervened in trying to make peace. As you are aware, last week, the Appeal Court gave a decision affirming you as our national chairman. The reconciliation committee of our party has been in touch. We believe that this recent development has created a fresh opportunity for peace and consensus building.
“We are here to consult you on what we believe is our humble template for peace and reconciliation. We believe that litigation will not move us foreword. We believe that there is need to put away personal interest for the party’s interest. We believe on the need to rescue this country from the dictatorship of the opposition.
“This committee is encouraged by your reconciliatory approach and statements that you are committed to holding a national convention. We have spoken with so many stakeholders, after consulting a wide range of stakeholders of the party.”
In his response, Sheriff promised to look into the recommendations of the committee with a view to finding amicable resolution to the PDP crisis.
He said, “Whether we like it or not, there will be crisis. But the way and manner we settle our differences matters a lot. I want to tell you and restate it that the victory in Appeal Court is not for me alone but for all of us in PDP. There are no victor, no vanquished. I repeat again that I will not run for the position of PDP chairman.
“You have taken every member of the party along, none was left behind. We will sit down, come back and tell Nigerians. We are ready to face Nigerians and tell them the outcome of your recommendations. But I want to assure you that we will implement it well because this party belongs to all of us.
“Sooner than later, we will come out. We are committed to making sure that the right thing is done. We will meet and communicate to you before we communicate to Nigerians.”