By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—MEMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Reform Forum, said, yesterday, that they were in total support of the adoption of Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo as the next national chairman of the party by the National Caucus and the Board of Trustees.

The forum also advised, yesterday, that the governors should not jitter over its formation, just as they noted that they were not out to fight any governor or stop any of them from aspiring for second term in office, adding that a working governor had nothing to fear.

Addressing newsmen, yesterday, at the board room of AIT, Kpadoma Hill, Abuja, former Senate President, Chief  Ken Nnamani, who noted that agreeing to the selection of Nwodo by the group was in tandem with other stakeholders’ views, just as he stressed that the group had no regrets for any action taken so far.

According to Nnamani, “on the issue of chairmanship, I will like to just generally mention that what the President, the caucus and what the BoT have done, I believe, is in line with our constitution.”

“There was no disagreement from me as a person, and the Reform Forum has not disagreed with those two bodies. I raised an issue, but that does not show any disagreement at all, Nwodo happens to be my political ally, there is no disagreement from me as an individual.”

At the briefing were ex-Speaker Aminu Bello Masari, ex-Senate President Adolphus Wabara, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, Chief Raymond Dopkesi,

Nnamani who reiterated the need for complete change in the party, adding that the forum was at present yielding fruitful result from the Caucus to the Board of Trustees, just as he said that if the party was not checked, the entire democracy will collapse.

The ex-Senate President who noted that the case the Forum had with the Party has been withdrawn from the court in line with the spirit of understanding following the joint committees of both the Forum and that of the National Working Committee, NWC that have been meeting, the brainstorming exercise he said a truce has been reached by both bodies.

According to him, “a number of us were suspended from the party that suspension as you are all aware has been lifted, having done that, we have gone ahead to also withdraw our case in court as a mark of genuine settlement and understanding because joint committees have been set up, members of the reform forum and members of the National Working Committee are now working out details for its implementation of how to present the proposal and then move on to implement very critical areas, that is being taken care of”

The Reform group as part of its demands has proposed to the National Executive Committee, NEC that PDP party conference be held every two years that will help actualize the constitution as well as provide a forum for discussion and reaffirmation of the founding vision and mission of the Party, even as it proposed to NEC that it should approve a membership due of N1,200 per annum payable by each member of the PDP which at the end of the day, if the party has a membership strength of 10 million, a total sum of N12 billion would be realized annually to run the party which would then lay the basis for independent funding for the party.

Also tongue-lashing the Bauchi State governor, Mallam Isa Yugudu over comments credited to him, the PDP Reform Group noted the governor must get it right that they were calling for a reform in the party that disqualified him then raising issues that he was not from Bauchi state having served as a Minister from the State which later pushed him to the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP where he later became a governor.

Speaking further, Nnamani said that “Ours is simply put, selfless national service whose objectives derive, from the eroding and dwindling credibility of our nation’s electoral processes in general and the lack of internal democracy in the PDP in particular.

Buoyed by the realization that if left unchecked, the situation would lead to the total collapse of democracy in our Country and driven by the conviction that our destiny remains solely in our hands, we took the plunge to make our contributions.

It is indeed my singular opportunity and honour to publicly declare that for the actions we have taken, are taking and will continue to take in the direction of Reform in our body polity, we have absolutely no regrets.

“Let me address certain misrepresentations and deliberate distortions by some misguided politicians who would rather see nothing wrong with the lack of internal democracy in the PDP. It is a matter of national tragedy that an elected State Governor, (not on the platform of the PDP) would be quoted as saying “As far as I am concerned, I have seen nothing wrong with the status quo to warrant reform”.

For the likes of the Governor in question, we urgently advise that Reform is an agenda item whose time has come, and if millions of Nigerians desire it, so be it.
“Indeed we make bold to state that the Reform Forum has made progress and is an agenda whose course of travel is not only clearly defined but is at once popular, widely acceptable to the generality of Nigerians and has been set in motion. We salute our millions of members of the PDP and express our profound gratitude to each and every member for this uncommon and unflinching support.
“It is now common knowledge that the Reform Forum has submitted Proposals for Reform based on the Primary findings of the Report of the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Committee “that the Party has strayed from the original directive principles, values and ideals that informed the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and must return to those principles and values upon which the Party was founded.
“To this end, we have highlighted the areas urgently in need of reform to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party. The Board of Trustees (BOT) and the National Caucus have both considered and approved of the Reform Proposals and we are optimistic the National Executive Committee (NEC) will endorse this Proposal to make the yearnings of Nigerians and PDP members for Reform with our Party, a reality.
“In particular, we single out the following as areas where urgent and critical intervention would be required. The PDP Reform Forum maintains its position the production of a computerized biometric PDP membership Register as being central to the Reform agenda and this is fundamental to the transformation of the Party so as to fulfill its founding ideals. Democratization of the PDP Primaries system along the lines we have published in National Dailies and in time for 2010 Congresses and Convention.  Democratization of Party Convention, State, Local Government, Ward and Congresses for election of National, State, Local Government and Ward officers of the Party, in time for 2010 Congresses and Convention”.
File Forum                10 June 2010


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