BY PAUL ODENYI
Abuja—Only 24 hours after the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rolled out programmes for conduct of congresses and national convention for the election of officers, it yesterday postponed the exercise indefinitely.
The decision followed a meeting of the National Working Committee, NWC, with states chairmen of the party at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.
Though the reason given for the postponement was to allow branches to mobilise members for the exercise, it was however, gathered that the NWC believed that it was out of sync with the mood of the nation to start preparation for a national convention now.
According to sources, some key and influential members of the party were said to have prevailed on the Exco to stand down all preparation until the current uncertainty regarding the removal of fuel subsidy is resolved.
Indeed, the party while announcing the postponement of the exercise warned that those pushing for the reversal of the new fuel policy may unwittingly be given enemies of the nation to seize power.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali said new dates would be announced in future.
In his words: “After thorough deliberations on reports arising from the meeting with state Chairmen, the National Working Committee, NWC, conscious of its resolve to ensure credible and transparent congresses and National Convention, has decided to postpone the take- off of the exercise in order to give the State chapters enough time to mobilize our members nationwide. New dates will be announced in due course.”
The PDP executive also urged organised labour, civil society groups, students organisations and nigerians generally to be restrained in their utterances and actions over the recent government policy on the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“While it is conceded there is bound to be legitimate fears and concerns over every new government policy, we should all be mindful of some anti democratic forces who, for their own selfish reasons are trying desperately to take advantage of this situation to undermine the unity, peace and security of our nation.
“The fact of the matter is that, the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry is a patriotic decision taken by government in the overall interest of all Nigerians. The initial accompanying pains will definitely be diminished by the long term benefits of the policy to each and every Nigerian.
“We therefore once again call on all Nigerians, especially the organized labour, Civil Organizations, Students Associations and other interest groups to embrace the dialogue option already offered by the Federal Government in order to resolve any issues arising from this laudable policy.
We should do everything possible to support President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in his deep commitment and determination to transform Nigeria into one of the leading nations in the world. He concluded.