By Ben Agande
Abuja—The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s National Executive Committee, NEC, is set for a stormy session as the 71st meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body holds in Abuja tomorrow. The meeting, which had earlier been scheduled to hold in Gombe, was later moved to Abuja, following outcry from many members of the committee that holding the meeting in Gombe was going to present a logistical challenge to most members.
Although there is an airport in Gombe, there are no regular flights to the North-Eastern state because of lack of adequate passengers to ply the route.
The party had been divided since the emergence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman, with the group, Concerned PDP Stakeholders, led by Professor Jerry Gana, setting up a parallel body to run the affairs of the party after the expiration of the tenure of Ali Modu Modu Sheriff on May 21.
The party’s national convention has been slated for Port Harcourt, Rivers State. A member of the Professor Jerry Gana-led stakeholders, who spoke with Vanguard yesterday, said the group was determined to do everything legally possible to stop Sheriff from continuing as the party Chairman. He said: “We are not going to give up. We will ensure that we take back the party from scavengers, who do not mean well for our party. We cannot allow ourselves to make the same mistakes that cost us dearly.
“We will not allow impunity to continue in our party. We are ready to call the bluff of our governors, who want to rail-road us into accepting their choice. It will not happen.” Already, the Professor Gana group has announced the consti-tution of a 51-member committee to steer the affairs of the party after the expiration of the tenure the present NWC.
Members of the committee comprise former governors, including Lucky Igbinedion (Edo), Bonnie Haruna (Adamawa), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Donald Duke (Cross River), Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto), Mahmud Shinkafi (Zamfara), Abdulkaldir Kure (Niger), Mohammed Makarfi (Kaduna), Achike Udenwa (Imo), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Okwesilieze Nwodo (Anambra) and Gbenga Daniel (Ogun).
Other members of the committee are former ministers, including Professor Tunde Adeniran (Education), Inna Ciroma (Women Affairs), Adamu Waziri (Police Affairs), Professor Jerry Gana (Information), Dr. Abubakar Suleiman (National Planning), Tanimu Turaki (Special Duties), Ishola Sarafa (Solid Minirals), Zainab Maina (Women Affairs), Josephine Anenin (Women Affairs), Ojo Maduekwe (Transportation), Professor ABC Nwosu (Health), Dubem Onyia (Foreign Affairs), Bala Mohammed (FCT) and John Odey (Environment).
The agenda for the national executive committee meeting has not been made public. Meanwhile, the National Auditor of PDP, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, has described the conduct of the party’s South-West Zonal congress last Saturday as illegal and an exercise in futility. In a statement in Abuja yesterday, Alhaji Adeyanju said the conduct of the congress, despite a court order stopping it, was an act of impunity, which the party would not condone.
It would be recalled that Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos, last Thursday, granted a restraining order against the party’s conduct of South-West zonal congress. Despite the order, the governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, allegedly mobilised members of the party from the zone to conduct the congress in Akure, Ondo State.