The Non Elective National Convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP has kicked off in Abuja, the nation’s Federal Capital Teritory, FCT.
The arrival of the immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and members of his Cabinet, stirs jubilation among participants.
Sule Lamido, the Party’s Presidential aspirant on his own stormed the arena with several branded vehicles with his supporters amidst dancing and drumming.
Also, many aspirants for various offices in the National Executive Council of the party as well as elective offices in the 2019 general elections came along with dancing groups along with their banners to add glamour to the convention.
The former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and Senator Buruji Kashamu are absent at the venue.
This comes despite the olive branch the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the party extended an olive branch to Senator Sheriff, who led a faction of the party during its long leadership tussle.
On Friday, at a pre-convention briefing in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, had described today’s convention as a unity convention to enable members of the party form a common front against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
“The policy of no victor, no vanquished has been implemented by the National Caretaker Committee. So we are going to have a unity convention tomorrow; everybody has been brought together, they have integrated. This is a unity convention,” he had said.
“I want to assure you that those who were on the other side while we had a protracted court, virtually of them have been included to serve in this convention – go and check the list. There is no legal issue at all regarding this convention.”
As of the time of this report, Senator Sheriff, Senator Kashamu and many of Sheriff’s supporters were not at the convention.
The Peoples Democratic Party has extended the tenure of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.
Specifically, the tenure of the committee was extended by four months, starting from today, August 12, 2017.
The decision to extend the tenure of the committee followed a motion by the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Senator Akpabio had in moving the motion stressed that the committee needed more time to play the role for which it was set up and to ensure that principal officers are elected for the PDP.
The motion was seconded by a former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.
Also, the National Convention of the party, which is its supreme organ, dissolved the leadership of the party in Adamawa, Borno, Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Kwara, Osun states.
The decision is part of the party’s efforts to resolve leadership issues in the states, especially in Ogun State where two factions have laid claim to the control of the party.