The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is to set up a committee to review the 2019 general election.
The review was sequel to a motion by the PDP presidential candidate at the election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at the NEC meeting of the party held yesterday in Abuja.
At the meeting, Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, was presented as the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum by the Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “A committee has been constituted for the review of 2019 election and what transpired in order to be able to help in the agitation for electoral reforms.”
According to him, each zone and state will nominate members of the committee that would work with the leadership of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party for guidance.
The PDP spokesperson said the party had also asked its elected lawmakers at the National Assembly to ensure the amendment to the electoral law in such a way that it will engender free, fair and credible electoral process in the country.
He added that the NEC resolved that in line with its guidelines, in all electoral offices whether party offices or electoral offices and in its gender sensitive nature, women should have at least 35 per cent of offices that will be contested for.
He said: “The party also expressed concerns about landmines created by the All Progressive Congress to turn our country into a one-party state. Our party also says that no democracy can thrive in a situation where the legislative arm and the judiciary are caged.
“Our party believes that there are signs of dictatorship in our nation today and as such, our members in the National Assembly were further charged to ensure that they use their legislative instrument to ensure that our country is not reduced to a dictatorship.”
He said the PDP had commenced reconciliation of all factions in the party, particularly with Edo State.
On the clamour for the party to change its name, the NEC said: “The party insists that the PDP brand is still the best in the political firmament of our nation and as such, those canvassing for the change of name for our party should forget it because we remain the Peoples Democratic Party.”
Earlier, the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, had accused the executive arm of government of pushing Nigeria towards dictatorship with the subdue of both the National Assembly and the judiciary.
Meanwhile, Tambuwal has emerged as chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum.
He succeeds his Bayelsa State counterpart, Mr. Seriake Dickson, whose tenure as governor ends in February.
In his acceptance speech, an elated Tambuwal commended his colleagues for the honour done him by unanimously electing him as chairman.
He also gave an account of how the various rallies by the party saved the governors at the Supreme Court.
“Let me start by thanking God Almighty for not only sparing our lives to witness today’s 88th NEC meeting in good health but also for his favour and mercy on all of us and particularly the responsibility vested on me by my colleagues, members of the PDP Governors’ Forum to step into the shoes of my brother, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, soon after his term of office,” he said.
He assured his colleagues of transparent leadership, saying, “I assure you my brothers and indeed the party that by the grace of God, we shall work together to continue to strengthen our party and deepen democracy in Nigeria.”
The former speaker of the House of Representatives, who spoke of the experiences of the PDP governors before the various tribunals and the apex court, said: “Let me thank our party members, especially those at the grassroots level for your support, cooperation and encouragement when last week we went through a very harrowing and challenging experiences at the tribunal and in particular, at the Supreme Court.”
According to him, some people were hell-bent on making Nigeria a one-party state.
“Your support through the press statements, through interventions and the rallies held across the country helped in ensuring that what was masterminded by some losers hell bent on making Nigeria a one-party state was stopped and I assure you that your support will not be in vain,” he said.