PDP begins preparation for 2019 elections, inaugurates committee

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According to reports, the Peoples Democratic Party, under the leadership of Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, has constituted a Strategic Committee to Regain Power in 2019 through every democratic means.

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Makarfi, the Chairman, PDP National Caretaker Committee, said at the inauguration of the committee in Abuja on Tuesday, that the group was also expected to offer advice on how to make the party stronger and better.

He said the formation of the committee was not because of the crisis in the party, but in furtherance of democracy and the survival of the country.

Makarfi said that the PDP leadership had wanted to constitute a number of sub-committees to deal with different aspects of the party’s affairs but refrained because of litigation involving the party.

He said that due to the delay, many members of the party on their own, initiated all sorts of meetings and consultations.

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He said, “If we don’t bring all these flocks together and talk as one family, before long, a good chunk of them ‎would have gone on their own, because nobody will remain inactive forever.

“Therefore, after due consultation, we felt that time was now right to set up a committee, called Strategic Review and Inter-party Affairs Committee.

“The strategy is how to come back to power in 2019 through every democratic means.

“It is an inter-party affair because even as caretaker committee, we get approached by various groups and we felt that it is not the few of us that should be talking to this people.

“The committee may seem large but its responsibilities are wide and huge.”

He advised the committee to within its three months’ time frame to break into sub-committees, and start engaging with different groups.

Makarfi said the number of the committee members was expanded from the initial 85 with over 30 persons to accommodate all interests that were omitted.

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He said that the references of the committee included “to explore strategies to engage all possible allies with a view to building positive relationship in overall interest and in furtherance of democracy in Nigeria.

He said, “To consider and recommend strategies to reposition the party; and to recommend necessary amendment to the Constitution of the party.”

He apologised to all parties who attended the botched inauguration of the reconciliation committee.

The PDP caretaker chairman explained that the problem started when a faction demanded the reduction of the number of committee members from each faction from 14 to six.

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He said, “We said that we cannot do so because the caretaker committee represents organs of the party.

“If the organs of the party make nomination, we cannot on our own make changes.

“There is nothing personal about it; we believe we cannot alter it because we do not put the names.”

The chairman of the Strategic Review and Inter-party Affairs Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, pledged that the committee would work on the reference given to it.

Gana added that the PDP would not die but come out of its challenges stronger and better.

The PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Sen. Walid Jubril, expressed hope that the committee would present recommendations that would be acceptable.

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