Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Caretaker Committee, NCC, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, has said that his committee has no power on micro-zoning of elective positions.
On Tuesday, he said that “as a committee, our powers are limited to the decisions taken at the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt.”
He went further: “The convention agreed to zone the national chairmanship to the South while its ticket in the 2019 presidential election was zoned to the North. We cannot go beyond that and decide which part of the north or south should produce what.”
Markarfi gave the clarification when the NCC members met with eight national chairmanship aspirants at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, among aspirants at the meeting were Sen. Rashidi. Ladoja, former Oyo Governor; Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former education minister; Chief Gbenga Daniel, former Ogun governor, and Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Founder, Daar Communications.
Others were Chief Olabode George, former PDP National Deputy Chairman; Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, former sports and special duties minister, Mr Jimi Agbaje, PDP candidate in the 2015 Lagos governorship race, and Prince Uche Secondus, former PDP acting National Chairman.
He said that the clarification was important considering the insinuations going round.
“Some people think that I, as chairman of the caretaker committee, should assume the power that we don’t have.
“We have no power beyond the convention and the party’s constitution.
“I want to remind all of us that the only thing our convention did was to zone two positions. The caretaker committee cannot go beyond that.
“To assume that the chairman of the caretaker committee can come and exercise power that he doesn’t have, and start dishing out orders, that will be undemocratic. That will have no basis or foundation in our constitution.”
Makarfi urged the aspirants to close ranks and work together so as to avoid mistakes of the past, pointing out that it was only when the party succeeded that every member would smile.
He said that the meeting was aimed at giving every aspirant the opportunity to state his vision and plans for the party if elected its national chairman.
“We decided that we should meet, discuss and hear from you, as we prepare for the convention,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee thereafter went into a closed door meeting with the chairman aspirants.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues after the meeting, Chief Bode George told newsmen that the meeting was “peaceful and useful”.
“All the aspirants agreed to remain civil and to also educate their followers that the election is a family contest and not a matter of life and death.
“We have agreed and you can see us holding our hands. There is no quarrel. Let the best man win.
“That is the spirit of the party. It is the spirit we are sending to the public because we want to win the minds and hearts of the public and let them know that we are better managers.
“If we can manage our party, if we can manage our states, we will be able to manage this country.
“It is a family affair. It is not a matter of life and death. It is not an enemy versus enemy issue. We are friends,” he said.
Asked if the aspirants were working towards consensus, George said that the aspirants were“moving together as a team”.
“The party is bigger than any individual. No body will be aggrieved,” he stated.