1 April 2008

Nigeria: PDP - Ogbulafor Blasts Ali Over Ekwueme's Panel Report

Abuja — National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, yesterday flayed Dr. Ahmadu Ali for not implementing report of the Alex Ekwueme's reconciliation panel, insisting that the report is so important to be abandoned.

The Dr. Ekwueme-led 10-man committee, which was inaugurated on July 23, 2007, to reconcile aggrieved members of the party had submitted its report to the Ali-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party on October 9, 2007. It recommended that the party reverts to its founding constitution, among other suggestions to achieve genuine reconciliation in the party.

However, it was not implemented before the expiration of the Ali-led executive committee.

Inaugurating a 17-man committee to review the recommendations of the panel yesterday in Abuja , Ogbulafor accused his predecessor of treating the report with levity.

The review committee is headed by the PDP Deputy National Chairman, Alhaji Haliru Mohammed

Ogbulafor explained that his administration decided to revisit the matter so as to reposition the party as well as achieve peace and harmony within the party.

"The committee has done a good job, criss-crossing the major zones of this great country, pooling opinions, evidences and grievances together. The committee has duly submitted its report to our party and the party has accepted it.

"Unfortunately, not much has happened to the report, and the report is too important to be abandoned on the shelve.

"Because of the commitment of the new national executive to repositioning the party on the path of peace, harmony and greater performance, we are today setting up this committee to review the Ekwueme report and guide us in implementing it", Ogbulafor stated.

Acknowledging that the party was enmeshed in "internal wrangling and disaffection," Ogbulafor charged the committee to complete its task within one month.

The committee's terms of reference are as follows: to study the report critically and examine the submissions and recommendations; to work out aspects of the report that can be immediately implemented to the benefit of the party; iii. to work out modalities for the implementation and to recommend a feasible implementation time frame.

Responding on behalf of others, Mohammed thanked the party for the unique opportunity given to them "not only to serve as instruments of returning the party to its original vision of a peoples' party, but also of making recommendations that would make the PDP an agenda-setting and election-winning machine."Members of the committee include Prof Jerry Gana, Mr Franklyn Ugbuewu, Second Republic Governor of old Sokoto state, Garba Nadama, Messrs. Hassan Adamu, Shettima Mustafa, Ibrahim Ida, Senator Gbemisola Saraki Fowora, Martha Bodurin, Francis Elechi, Mrs Dupe Sasore, Shuaibu Oyedokun and Haliru Idris, Senators Onyeabor Obi, Udo Udoma, Aminu Wali and Hon Halims Agoda.

The committee has the PDP Deputy National Secretary as Secretary.

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