23 July 2018

Nigeria: PDP Moves to Change Party's Name

Photo: This Day
PDP supporters waving flags.

The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) says it has set up a committee to consider changing its name.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, made this known while briefing journalists at the party's secretariat on Monday after its emergency 88th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

There have been reports that the party, which recently signed a memorandum of understanding with 37 other political parties including the reformed APC, wants to change its name following demands from the other parties under the coalition.

The spokesperson of the party however did not release the names of the members of this committee, known as the harmonisation committee. He promised it will do so as soon as possible .

"We also considered the issues of our alliances, particularly the one that has to with the grand alliance and our agreement with rAPC and NEC applauded the decision of NWC to work with the grand the alliance members of about 38 political parties," he said.

"NEC also applauded the infusion of rAPC into the PDP and we have been encouraged as the NWC to continue to seek for those who are sick and tired of the government of the day and are very desirous of liberating our nation from the misrule of the APC led federal government.

"On the issue of change of name, the party has immediately instituted a committee on harmonization and the responsibility of the committee is to commence the process of the possibility of a change of name as part of our efforts to rebrand our party and to reposition it for the 2019 election so we await the outcome or the returns of the committee.We will give you the chairman and members."

On the time frame for the committee set up, the party said time is not on its side therefore it can take a decision anytime.

"As a matter of fact based on the workings of the PDP, and rAPC and other ministers, governors and members of the political class, who are desirous of rallying with the PDP, the issue is not about time frame, the issue is now and those who are willing to work with the PDP know it as a fact that the issue is not about time frame. We don't even have time; the time is now so we can wake up tomorrow morning and say this is the time frame. We can wake up on Thursday and say the time is now. Let's follow the wave as it unfolds."

On the issue of Ekiti election, the party said the NEC approved the decision of the NWC to go to court as it established a legal committee under the leadership for its legal adviser, Emmanuel Enoidem.

The party also warned those it described as the "APC undertakers" to understand and to know that Nigeria and Nigerians would never accept a repeat of what they did in Ekiti state.

The PDP, which lost the state which it was in control of before the election, insists the election was not fair and that it was rigged in favour of the ruling party whose candidate, Kayode Fayemi, won the election.

"NEC approved the decision of the NWC to go to court over the Ekiti matter and as such a legal committee has been constituted under the national legal adviser to take all issues bordering on the election in Ekiti satte to the court," he said.

Mr Ologbondiyan revealed that the NEC of the party also approved the audit report of the party, and also considered the timetable ahead of 2019 election which has been approved and released to members.

When asked what the PDP was offering the rAPC in its negotiations, Mr Ologbondiyan said a party structure would be shared.

Explaining that the party has drafted a framework for the distribution of its structure, the party spokesperson said the party would however not impose this frame work on its states chapter as the states and its members will look at it and implement it the best way they can.

"For the PDP this is not the first time we are having infusion. Either members of other political parties or structures and what this NWC has proposed which has gained the approval of the caucus, the BOT and the NEC is just similar to what we have always done in the past.

"We have created a template and framework for the respective state on how to handle the infusion. In states where we have governors who are either returning to the party or they are joining afresh , we have provided a percentage is structure. In states where we have qualitative members of the national assembly and state assembly that are not members of our party, but are coming to our party, we have structured what percentage they can take .

"States where we have senators and members who are just constituency, these are also found in the template. What is important in all these is the fact that the NWC is not enforcing its will on the state structure so in any state where we have such infusion, what will happen is that the stakeholders of such states will take this framework back to their respective states and discuss with other stakeholders on how to implement it . The NWC is not going to implement anything of this framework in the respective states," he said.

When asked what percentage the structure would be shared, he said the members are already aware of the percentage for every state where they have such situations.

"The legal adviser is a member of the integration committee and all members of the BOT and NEC have been made to understand, that is why we had this meeting . the situations and structures as it affects the grand alliance or the infusion between the PDP and the rAPC, all aspects, we have reached conclusion as a party on how we need to work on the agreement we reached. So it is not a problem," he said.

Reacting to the statement of the APC chairman in which he said no responsible person who left the PDP would consider returning to the party, he said the party is a serious party and won't waste its time on what the opposition is saying.

"Well as you know the national chairman of the APC who is a factional chairman of the APC Adams Oshiomole, is talking on both sides of his mouth in one breath. in one breath he saw tired legs, in another breath, he woke up at 2am and nicodemously began to visit people in their respective home and begging them either not to go or they should take offers that they have not been 0ffered before.

"We would not dwell time because we are a serious party. The PDP is the founder of democracy in this nation and as a matter of fact, Mr Adams Oshiomhole benefited greatly from the Performance of the PDP and we challenge him to this for a denial. He became governor by the efforts of the PDP, he cannot deny that.

"So we are not going to waste precious time on whatever he is saying, the most important thing to us as a party, is that today the PDP has become a party of choice for Nigerians and that is what is important to us and as a matter of fact , Adams Oshiomhole must accept the fact and he quickly needs to do that, that he is in APC as an undertaker. He was brought in to bury the party and weeks ahead like we said in our statement will clear his doubt."

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