The Standing Committee on Reconciliation of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Tuesday, endorsed Ali Modu Sheriff, as the chairman of the party.
The committee headed by the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, also pledged to work with Mr. Sheriff till the party’s new National Working Committee (NWC) is constituted.
Mr. Dickson, who was at the national secretariat of the party to brief Mr. Sheriff on the outcome of the meeting of the committee, told journalists the authentic chairman of the party was no longer in doubt citing the ruling of Appeal Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He said the committee was committed to the pursuit of a political solution to resolve the challenges facing the party without prejudice to the ongoing judicial processes.
Mr. Dickson said the committee has also resolved that a template be created that would culminate in the conduct of a Unity National Convention.
As part of the process, the committee, according to him, has recommended the following party leaders for consideration by the Convention Planning Committee.
Seven state governors; seven senators including the deputy Senate president; 12 members of the House of Representatives; six members of the board of trustees; six national vice chairmen (one per zone).
Others were three state chairmen per zone, six serving speakers of the state houses of assembly, six former governors; former presiding officers of the National Assembly (who are still members of the party); six prominent women leaders and six youth leaders.
Also recommended were six former ministers of the party; and 12 others party faithful to be nominated by the national chairman, in consultation with stakeholders.
Mr. Dickson said the convention committee will be responsible for the conduct of elections into all national offices the party including the zoning of such offices.
“That as part of the sacrifice to be made in order to reposition the party, the committee is of the view that all national officers, who may claim that their tenure still subsists beyond the proposed convention are hereby requested to relinquish their claim in the interest of the party,” Mr. Dickson said.
“For the purpose of the convention, all officers elected at the ward, local, state and zonal levels before the first Port Harcourt Convention of May 21, 2016, are deemed validly elected except for the election held in some states that were declared by NEC as inconclusive.
“That the proposed national convention should hold as soon as possible and not later than June 30, 2017. The committee shall continue to engage the party leadership and all relevant stakeholders with a view to having a hitch-free convention and calls on all to work towards the realisation of this objective.”
The governor expressed appreciation to the former President Goodluck Jonathan, governors and other leaders of the party, for their efforts at resolving the leadership crises in the party.
Responding, Mr. Sheriff promised to present the request to the party’s national working committee, while also assuring that all the requirements will be met.
Earlier, while receiving the Ibrahim Mantu-led Patriotic Northern PDP Stakeholders from the 19 Northern states, Mr. Sheriff said he cannot be a stooge to anybody in the country.
He also said neither factional leader. Ahmed Makarfi or himself would insist on having their will to prevail against that of the party men.
He maintained that the timetable for the national convention will be ready within the next three weeks, adding that the timetable for outstanding congresses in six states will be released Wednesday.
He reiterated that he was invited to become the chairman of the party when it was on the verge of collapse.
“As I have always said, I never bargained to be the PDP national chairman. I was approached because the party was on the verge of going down,” said Mr. Sheriff.
“We were able to do all that and life returned to the party but along the line, we had a misfortune. I will not be and I cannot be a stooge to anybody in this country.”