Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP), Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, said yesterday that with prayers, the ruling party will survive its present challenges and retain its position in the polity.
Anenih disclosed this to journalists shortly after a closed-door meeting with the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, at the party’s presidential campaign office, Legacy House, Abuja.
Asked by newsmen what role the BoT would play under his leadership to resolve the crisis in the party ahead of general elections in 2015, Chief Anenih said: “Prayers, prayers, prayers! That is what we need!!”
His meeting with Tukur, according to Daily Sun findings, was to discuss the agenda of the meeting of National Caucus of the party scheduled for last night at the Presidential Villa. It was also revealed that in a move to strenghten the camp of President Goodluck Jonathan ahead of 2015, certain PDP governors have been elevated to join the rank of members of the PDP National Caucus.
According to the PDP Constitution 2009 (as amended), no serving governor is a member of the caucus. The new PDP Constitution, 2012 (as amended) which made provision for six governors was yet to be adopted by the PDP National Executive Committee.
The NEC meeting was held last July. But in a letter signed by Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe, and addressed to Alhaji Tukur, the latter was asked to inform six of the PDP governors to make themselves available for the National Caucus meeting.
The governors as stated in the letter made available by a source are Ibrahim Shema, Godswill Akpabio and Gabriel Suswam, Governors of Katsina, Akwa Ibom and Benue states respectively. Others are Theodore Orji, Isa Yuguda and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Abia, Bauchi and Delta states respectively.
In the recent move to remove Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi as Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the six governors were the arrowheads of the aborted coup.
Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema was pencilled down to succeed Amaechi, while Akpabio had since emerged as chairman of a new platform, the PDP Governors’ Forum. The letter signed by Ogiadomhe also called for the presence of Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, his counterpart in the Transport Ministry, Ibrahim Umar and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) to join the National Caucus.
But while Section 12.67 of the PDP 2009 Constitution (as amended) made statutory provision for “three ministers who are members of the party, nominated by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, one of whom shall be the Attorney-General of Federation,” as members of caucus, it made no provision for governors for serving or former governors. Other members of the National Caucus are chairman, deputy national chairman, national secretary and national legal adviser.
Other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) who equally belong to the party caucus are national treasurer and woman leader. The constitution also accomodates the chairman and secretary of the BoT. The rest are President, Vice- President, Senate President, Speaker of House of Representatives and certain principal members of the National Assembly.
The functions of the party caucus, according to section 12.68 of the party constitution, is to “harmonise the relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government and coordinate their activities and those of the party.” It is also to “consider, review and advise on policies and programmes of government.”