President Goodluck Jonathan early Thursday, directed the top hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to reinvigorate the party machinery towards meeting fresh challenges arising from the merger of the major opposition political parties into the fledgling All Progressive Congress, APC.
The president’s directive was conveyed at the national caucus of the party which commenced Wednesday night in the presidential villa during which he also mandated the party to commence preparations to win Anambra State in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections.
Also reflective of the president’s ascendancy over the party’s governors, it was also resolved that the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party should be summoned within the next three weeks.
The NEC meeting has not been held since July on account of palpable fears by some in the national leadership that the party’s governors could force their views on issues.
The caucus meeting which was attended by six governors representative of the six geopolitical zones, Vanguard learnt, also discussed varying strategies to combat other issues confronting the party including the poor state of the party’s finances.
The national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, it was learnt, told the caucus that the party was practically broke and unable to meet its obligations. Upon the assertion, the president was reported to have directed that strategies should be employed to shore up the finances, though with the strict warning that nothing should be done to compromise the integrity of officials of government.
“The president and those who spoke said that in the light of what happened after the second republic when governors were hounded for financial impropriety because of the way they financed their parties, it was stressed that the governors must be protected from such temptations.”
The president it was learnt told the party executives to put machinery in place to be able to confront the emerging challenge from the APC, one source present at the meeting said.
“Well it was not actually a wake up call, but just a necessary thing or something that is expected of us,” another source present at the meeting offered.
The president also at the meeting directed that the party must begin the process of preparing for the elections in Anambra State and it was stressed that the will of the people must be allowed to prevail.
As part of the strategies of winning the state, it was learnt that the preparations must begin early enough to enable hurt feelings from the primaries to heal well ahead of the election.
“The president was insistent that the will of the people must prevail,” a source disclosed.
One other source disclosed that the party’s fund raising committee headed by Vice-president Namadi Sambo should be further tasked with the duty of exploring options for raising funds for the party.
The decision to seek independent ways of raising funds it was understood could end up finally taking the party away from the influence of the governors who until recently were allegedly strong financial supporters of the party.