By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has mandated all its elected Senators and members of House of Representatives to, immediately begin the amendment process of all the nation’s electoral laws in such a way that will engender free, fair and credible electoral process in the country.
The PDP has similarly constituted a committee for the review of 2019 election and what transpired in other to be able to help in the agitation for electoral reforms.
The leading opposition party however dismissed report of plans by PDP to change name, stressing that there is nothing wrong with its present name-PDP.
These were part of the highlights of the of the 88th National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the PDP held yesterday in Abuja and attended by seven governors, a deputy governor, Senators and other chieftains of the party.
The party equally said that it is reconciling members of its Edo state chapter, stressing that it has met with critical stake holders in the state to ensure that they bury their hatchets where there are issues.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Koka Ologbondiyan, while briefing journalists at the end of the well attended meeting said, “The Peoples Democratic Party rose from its 88th NEC meeting with a resolution mandating the Senators and members of House of Rep to begin immediately the amendment process of all our electoral laws in such a way that we engender free, fair and credible electoral process in the country.
“The party also resolved that in line with our guidelines, in all electoral offices whether party offices or electoral offices, that in line with our gender sensitive nature, women should have at least 35% of offices that will be contested for.
“The party also expressed concerns about landmines created by the All Progressive Congress to turn our country into a one party state.
“Our party also says that no democracy can thrive in a situation where the legislative arm and the judiciary are caged.
“Our party believes that there are signs of dictatorship in our nation today and as such, our members in the national assembly were further charged to ensure that they use their legislative instrument to ensure that our country is not reduced to to a dictatorship.
“A committee has been constituted for the review of 2019 election and what transpired in other to be able to help in the agitation for electoral reforms.
“We are reconciling in Edo state and the party has met with critical stake holders in Edo state to ensure that they bury their hatchets where there are issues.
“The party commended its governors as the best governors in our country today. “Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party are more functional than governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress and as such, our party expressed happiness with our governors that in view of the challenges they faces during their elections, all through the tribunal, to the court of appeal and to the Supreme court, they still have the time to ensure that they work in line with the manifesto of our party.
“The party insists that the PDP brand is still the best in the political firmament of our nation and as such, those canvassing for the change of name for our party should forget it because we remain The Peoples Democratic Party”, Ologbondiyan said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus told members in attendance that the landmines laid by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, against democracy in our beloved country are exploding and “the consequences are confronting us”.
Secondus noted that when President Muhammadu Buhari and his party began the process of muzzling the other arms of government, “our party cried out and alerted the nation and indeed the international community of the brewing dictatorship”.
He added, “Here we are watching helplessly as the legislature and the Judiciary are put right in the pocket of the executive”.
Continuing, Secondus said, “There is an anomaly in a democracy that makes nonsense of the separation of power that is beautifully enshrined in the rule book to check the excesses of each arm of the government”.
The PDP National Chairman said further, “All of these should worry us because no democracy strives if the legislature and the Judiciary are caged as we can see.
“We are witnesses to the emerging dictatorial tendencies in our dear country.
“As we all can see, a dictator is not just on the way but has arrived the scene already. They have rolled out the process of establishing a one party state so as to pave the way for a full blown dictatorship.
“To allow them have their way is to abdicate our responsibility as an opposition party who has made enormous sacrifice for democracy to blossom in our country.
“We have therefore called you today to deliberate critically on the state of democracy in our land to draw up far reaching decisions that must help check the growing excesses of the ruling APC. “Even the Presidency has abandoned governance amidst mounting problems and indulges in attacking us but we not deterred”, he maintained.
Also, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said that members of the National Assembly has taken note of what Prince Secondus said and would act on them.
His words, “We have taken note of what you have said about our working very hard on the Electoral reforms.
“Also, we’re taking note of every other thing you have mentioned here today and I can assure you that the National Assembly will do the needful on it with regard to this legislation that are pending.
“In fact, they mover behind the last Amendment of the Electoral Act that would have put an end to all these problems that we have seen today is right here with us. The former chairman of INEC in the National Assembly.
“I can reassure you that whatever we need to do to get the legislation done we will surely do it”, he assured.
Also speaking at the meeting, former Governor of Anambra State and Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP, Mr Peter Obi said, “We have a duty as a party as you can see the way things are to do whatever is possible to ensure that we contribute in building a better Nation.
“PDP remains a party of hope to our dear country today and our commitment at coming together is inevitable to make that work. Mine is to appeal to all of us. “This is time for us to come together and am sure chairman you’re doing your best. Let’s work together as our future, the future of this country, depends on PDP.
“The future of this party is very bright and our commitment will go a long way”, he said.
In his own remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of PDP, Senator , Senator Walid Jubril expressed disappointment with a report in a newspaper of a plan to change the name of PDP again.
He specifically declared that he should be counted out of any effort to change the name of this party, stressing that they shall never allow it.
According to him, “I am also disappointed with the comments I read in the newspapers allegedly by a chieftain of our party of a plan to change the name of PDP again.