The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Strategy Review and Inter-Party Affairs Committee has urged the party to return to its traditional direct primaries for nominating candidates for elections.
Chairman of the committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, made the call while submitting the committee’s report to the Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Gana said that “direct primary system’’, recommended by the committee, would promote free, fair and credible election of candidates for elective offices.
He said that the committee had also provided guidelines for the primaries as well as regulations for improved indirect system in case the party was forced by circumstances to adopt that system.
“To facilitate the use of direct primaries as recommended, the party must take immediate steps to compile and maintain an authentic register of party membership throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.
PDP Chairman Sen. Ahmed Makarfi
The committee was inaugurated on Nov. 10, 2016 to within 90 days, come up with recommendation that would make the party stronger and better, and able to regain power in 2019.
Gana said that the committee also recommended that adherence to the principles of zoning and rotation of political offices, “guided by the principles of justice, equity, fairness, inclusiveness and balanced representation’’.
He said that the report contained detail recommendations on the proposed review and amendment of the party’s constitution and manifesto, adding it also presented world-class best practices of good governance for adoption.
“We are strongly of the view that governments elected on the platform of the PDP must govern so excellently as to produce genuine development to up-light the lives of our people.’’
The former Information Minister disclosed that the initial contacts of the committee had yielded positive responses from seven people-focused and social democratic parties which would meet in Abuja.
“This is nothing to do with the rumoured Mega Party, but a separate and highly principled initiative of the PDP.
“Our desire is to have all genuine democratic and friends of the people to flow together and provide a fresh and trustworthy leadership to promote and ensure people-friendly process of national development.’’
Gana added that the committee also included strategy for re-branding and marketing of the PDP nationwide and urged party leaders to promptly and effectively implement the proposals “with tremendous passion’’.
Receiving the report, Makarfi described it as “excellent work’’ that could not be rejected by any organ of the party.
He said that the report was part of the activity of the caretaker committee towards moving the party forward.
Makarfi said the party leadership would forward the report to the party’s organs for critical analysis as well as due process in implementing the recommendations.
“We are going to work to make sure that we reconnect to Nigerians.
“This report has laid the path for correcting those past mistakes,’’ Makarfi added.
According to him, though PDP had many remarkable achievements in its16 years of ruling the country, the party members regret and apologise to the electorate for its past mistakes.
He assured that the party will stand for institutional change and market it to Nigerians ahead of 2019 elections.
The chairman said that the country would never get it right if its public institutions continued to serve the government and people in office.
“They are public institutions that must serve Nigeria and Nigerians.
“If we don’t do away with this old practice, corruption, arrogance in office and all form of nonsense in government will continue. We must free them from selfish control by public office holders,’’ Makarfi said.
He explained that the caretaker committee had also decided that chairmen and secretaries of syndicate groups would form a committee to analyse, appraise and implement the recommendations in the report.
The party offered prayers for quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari and for his safe return to the country.