Ahead of tomorrow’s non-elective special national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, has proposed a three-month extension for the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the party.
The tenure of the NCC is scheduled for August 16.
Chief Clark equally called for the avoidance of a situation whereby governors, government functionaries and candidates provide logistics and convey delegates to Abuja and other voting locations.
The former federal commissioner said these in a letter entitled, ‘Advice to the PDP Members who have been given a new lease of life by the Supreme Court,’ which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
The elder statesman strongly recommended that direct primaries should be adopted where delegates should be made to vote at their localities.
Clark, in the letter, said: “I have observed the Constitution of the PDP and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and wish to state as follows:
“Senator Ahmed Markarfi’s Caretaker Committee should be given at most another three months to allow new executives and other organs of the party to be elected.
“Any time longer than three months will not be in the best interest of the Party and its members.
“If presidential election is to take place in February 2019, the minimum time required by an elected executive will not be more than 12 months to settle down.
” If there are interested members of the Caretaker Committee for elective positions, such as President, Senator or Governor, such persons should not remain in office as members of the Caretaker Committee for more than three months”, he said.
On the issue of the zoning of the presidency and chairmanship of the party, Clark suggested that part of the Ekweremadu Committee Report which zoned the presidency to the North, and the National Chairmanship to the South should be adopted.
According to him, “Let all presidential aspirants from the 19 states of the North be subjected to one primary, whereas all national chairmanship candidates from the 17 states of the South be subjected also to one Primary to contest together, so as to produce the best candidate, to practicalize democracy.
“Nigeria’s Democracy, as a State Policy in Nigeria is expressed in Chapter 2, section 14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and shall be stated based on the principles of Democracy and Social Justice.
“It is hereby accordingly declared that: (a). Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom Government, through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority.
“The participation by the people in their government shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Governors and other functionaries of government should not impose Candidates or delegates from their states.
“This was my warning in 2014 , when I issued a Press statement that PDP will destroy itself through the imposition of candidates , and that was what happened, when the then National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Muazu and then incumbent Governors imposed unpopular candidates on the electorate.
“A situation where governors, government functionaries and candidates provide Logistics and convey delegates to Abuja and other voting locations should be jettisoned.
“I strongly recommend that direct Primary election should be adopted where delegates would be made to vote at their localities, where no one will take advantage of and manipulate them.
“In order words, the recommendations of Professor Jerry Gana led Committee should be implemented”, he said.