Elder statesman and First Republic Minister of Communication, Chief Edwin Kiagbogo Clark, has advised the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to avoid the mistakes of the past which caused it the 2015 presidential election.
Clark, who gave the advice in Abuja Thursday, ahead of the party’s non-elective national convention, canvassed for a three-month extension of the Ahmed Markarfi-led Caretaker Committee.
He urged the members of the committee, who have political ambition in 2019 to leave the panel with effect from the convention.
In a statement, the elder statesman, who quit active politics in 2015, also charged the governors and other party chieftains to ensure that PDP structures belonged to the members, adding that situations, where governors and government officials hijack the structure of the party and list of delegates, will not help the PDP in its bid to return to power in 2019
He said: “Even though I have retired from partisan politics, I remain a statesman and stakeholder in the Nigerian project, where I have been contributing to peace and development of our dear Nation, Nigeria, and hence would render my advice on any subject that concerns the well-being of our country. It’s on this platform that I am offering my well thought out counsel, especially at this time when the PDP is preparing for its non-elective convention.
“I have observed the PDP Constitution and the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and wish to state as follows: “Markarfi Caretaker Committee should be given at most another three months to allow new executives and other organs of the party to be elected and let the party move on. Any time longer than three months will not be in the interest of the party. If there are interested members of the Caretaker Committee in elected 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.
“The Ekweremadu Committee Report which zoned the Presidency to the North and the National Chairmanship to the South should be adopted. Sovereignty belonged 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 ensured 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 release that the PDP will destroy itself through the imposition of candidates, and that was what happened, when the National Chairman, Alhaji Muazu and the incumbent governors imposed unpopular candidates on the electorates,” Clark noted.