Jerry Gana, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) Reconciliation Committee, said that the PDP national convention fixed for Aug. 17, in Port-Harcourt would hold as scheduled.
Gana said this at the “PDP Northern Leaders Forum” meeting held on Saturday in Abuja.
Prof. Jerry Gana, who is also a co-convener of the forum, urged all PDP Northern leaders to mobilise their people for the forthcoming convention.
“The national convention of the PDP scheduled for the Aug. 17 will hold.
“I hereby encourage all our delegates from the Northern part of Nigeria to be in Port Harcourt. In fact, ?our next meeting will be in Port before the convention begins.
“We want to assure you that by the grace of God, adequate arrangement will be made for security .
” You will travel safely, you will arrive safely, you will do the convention safely and you will return safely.
“We are never intimidated by the kind of things people are talking. We are going to Port Harcourt.
“This party needs to be solid so that we have national officers that will direct the affairs of this party.”
Speaking at the end of the forum, Gana announced the names of a 16-man screening committee to guide the Northern states in deciding their support for aspirants vying for various PDP national offices in the convention.
Gana said the screening committee members drawn from all the northern states would be chaired by Sen. Ibrahim Mantu.
Gana said that the mandate given to the committee was to screen all the aspirants from the northern states and ensure that credible persons were presented at the convention.
“The committee is help us to screen, discuss, interact, so that you will now know the people behind the submission that we will make.
“The sole purpose to recommending to us on Tuesday in Port-Harcourt who you feel is best to the various offices.
“Who you think is the best for us to consider in the interest of the PDP and the overall interest of the northern part of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“In politics there are so many powerful interests and so, this is the right thing to do.
” We want this committee to do their very best to ensure that one, when they are recommending to us, they are recommending the very best of those who are available.
“If they are not good, we don’t want to waste our votes. When we are voting, we will not put them on our agenda,” Gana said.
Also speaking Mantu said that no member of the screening committee was allowed to contest for any position at the convention.
He also said that the teething issues on the convention had been addressed in the on-going reconciliation efforts.
“But it is now clear that the convention will by the grace of? God take place on the 17th and in Port Harcourt,” Mantu said.
“P?art of the reasons why we suddenly agreed yesterday was the fact that this skepticism was addressed by the governor of Rivers State who is also the chairman of the convention committee.
“The fears of many people was that there is insecurity in Port-Harcourt.
“Secondly , what happened in the last convention was that most of the committees were not allowed to do their jobs and the rest of them.”