IN an apparent bid to woo back former members who defected to other polity parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is proposing an amendment to its constitution that will make it easier for such people to rejoin the party.
The proposed amendment now being studied by party stakeholders around the country, seeks to delete Section 8(8)(b), Section 8(9) and modify Section 8(8) dealing with procedure for rejoining in order to make rejoining/readmission into the party automatic for a member who had left.
But such an individual will still have to write an application to his Ward Secretary before being readmitted.
The proposed amendment document obtained by Tribune Online however indicates that despite the automatic readmission, waiver requirements for contesting elections and enjoying political appointments remain “and, if thought necessary, would be strengthened.”
Towards this, the proposed amendment recommends that former Section 8(11) should be revised to reduce the minimum period of seeking party’s ticket and political appointment from two years to a uniform period of six months.
The party believes that the measure will open up political space for its members.
It proposes: “Revising the provisions on Waiver Section 50(4)(7) are proposed to be amended by reducing the minimum period of membership for seeking the party’s ticket and political appointment from two (2) years and one (1) year respectively to a uniform period of six (6) months unless the appropriate Executive Committee at its discretion gives a waiver to the contrary.
“This will open up the political space in the Party to receive persons who can unquestionably add value to the electoral fortune of the Party; while at the same time not failing to reward the loyalty and steadfastness of members who never moved.
“It is also proposed that decisions on waiver applications be taken by the appropriate Executive Committee at a meeting acting on the recommendation in that behalf from the immediate lower organ of the Party at its meeting s that applications commence from the Ward Executive at its meeting.
“This will strengthen the decision on waiver applications and a unilateral decisions by individuals or a few people.
“It is further proposed that the appropriate Executive Committee to consider waiver applications for political appointment be as (a) In the case of Federal political appointment, the National Executive Committee (b) In the case of State political appointment, the State Executive Committee.”
It is also proposed that “the persons aggrieved from the grant or refusal or waiver by the Ward, LGA, State or zonal Working Committee shall have the recourse to appeal to the immediate higher party organ up to the National Executive Committee through the National Working Committee.”
The amendments being sought also recommend the incorporation of National Vice Chairmen of the party into National working Committee (NWC).
In which case, the amendment is asking for the deletion of section 29(5) and introduction of the National Vice Chairmen as paragraph (m) of Section 29(1) to make the six National Vice Chairmen part of the NWC in order to enable them to attend all meetings in that context as against the former position where they were to attend NWC meetings at least once in two months to brief NWC on operations of the Zones.
This is also consistent with the August 2016 Port Harcourt National Convention proposed Amendment.
The amendment will also now provide for two Deputy National Chairmen from North and South by modifying Section 29(1)(b), Section 30(1)(g), 31(1)(h), Section 35(2)(3), Section 45(2).
One of the Deputy National Chairman from the National Chairman’s own region will take over as Acting National Chairman in the event the National Chairman ceases to hold office or when absent for any reason, pending the appointment to be made by National Economic Council (NEC) pursuant to Section 47(6).
This is consistent with the August 2016 Port Harcourt proposed Amendment.