By Wahab Akanji, Lagos
Northern Leaders Forum of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has constituted a 16-member committee to organise a selection process for aspirants from the northern states vying for national offices in the party.
Convener of the forum, Prof. Jerry Gana, made this known to newsmen at the end of a meeting of the group on Saturday in Abuja.
The meeting, according to him, was in preparation for the party’s national convention scheduled for Aug. 17 in Port-Harcourt, Rivers.
Gana said the committee members were drawn from all the northern states and that Sen. Ibrahim Mantu was the chairman.
â€œThe mandate given to the committee is to screen all the aspirants from the northern states and ensure that credible persons are presented at the convention.
“The committee will help us to screen, discuss and interact with the aspirants so that you will know the people behind the submission that we will make.
â€œWe want this committee to do its best to ensure that they recommend the best candidates.
“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.
Gana, who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) Reconciliation Committee of the party, affirmed that the national convention would hold as scheduled.
He, therefore, urged all northern leaders of the party to mobilise their people for the exercise.
“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, â€Žour next meeting will be in Port Harcourt before the convention begins. We want to assure you that by the grace of God, adequate arrangement will be made for security.
“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,” he said.
Also speaking, Mantu said that no member of the committee would be allowed to contest for any position at the convention.
He also said that thorny issues on the convention had been addressed in the ongoing reconciliation efforts, adding that the moves would yield a positive result.