The Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) is to commence its staggered Ward, Local Government Area and State congresses in 28 states of the federation and Abuja between August 30 and September 3rd, 2014. Congresses in the remaining eight states of the federation will take place in the second batch on a date to be announced while the Zonal Congresses and the National Convention of the Party will take place in the third and final batch.
According to the time table released by the National Secretariat of the Party and signed by the National Secretary, Dr. Oluwole Akinwunmi, the first batch of 28 states will hold their Ward Congresses on August 30, Local Government Area Congresses on September 1 while State Congresses on September 3.
The first batch of states include Niger, Plateau and FCT in North Central, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe in North East and Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara in North West. Others are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo in South East, Edo, Delta and Bayelsa in South South and Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo in South West. Benue, Nasarawa, Kwara, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Adamawa and Ekiti are in the second batch.
Addressing journalists following the pre-Congress meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Party on Tuesday, 26 August at the National Secretariat in Abuja, the National Chairman of PDM, Mallam Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, explained that the staggering of the congresses and the National Convention is to ensure quality and easier management and to avoid the mistakes of other political parties. It is the tradition of Nigeria’s political parties to hold specific congresses in all the states of the federation on the same day. This, according to Mallam Ibrahim, has not served Nigeria’s democracy and the parties very well as most of these wholesale congresses had ended up either inconclusive or of poor quality or both.
His words: “Nothing in our democratic experience and political party process management supports wholesale congresses such as become the practice of political parties in Nigeria today. The United States, with all its manpower, political experience and sophisticated communication infrastructure, staggers its congresses from state to state. In Nigeria, we do it across the whole country on the same day, mostly at the expense of quality, due process and the rule of law. We want to do it differently by breaking away from tradition and setting new standards for other political parties to copy down the line. Hopefully, we will also learn new things with this experiment.”
It will be recalled that PDM had, at the joint meeting of its National Executive Committee, National Advisory Committee and Chairmen of State Stakeholders Committee held on April 24th 2014 resolved to commence its national congresses in August allow Muslims observe their fast and others to return from the lesser Hajj.