The tenure of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was, on Saturday, extended by four months.
The party also prayed for the recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at the party’s non-elective convention in Abuja, Makarfi said the party would continue to pray for Buhari’s recovery.
“It is the desire of the party that Buhari should be well soon. We mean well for our president. We will continue to pray for him, we want him to be fit but that does not mean that we will go to sleep. We will work hard to win the 2019 elections,’’ he said.
He described the non-elective convention of the party as an affirmation that the PDP was a government in waiting.
Makarfi commended security agencies for ensuring that the convention was conducted in a secured environment.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for being unbiased and for demonstrating its independency.
In his remark, Senator Ben Obi, the Secretary of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, said all hands must be on deck to reposition the party to rescue Nigeria.
Also, Mrs Iyabo Apampa, PDP stalwart from Ogun State, expressed joy that PDP came back to life in spite several efforts to destabilise the party.
The party had earlier extended the tenure of the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee by four months.
The tenure extension, which is effective from Saturday, was one of the resolutions of the party at its Non-Elective National Convention.
The caretaker committee was constituted on May 21, 2016 at the party’s National Convention in Port Harcourt, after the dissolution of the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led National Working Committee.
Its mandate was to organise an elective convention within 90 days, but the tenure was extended by 12 months in another convention in Port Harcourt on August 17, 2016 following leadership crisis that engulfed the party.
Minority Leader of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, who moved the motion for the new extension, said that it would enable the committee to organise an elective convention that would produce elected national leaders of the party.
The motion which was seconded by a former governor of Jigawa, Alhaji Sule Lamido, was unanimously adopted by the convention delegates.
The delegates also ratified the dissolution of the factional executive committees of the party in Anambra, and authorised Makarfi’s committee to set up a caretaker committee in the state.
The motion on the Anambra issue was moved by Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, and in adopting it, the delegates mandated the national caretaker committee to organise congresses at all levels in the state as soon as possible.
Also ratified at the convention was the dissolution of executive committees of the party in Adamawa, Borno, Kebbi, Ogun, Kwara, Osun and Lagos, and fresh congresses were ordered to be in the states within three months.
The delegates agreed that the crises in the states should be resolved within the period but prior to the congresses.
The convention also ratified and reaffirmed the election of the party’s executive committees in zones and states where congresses were successfully conducted.
The motion on this was moved by Prof. Jerry Gana and supported by Chief Emeka Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Mr Ayo Fayose, on Saturday assured that the governors would continue to align with the ideals of the party and support it to regain power.
Fayose gave the assurance at the party’s special national convention in Abuja.
He said that the party would, as it had just done, overcome other challenges that may arise and win the general elections in 2019.
He urged members of the party and supporters to not only work towards, but should begin to congratulate themselves because “re-occupying Aso Rock in 2019 is certain’’.
He said that from 2019, he would be attending to the needs of Nigerians from the Presidential Villa, recalling that he had indicated interest in the presidency of the country.
“The crowd here in the convention arena is a testimony of what is happening in Nigeria; the party is now a religion and a belief that we are going back to `our villa’.
“I am going there; I don’t know how many of you will be ready to go there.
“PDP will take Nigeria out of one chance and give it plenty chances.
“We made a mistake but our ability to correct is the one that is important; we fell and we are bound to rise, so, it is time to arise and shine and let your light be seen be men,’’ he said.
Fayose added that Nigeria would be liberated from poverty that had set into national life since PDP left office.
Former Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, said that the success of the convention was “a happy one for the party’’.
“Today, we are happy that PDP is united and Nigerians are happy that PDP is on the march again.
“Now it is very clear that indeed, PDP is set to regain power in this country and bring hope and good things to Nigerians.’’
Turaki said that PDP would take away prevailing hunger, poverty, despondency, quarrel and insecurity and bring back prosperity and good times to Nigerians.