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Nwodo, National Assembly Differ On Proposed Law For Parties

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LAGOS, Nov 19, (THEWILL) – The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo Thursday night said the ‘National Executive Committee of the party is sensitive to what Nigerians want’ adding that the PDP is ‘not interested in what the members of the National Assembly want.’

He also said the Nigerians ‘will judge the proposed law by members of the National Assembly that will make lawmakers automatic members of the National Executive Committees (NEC) of their respective political parties.

Nwodo made the position at a media briefing he addressed in Lagos to commence the global campaign for the reform of the party, saying the party is studying the situation and would always prefer to play the biddings of the Nigerian masses rather than the interest of the National Assembly. Nwodo’s statement came just as criticisms continued to trail the proposed law by federal lawmakers as other parties, civil society groups and prominent Nigerians have described the move as self-serving.

The PDP National Chairman was not specific in his response to a question a journalist asked on the party’s position concerning the proposed law. Nwodo said: “Agreed, the PDP is in clear majority in both chambers of the National Assembly, but that is not the issue at the moment. Members of the National Assembly are Nigerians. If they are doing the right thing, we should applaud them, but if the contrary, we should note it. The NEC of the PDP is sensitive to what Nigerians want. We are not interested in what the members of the National Assembly want,” Nwodo said.

Key party officers in the state accompanied Nwodo to the press briefing. Those with him were the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Rufai Alkali; Chairman of the Lagos State PDP, Mr. Setonji Koshoedo; state Secretary, Mr. Tunji Shelle and Publicity Secretary, Dr. Wale Ahmed.

Nwodo said one of the greatest challenges facing political parties was financial independence, adding that for parties to function creditable under a democratic system, it must have to be financially independent so that they can operate freely.

The National Chairman noted that the global campaign is focused on reforming the PDP, adding that it would also reposition the party for positive values in the minds of Nigerians home and abroad.

Also speaking at the briefing, Alkali said the new reform programme “will run as an integrated marketing communications campaign that would exploit all medium of mass communications and social media.” He added that the essence “is to pass the message across to our members all over the world and to change the wrong perception people have of the party. The world socio political environment is changing for good and we cannot afford to continue in our primordial ways of doing things. The time for change is now,” he added.