By NBF News

In line with expectations of party faithful, the 56th Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Committee (NEC) yesterday unanimously ratified the elevation of the former national secretary of the party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje to the office of the acting national chairman of the party.

It equally approved the appointment of Dr Musa Babayo, erstwhile deputy national secretary to the position of national secretary.

According to the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Professor  Ahmed Rufai Alkali, who spoke with journalists at the end of the PDP NEC meeting, the new acting national chairman and national secretary, 'shall, along with the remaining members of the National Working Committee, oversee the affairs of the party until the tenure of the current eexecutive committee runs out in March 2012.'

But yesterday, NEC was virtually boycotted by the party governors from South-east as only the Abia Governor, Theodore Orji  was represented by his deputy.

Alkali, however, told newsmen that it had nothing to do with the agitation of the zone for the office of the national chairman of the party.

' Some of them sent letters of apologies. It has nothing to do with protests over the office of  national chairman of the party.'

The party national publicity scribe further disclosed that the 'NEC also considered dates and guidelines for our party congresses and national convention, which shall elect officers for the party at all levels. This is in line with provisions of the PDP constitution,  which prescribes a four- year tenure for elected executives at all levels.' The national convention will hold on  February 25, 2012.

Alkali also disclosed to journalists that a 21- member committee to propose amendments for the PDP constitution to align it with provisions of the Electoral Act and the constitution of the nation had been approved by PDP NEC.

National Legal Adviser,  of the party, Chief Olusola Oke,,  who shed light on the proposed amendments told newsmen that it had  become compelling for the party in line with demands of the new Electoral Act.

'The Electoral Act bars parties from making members in appointive offices like ministers, commissioners as delegates to national convention. We must also address the composition of NEC and Board of Trustees.

'There is also the need to look into provisions that deal with discipline. People leave our party and come back surreptiously.

It is going to be a holistic amendment of the entire PDP constitution, in line with the transformation agenda of the President,' Oke told journalists.