Sunday, 29 March 2009

Nigeria's Electoral Reform White Paper; Ruling Party's Recommendations.

The Electoral reform white paper recently released by the Federal Executive Council(FEC) of Nigeria are the recommendations of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), chidi opara reports have learnt authoritatively.

"When the Uwais committee was concluding their assignment, we discovered from what they were to submit that the panel had been hijacked by the opposition, so we decided to find a way out", a PDP national officer from the South-East whispered to us in Enugu.

The way out was the inauguration of the Aaondokaa committee immediately after the presentation of the Uwais committee report, to have a second look at the report and make final recommendations. These recommendations were instrumental to the white paper.

The Aaondokaa committee chidi opara reports' investigations revealed was at the instance of the PDP. We learnt that the Presidency when the Uwais committee appeared not ready for a compromise, approached Mr. Tony Anenih, a former chairman of the party's Board of Trustees(BOT), a man widely known as "Mr. fix it", who had a close relationship with the President's influential late elder brother, the late rtd. Major-general Shehu Yar'Adua, to "do something about the impending Uwais embarassment".
Anenih in turn approached the PDP national Chairman, Mr. Vincent Ogbulafor. A caucus meeting we learnt further was held at a guest house in the Wuse area 1 part of Abuja, in which the immediate past President, rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo sent a female representative. The caucus meeting resolved to set up a secret committee of three to articulate the Party's position on the electoral reform. It was also resolved that the President should be advised to raise a committee to be headed by the chief law officer of the nation as a smokescreen. "It was the recommendations of this secret committee that the Attorney-general's committee worked with", our PDP insider further revealed.

We sighted a document with the names and signatures of Nnamdi Uba, Ebenezer Babatope and Gbemisola Saraki appended on it, with recommendations similar to those on the white paper. A strategically placed staffer at the PDP national secretariat confirmed the authenticity of the document to us.

chidi opara reports can now also reveal that a hefty financial war chest is being assembled by the Presidency from several sources for use in lobbying legislators in both the federal and state parliaments to incorporate the content of the white paper into the electoral law.