A high-powered committee set up to revamp the fortunes of the Peoples Democratic Party has submitted a report . Among others, the committee advised the party to sell its membership and also restrict senior government positions and other perks to the highest bidder,.the plan had been accepted by the leadership of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi faction, which also set up the committee.
However, it suffered a major setback at the courts recently when the other faction led by former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, was declared as the authentic executive of the party. The Makarfi faction has however, challenged the decision of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court.
The committee, which has 201 members and is chaired by a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, is moving around the country, distributing copies of the report to prominent members of the party.
Among those who are said to have received it are former President Goodluck Jonathan; a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih; and a former National Security Adviser; Gen. Mohammed Gusau (retd.) Some other members of the BoT and the national caretaker committee have also collected copies of the document, sources say.
The report, groups the party’s membership into six categories in descending order of members’ financial contributions. Those in the highest categories are to have special benefits based on their financial contributions to the party.
The categories are: Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, Standard and Students in Tertiary Institutions.
According to the report, male members of the party who desire to be Platinum members are to pay N500,000 a year or N50,000 monthly instalments while women are to pay half the amount.
The benefits accruing to those in this category include “opportunities to attend the expanded national caucus meetings of the party, be invited to social and political events of the party with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the national chairman of the party.”
Members in this category are also to contribute and participate in the formulation of key policy decisions for the next general election.
“Consideration shall be given to platinum card-carrying members for appointment into boards of Federal Government-owned parastatals, agencies, ministerial appointments as well as other benefits that accrue to the party,” the report says.
Other perks, the report says, “are inclusive, but not limited to procurements, contracts and projects (awards) at all levels of the party governance structure.”
For those in the diamond category, they are expected to pay N250,000 (men) or N200,000 (women) annually to the party.
The document also states that diamond card-carrying members will enjoy most of the privileges associated with those in the Platinum group.
The report adds that those in diamond category “will (however) not be eligible for consideration into the membership of Board of Trustees as well as contest for the position of President and national party offices as the national chairman, deputy national chairman and national secretary.”
Gold card members will be expected to pay N200,000 (men) or N100,000 (women) minimum a year. They are expected to enjoy the benefits accruing to those in the diamond card category.
Holders of Silver cards in the party, according to the document, are expected to contribute N100,000 (men) or N50,000 (women) per annum to the party.
But they will not enjoy contracts from the government or be allowed to contest for national offices or be considered for appointment as ministers.
However, Silver members may be considered for commissionership appointments as well as other benefits that may accrue to the party such as “procurements, contracts and projects” at the state levels of the party’s governance structures.
Members who cannot afford to part with the sums quoted above will be asked to cough out N3,000 (men) and N2,000 (women) annually. However, they will only be allowed to contest for public posts at the local government and ward levels. Those in this category are called “Standard membership” card holders.
Student membership is planned to be free, but the document says it will be limited to “students in tertiary institutions approved by the Federal Ministry of Education.”
In his reaction, the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, said the cash-for-membership plan would not work, adding that the party was not for sale. Sheriff added that the plan of the Makarfi-led caretaker committee was to handover the party to the rich.