‘Fresh PDP’ Causes Stir In PDP

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‘Fresh PDP’ Causes Stir In PDP

‘Fresh PDP’ Causes Stir In PDP

It was a huge shock when some aggrieved members of the PDP took the nation by surprise, announcing the birth of ‘Fresh PDP’ in the nation’s capital, last Wednesday.

Many Nigerians were befuddled, considering that the party has not learnt lessons from factors that led to its humiliating defeat and abrupt termination of its 16-year reign at the 2015 general polls.

It was especially astounding as the party had just on July 12, 2017, at the Supreme Court, came out of a 14-month-old intense leadership crisis which tore it into two parallel shreds and nearly pushed it into the graveyard.

The announcement of a ‘Fresh PDP’ by some aggrieved chieftains of the PDP and opening of another secretariat at Asokoro, in Abuja, was therefore, seen by many as another storm the party and other stakeholders must wheather if the PDP must remain relevant in the nation’s political mainstream.

A member of the December 9, convention planning sub-committee,  Prince Obi-Nwosu Emmanuel Butches; Deputy Director General of Prof. Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Chief Olukayode Akindele; contender for the office of National Organising Secretary, Chief Godwin Chinedu Duru; aspirant for the office of National Youth Leader, Comrade Franklyne Edede and Alhaji Hassan Adamu signed the text of the press conference announcing the emergence of the ‘Fresh PDP.’

Obi-Nwosu Emmanuel who led his colleagues to the new secretariat where the press conference was held, hinged their grievances on the outcome of the PDP convention.

But the Media Director  of Prof. Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Mr. Taiwo Akeju, told our correspondent on telephone that Akindele was there on his own and not in the capacity of the Campaign Organisation or on behalf of Adeniran.

The aggrieved group threatened to put in place, what they regard as the “authentic NWC” in early January.

Prof. Taoheed Adedoja who contested the office of national chairman at the convention has already gone to court to challenge the outcome of the convention.

The ‘Fresh PDP’ chieftains claimed that the process of selecting the Prince Uche Secondus-led NWC was concluded days before the PDP Convention, describing the election as a charade.

They also expressed dismay over the manner the convention was held and insisted that the ‘Fresh PDP’ was the reformed and re-branded PDP, which only holds the key to winning 2019 elections.

Following this, there is tension in the party as to why the few party chieftains had resorted to proclaiming a ‘Fresh PDP’ and getting set to kick-off a parallel NWC at their new secretariat.

However, pundits say, the five persons who announced a ‘Fresh PDP’ do not have the clout, neither do they have the financial strength to run their course.

The argument is that none of them have ever held a very prominent political office such as being a governor, deputy governor, minister, senator, member of house of Representatives or vice president.

A party stalwart from the North-East who never wanted his name printed, said, “Their action was more or less an agitation which ought to have been tackled using the internal mechanisms of resolving grievances and disputes in the party.

“But they didn’t subject themselves to that and decided to act a script written for them by some disgruntled elements in the APC and in our party.”

However, before the emergence of ‘Fresh PDP,’ Prof. Taoheed Adedoja raised germane issues in court regarding the conduct of the convention, considering that he contested the office of national chairman.

Joined in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Chairman of the PDP Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, Prince Uche Secondus and the PDP.

Adedoja is at the Federal High Court, Abuja, claiming that the PDP “deliberately” excluded his name from the list of aspirants on the ballot papers.

Adedoja was among the four aspirants for the PDP chairmanship after five others withdrew from the race,which was won by Prince Secondus having scored 2,000 votes.

Analysts say his going to court could, however, be seen as a serious setback to the ongoing reconciliation moves by the PDP in the aftermath of the convention which has left many aspirants for various offices disappointed.

Prof. Adedoja, who was Minister of Sports and Special Duties during the reign of President Goodluck Jonathan, is challenging the PDP on grounds that the name which reflected on the ballot papers was ‘Taoheed Oladoja’ instead of ‘Taoheed Adedoja,’ and claiming that delegates did not vote for him because of that.

Adedoja is asking the court to cancel the result of the election and order the conduct of a fresh elective national convention for the election of national chairman within 30 days.

He is also praying the court to declare as null and void, the election of the national chairman and any document submitted by PDP or “purported occupier” of the position of the national chairman to INEC.

“I was unlawfully excluded from the list of the contestants for the position of national chairman of the PDP which is a flagrant violation of the electoral act, the constitution of PDP, the guidelines for conduct of PDP national convention and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Having built a political career for 14 years, the declaration of a zero score by PDP credited to me has embarrassed and maligned me and brought great ridicule to my political standing and goodwill nationally and internationally.

“Since the announcement of the result, I have suffered psychological trauma as a result of the public ridicule the election result has caused me, my family members, friends and associates.

“My lawyers are demanding for appropriate compensation for damages, ridicule, embarrassment and disrepute brought to my name as a result of my willful exclusion from participating in the election resulting to zero score credited to my name which is now in public domain.

“My lawyers, Messrs Rickey Tarfa and Co, have filed a suit  at the Federal High Court in Abuja, to seek redress,” he said.

But insiders say, some party leaders were reaching out to former President Goodluck Jonathan to prevail on him not to continue with the suit considering that the two has a good rapport.

An ex-deputy spokesman, Barr. Abdullahi Jalo told Daily Trust on Sunday in a telephone conversation that these developments were dangerous to the party considering its current move to dislodge the APC in 2019, adding that party stakeholders must swiftly nip the situation in the bud.

Some PDP stalwarts predict that if Jonathan and other party leaders prevail on Adedoja to settle with the party outside court and the Governor Seriake Dickson-led reconciliation committee also wade into the seeming break-up of the party, the Secondus-led NWC would have cause to celebrate.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “Party members who contested other positions from the National Secretary and below were duly informed that discussions on their concerns will hold in the second week of January, 2018, since the party would be proceeding for Yuletide and New Year festivities and would only resume on January 8, 2018.

“The majority of our party members who contested the said positions accepted the decision of the National Reconciliation Committee to reconvene on January 8, 2018 in good faith, and in the greater interest of our party.

“It is however, strange, unacceptable and outside every known law and regulation that a group of individuals will come together and claim to have formed a splinter group of our great party and even attempt to use our colour, name and logo unauthorized.

“Any person who for any selfish reason resort to the ignoble part of attempting to create disaffection and disunity in our party will be made to face the consequences of his or her actions as provided for in the constitution of our great party and extant laws of the land.”

However, it is left to be seen whether the party would tackle or leave these issues unabated.

Source: Daily Trust

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