• en

Damagum: PDP National Chairmanship Not Matter Of Life and Death For Me

PDP Acting National Chairman Damagum has said the struggle to remain in office is not a big deal to him.

Embattled Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Illya Umar Damagum, has said the struggle to continue to stay in office was not a mater of life and death for him.

But in spite of the outcome of the national Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party on Thursday, the party leadership has slated another NEC for August 15, during which intends to elect a substantive national chairman of the party.

Also, speaking on the state of the party, the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Adolphus Wabara, has urged the party to do its best to resolve the crisis in the party, saying Damagum has already overstayed his welcome in acting capacity. 

At the same time, Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, refused to stay the execution of his order barring a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, and others  from attending the party’s meetings.

Curiously, the presidency, last night, said the PDP got it wrong yesterday at its NEC meeting with all the tantrums it threw against the government of President Bola Tinubu.

However, fielding questions on how he felt of the power struggle in the last few weeks, Damagum said leadership change or not would not rob him of his place in the party.

“This is not a matter of life and death. I am still an elected member of this NEC. Even if I revert to deputy national chairman, I’m still a member of NWC. The issue of surviving or not does not emerge,” he said.

On his part, the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Bala Muhammed, while speaking  on the outcome of the NEC, said, “You can see there was no dissension and rancour. 

“It was planned that the party will have an implosion. PDP is more than that. We have gone beyond all these idiosyncracries. This party is a united party that is guided by experience and constitutionality.

“There were a lot of permutations and mischievous thinking outside there. But we looked at all the issues and we worked along our guidelines and constitution. There is no problem or dissension and problem among members.”

On choosing a new chairman from North Central, he said, “In the next two months, we will see a lot of activities. Leadership is a responsibility. 

“We said in August, we would have come out from our congresses. We will look at the issue of leadership and look at the issue of our constitution, where it will be. And we will do it with no rancour.”

Meanwhile, security was tight at yesterday’s NEC as over two kilometres to the PDP secretariat in Wuse Zone 5 was cordoned off by police men under the supervision of the FCT Commissioner for Police, Beneath Igwe.

From the junction of Ibro hotel to the famous Julius Berger junction was cordoned off.

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, arrived venue of the meeting with a motorcycle outrider followed by two guns mounted by Police and National Civil Security Defence Corp in a Lexus keep with registration FCT 001

And just like it happened at the national caucus meeting, neither Wike not Atiku Abubakar uttered a single word.

The meeting was massively attended by all former governors, former ministers, and former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, among others.

Donald Duke and Leyel Imoke walked in, hand-in-hand, while a former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, former governors, who were members of the G5, came in the same vehicle with Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

Food vendors made brisk businesses, while despite the presence of armed security officials, pick pockets stole several telephones.

In the communique of the NEC meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, said  the NEC urged the National Working Committee to set up a reconciliation and disciplinary committee.

NEC, he said, approved all congresses in states where there are vacancies from the ward to the state congresses, and also approved the extension of time in the review of the party  constitution.

“NEC commends all the Organs of the Party for their collective resilience, steadfastness and commitment towards the unity, stability and sustenance of our great Party despite dauting challenges.

“NEC also commends members of the PDP, with particular reference to the youths and women for their courage in resisting the antics of the divisive and anti-people All Progressives Congress (APC), especially, its desperation to emasculate the opposition and foist a one-Party State on our nation.

“NEC expresses concern over the ill-implemented policies of the insensitive APC administration, leading to worsening insecurity, harrowing economic hardship, soaring unemployment rate, high cost of food and other necessities of life with pervading misery and despondency across the country. 

“NEC expresses serious apprehensions over the spate of acts of terrorism and violence including the escalated cases of mindless killings, mass abduction of innocent Nigerians and marauding of communities in various parts of the country.

“NEC condemns the insensitivity, nonchalance, incompetence and arrogance in failure of the APC administration which continues to conduct itself in a manner that shows that it has no iota of interest or commitment towards the wellbeing of Nigerians.”

Ologunagba said NEC  condemned the creeping totalitarianism and tendencies towards a One-Party state, which is inimical to the peace, stability and corporate existence of our nation as well as the development of Democracy and good governance in the country.

He said NEC, after due consideration, demanded that President Bola Tinubu should urgently convene a special National Security Council meeting to proffer a holistic solution and measures to curb the disturbing insecurity with its attendant negative consequences on our national life.  

According to him, “NEC also demands that President Tinubu should immediately rejig his Economic Team to bring in persons of proven integrity and competence without bias and vested interest to assist in repositioning the economy.

“NEC further demands that the Federal Government should review all policies and programmes which are stifling the economy with suffocating effect on the lives of citizens; including the increase in price of fuel without cushioning measures, hike in electricity tariff, increased taxation and implementation of adverse fiscal policies.  

“NEC charges all Organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP to close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people. 

“Consequently, NEC received and approved the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country. NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the Party.

“Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

“NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general,” he stated.

Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Mohammed, also said the governors remained resolute in their support for the party and united in the decision.

“The governors of the PDP are united and poised to give support to all the organs so that they can perform their constitutional functions. We have decided that at no time shall we leave the organs of the party feeling despondent and in want. 

“We are working assiduously to make sure that all the off-season elections are well-funded and we are solidly behind the current leadership of the PDP at the National Working Committee level and the BoT.  

“We really appreciate their performance and we recognise especially that the BoT has an array of experienced elder statesmen, who can leverage on their resources and human capital to take us to where we want to be as a country. 

“We also recognise that all eyes are on the PDP, especially we the governors and we are determined to bring peer review mechanism so that we’ll bring good governance that will be diametrically opposed to what is happening in the APC. 

“We want to make you proud and bring good governance in all ramifications and with all humility and modesty, you will recognise that my bosses – the governors – are doing very well.

“We know that we have suffered as a party, our presidential candidate suffered injustice and some of the gubernatorial candidates suffered injustice. At so many levels, we had legal infractions but certainly, it is not for us to bring rancour and division within the party. 

“We recognise that there are some gaps in the leadership recruitment and the lingering perception outside and of course, the strategy of our detractors who are lingering and waiting somewhere to see us implode or explode.

“But I must appreciate members of the caucus and members of the BoT that we have held meeting with and now the NEC that will not give our detractors the opportunity to see what they want – creation of faction – but PDP is too much for that.”

Wabara: Damagum Has Overstayed

The chairman of the PDP BoT, Senator Adolphus Wabara, has urged the party to do its best to help resolve the crisis within the party, saying Damagum has overstayed his welcome as acting national chairman to the detriment of the North Central zone of the country.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 77th Board of Trustees (BoT), Wabara said, “The ambiguity surrounding this position has led to confusion and internal strife, hindering our collective efforts to pursue our noble objectives. 

“The solutions to these two challenges are clearly imbibed in our party’s constitution but deliberate litigations have made the application of these constitutional solutions impossible.

“It is incumbent upon us to resolve this matter with utmost urgency, guided by transparency, fairness, and the best interests of our party and its members,” Wabara said. 

According to the PDP BoT Chairman, “As leaders, we feel the pulse of Nigerians and particularly members of our great party in their demand and quest for direction at this critical time in the life of our party, the PDP and dear nation, Nigeria.”

 Court Refuses to Stay Order Stopping Secondus, Others from PDP Meetings 

Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja, has refused to stay the execution of his order barring a former national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus,  from attending the party’s meetings.

Justice Ekwo, who refused to stay the order in a ruling, also refused similar request made by Chief Celestine Omehia and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara.

The judge in his ruling in three separate applications filed by Secondus, Omehia and Opara, held that the case of the applicants were grossly incompetent and lacking in merit.

Justice Ekwo had two weeks ago issued an interim order restraining Secondus from participating in the PDP meetings, pending the hearing of the substantive suit before the court.

He had made the order following an exparte application brought by one Titus Jones, a member of the PDP from Ward 5, Ikuru Town, Andoni Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State.

Jones in a suit marked marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/440/2024, joined Secondus; PDP; Acting PDP Chairman, Umar Damagun; PDP Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu; PDP NEC; PDP National Working Committee (NWC); PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 8th defendants respectively.

His lawyer, Mr Joshua Musa, SAN, had sought an order restraining the NEC, NWC, party’s chairman, secretary, and BoT from allowing Secondus to attend any of the meetings pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice, having been suspended from the party.

When the matter came up on Wednesday, the court was informed of an appeal filed by Secondus challenging the interim order as well as an application seeking the stay of the execution of the order made on April 5, 2024.

After listening to parties, he adjourned to yesterday to decide whether he would stay the execution of the interim order as a result of the appeal.

However, in his ruling Justice Ekwo, held that the case of the applicants was bereft of merit because they failed to challenge the interim order before going on appeal.

According to the judge, Rules 29 (9)(1) of the court provided a period of time within which anyone whom an exparte order is issued against to approach the court for a stay, adding that by filing an appeal at the appellate court, the applicants were bypassing the law.

The court also made an order extending the interim order barring the applicants from attending PDP’s meetings pending the hearing and determination of the suits.

Meanwhile, the court’s decision affected a similar suit seeking to bar Omehia, and Opara from also attending the PDP NEC meeting pending the hearing and determination of the main matter.

The matter has been adjourned till April 25 for hearing of the main suits.

Presidency: How PDP NEC Got It Wrong

The presidency has said the PDP got it wrong on that its NEC meeting with all the tantrums it threw against the government of President Bola Tinubu.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the president on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said the PDP could not blame the APC government for its notorious inadequacies after reigning for 16 years.

“We believe the party’s NEC members must have been habiting another planet, as all the accusations contradicted the reality on ground and completely ignored the stellar achievements recorded by the Tinubu Administration in less than one year.

“Unlike the PDP administration of 16 years, the Tinubu administration has been confronting the problems of our country headlong, moving for an audacious reset that will firmly put our country on a solid economic pedestal. 

“The results are already showing. Contrary to the pessimism and wishes of some PDP leaders, the National Currency has become the world’s best performing, appreciating by almost 50 percent against the dollar in few weeks.

“Exchange rate is stabilising as a convergence has been reached between official and so-called parallel market. The contrived pall of gloom cast over our nation has faded out and renewed hope is now on the leash.

“Such is the positive trend that the APC economic programmed is generating that the IMF has reviewed upwards the growth projection for our country this year from 2.9 percent to 3.3 percent.

“The administration is targeting a higher growth with its plans to embark on audacious infrastructure projects, such as the Badagry-Sokoto Highway and the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway. 

“The latter has attracted unwarranted attack by one of the PDP leaders, blinded by the huge economic benefits of the highway project. No thanks PDP! 

“The President’s economic team is doing well and no sane government, will change a winning team, that is working in sync with the advisory of the private sector, state governors and economic gurus in the country. 

“It was surprising that the PDP under whose watch Boko Haram was born in 2009 and worse of all, which looted the billions of dollars earmarked to equip our armed forces and the police, could so unabashedly blame the Tinubu administration for what it wrongly termed increasing spate of terrorism and banditry.”

Chuks Okocha, Alex Enumah and Adedayo Akinwale

Follow us on: