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 It’s The North-Central’s Turn To Complete Its Tenure As PDP National Chairman, Says Umar Sani

Umar Sani says the PDP, even with erring members, is still appreciated as the party that put Nigeria on the right track.

Former Senior Media Adviser to Former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Umar Sani, has said that it is the turn of the North-Central to complete its tenure in the office of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman.

Sani said this in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday while speaking ahead of the PDP’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which is set to hold on Thursday as well, as he said that the meeting will determine whether Umar Damagum will remain the Acting National Chairman of the PDP.

The columnist said, “In terms of outcome, the NEC is the second largest organ of the party, only second to the national convention. As such, the NEC has wider powers, as provided for in the party’s constitution. One of which is that they are at liberty to determine whether a vacancy exists in the office of the National chairman. Previously it didn’t exist because there was a court case that was encumbering the redirection of the position of the national chairman.

“Now, from information available that Iyiorcha Ayu has withdrawn his court case, which also must be presented before NEC for them to be very certain that there is no any legal encumbrance. Then, one can say that there is ample opportunity for the party to now take a position.

“However, putting it more so simply, taking a cue at our party constitution and previous precedents set by the party, one can say that without any equivocation, that this has been a practice of the party and it has always been very consistent.”

However, he mentioned that the party has a tradition in which the successor of a person who did not finish his or her term in the party’s leadership has to come from the same zone, so that the zone can finish its term.

Sani then said, “Now, the question is whether Ayu has really withdrawn the case, because with a legal encumbrance, it will be difficult for the NEC to take any decisive action. But be as it may, it is the turn of the North-Central to complete their tenure. And so, if Ayu is not there, it is the North Central that will complete their tenure.

“Having said that, it does not preclude the fact that Damagum will only revert back to his status quo, the initial position he was voted for. But will that be possible today? Today will only be a decision day. It is a decision whether the NEC will agree to say okay, this thing should revert back, or, we say okay, let us have a mini convention to be able to elect somebody from the North Central to complete the tenure, or to call for a special convention to address this matter.

“Whatever the NEC will decide today, which is within the constitutional positions of our party, it will not be out of place to say okay, even if they decide that Damagum should continue as acting pending certain things are put aright before he can be replaced, these are all within the powers of NEC.”

Sani said that there is no party that does not have any disciplinary issues, citing FCT Minister Nyesom Wike’s alleged anti-party activities during the 2023 Presidential elections and his reported plan to do the same in the 2027 Presidential elections, as well as other disciplinary issues that are being faced by other political parties.

The columnist however said, “These are acts of indiscipline perpetrated by members of political parties, but that does not make the party not loved or not appreciated, especially PDP that has a long history of performance, and where Nigerians, when they look back with nostalgia, they say this is the party that has put Nigeria on the right track.

“And so we are very confident that today, NEC will look at issues dispassionately and take a firm decision on all these issues, including discipline of erring members who have come out clearly to demonstrate that they have not only worked against our party, but they are planning to work against out party in the future, and then remain within the confines of the party, and even be looking for positions of responsibility to be able to manipulate the system so that they can properly prepare for 2027 for the person they want to work for.”

Sani then, further speaking on the supposed outcome of the NEC, said that everybody had their own interests and opinions of how and why they should have a say in the party. He then said that if they went into the convention with such “prejudices and interest divisions”, the meeting would become heated and there would probably be no meaningful decisions and resolutions taken from the convention.

“The interest aggregate is such that it will be very difficult for anybody to say that at the end of this meeting, this is the way the decision will go. But we are very confident in one thing- that our constitution is the binding factor. Since we have a constitution that has spelled out how these things are supposed to be resolved, I think the onus is to fall on the constitution so that the constitution will resolve this matter once and for all,” he said.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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