The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has a fresh crisis in its hands with the dissolution, last week, of the party’s executive councils in eight states.
The PDP non-elective National Convention ordered the disbandment of the party EXCOs in Adamawa, Anambra, Borno, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun and Osun states where it claimed previous congresses to elect leaders ended in disagreements.
While the dissolution has already taken effect in Anambra with former Health Minister Alphonsus B.C Nwosu taking over the affairs of the party as Caretaker Committee Chairman, confusion seems to be the word in Kwara and Ogun state chapters.
The Sheriff faction in Kwara State, led by Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo, has rejected the dissolution order and has headed to court to challenge the development.
The situation appears worse in Ogun where a financier of the party and loyalist of Sheriff, Senator Buruji Kashamu, and his supporters insist that the Abuja convention has no right whatsoever to disband the state’s EXCO.
Kashamu is particularly angry with Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, the immediate past governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and former Minister of State for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, for alleged conspiracy to push him to the background in the PDP.
Branding Fayose “my boy, one of my guys that I assisted,” he declared that he was not one to be pushed around by anybody in the party.
“I am in front of many people and leaders to believe me and follow me, including Fayose himself,” he told The Nation yesterday.
He added: “Before Fayose became Ekiti Governor, he used to be my boy. He used to be one of my guys that I assisted. But if it is because I assisted him to become governor and he thinks that he is bigger that God, and he is now a demigod, he should realise how people who equate themselves to God usually end up.
“Fayose, Omisore, Bode George, Daniel and Adeyeye, all of them together they are toothless dogs. They can bark, they can’t bite.
“In Ogun State, there was a congress in 2015 monitored by INEC, SSS, Police and we have the report of the congress. And because we knew what the national leadership might want to do (in future) we went to court and got a judgment to compel the national leadership of PDP to allow the Ogun State Exco stay till 2020.
“Since the judgement was given in 2015, the national headquarters of our party has not appealed the judgment and, of course, the time for filing an appeal has lapsed.
“So, that judgement is binding on PDP, INEC and the Police that they cannot dissolve or do anything other than to protect the Ogun PDP EXCO till 2020.
“So what gives the convention the power? What gives Fayose the power? What gives the national caretaker committee the power to think that they are above the law by saying that they have dissolved the Ogun PDP EXCO?
“The same thing applies to the purported South West PDP zonal EXCO led by Olafeso. There is a court judgement nullifying their kangaroo congresses at that time. Since they did not appeal, the judgement remains subsisting.”
He was referring to the recent South West Zonal meeting of the PDP convened by Fayose as ‘leader’.
Kashamu’s supporters said the PDP constitution does not recognise Foyose as the leader of the party in the South West, saying the constitution has been amended and entrusted the leadership of the party in the state to the chairmen.
However, the pro-Markarfi faction in the state, led by Mr.Sikirulai Ogundele, is in agreement with the EXCO dissolution.
Ogundele told The Nation yesterday that that a fresh congress would be organised in due course to elect a new EXCO.
He hoped that the police would soon evict the Dayo faction that is occupying the state secretariat of the party to allow the ‘real’ EXCO to move in.
Several PDP leaders from Ogun and Lagos states, including former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Capt. Tunji Shelle, Chief Joju Fadairo, Alhaji Sikirulahi Olawale, earlier in the week signed a resolution calling for Kashamu’s expulsion from the party for “his anti-party actions and destructive antics in the South-West.”
Meanwhile, the Sheriff faction of the PDP in Kwara State, in its suit challenging the purported dissolution of the EXCO, wants the court to declare the action of the national convention illegal.
Spokesman for the group, Chief Rex Olawoye, said the suit was filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to him, suit N0: FHC/ABJ/CS/500/2017 was filed by Femi Falana
(SAN) on behalf of Kwara PDP executive and the state chairman, Chief
Iyiola Oyedepo with Senator Ahmed Markafi, the National
Caretaker Committee Chairman, and three others as defendants.
Chief Olawoye said the PDP in Kwara State considered the dissolution of the
validly elected state executive committee a travesty of justice.
He said: “This action of Senator Ahmed Makarfi contradicts what he once said when he declared that he would not take what belongs to somebody and give it to another.”
The other Makarfi faction, led by Prince Sunday Fagbemi, urged the Oyedepo group to allow peace to reign in the party.
Spokesperson of the Prince Fagbemi factioin, Alhaji Gani Alawo, counselled Oyedepo that “if he loves the party so dearly and he is passionate about leading it, he should subject himself to the will of the people.”
In Anambra State former Health Minister, Alphonsus B.C Nwosu, has assumed office as caretaker committee chairman and proceeded to inaugurate local government caretaker committees in all the 21 local government areas in the state.
Nwosu told The Nation yesterday that the party was back to possess its possession, starting with the November 18 governorship election.
”As you can see, the caretaker consists of stakeholders from different factions who are solid PDP members,” he said.
“I am a stakeholder, that is why I am the Captain of the team. Iyom Anenih is a stakeholder. Senator Annie Okonkwo is a stakeholder. Elder Linus Ukachukwu is a stakeholder. Senator Ugochukwu Uba is a stakeholder. Chief Obiora Okonkwo is a stakeholder. And many others. And we plan to reach all the stakeholders not only in Anambra but in the South East zone, led by Chief Austin Umahi.
“We will also reach stakeholders in Nigeria because the National Secretary of our party comes from Anambra State. And our committee was set up by a resolution of the National Convention of the party.
“We are hopeful that we will be able to bring all the stakeholders back to PDP fold and we shall work hard to bring Anambra State and its governor back to national politics and produce the next governor in the State.”
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