Facts have emerged on why the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) National Convention Committee on Zoning, held in Enugu, last Thursday, ended in a stalemate.
Recall that the Chairman of the Committee and Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, after the closed-door meeting, told newsmen that they adjourned to conclude this week, adding that “we had a fruitful meeting”.
Speaking further on what transpired at the meeting, a member of the committee, who does not want his name to be mentioned, disclosed that the adjournment of the meeting was because there was a sharp division among members of the committee as they could not reach a definite decision on where the next national chairman of the party, currently occupied by the Southern part of the country, should emerge from during the October 30-31 National Convention.
Consequently, the member revealed that the committee adjourned till this week to consult further with other relevant stakeholders in the Party, especially the PDP Governors’ Forum and the Board of Trustees (BOT).
According to the member, while some members of the committee wanted the South to retain it with the hope that doing so will pave way for the presidential candidate of the party to come from the North, others canvassed that the North should produce the next national chairman in the spirit of the four-year rotational agreement in the party.
It was further revealed that two groups emerged from within and outside the zoning committee with both disagreeing on where the next national chairman should come from.
The first group, the ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’, wanted all the party offices retained on the geographical side to which they presently are.
However, the second group, the ‘Move Around Group’, wanted all the positions presently in the South to be transferred to the North while the ones in the North should move southward.
By the calculation of the ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’, the chairmanship of the party will be retained in the South while the national secretary will move to the North.
However, the ‘Move Around Group’ wanted the next chairman of PDP to emerge from the North while the South produces the secretary.
Also, while the ‘Move Around Group’ believed that zoning the chairman’s position to the North will make the presidential ticket to be automatically zoned to the South, they continued to insist that the issue at hand now is party position and when the party gets to the point where it has to nominate the presidential flagbearer, the matter will be resolved.
However, the ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’ believed that the zoning committee should also adopt the position of the Bala Mohammed Committee which reviewed the performance of the party in the 2019 general election. It wanted thepresidential ticket of the party thrown open for aspirants from all the six zones.
Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim led the ‘Move Around Group’ with the support of some elements in the South-South and South-East zones. The ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’ is led by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo and has the buy-in of key leaders of the party across South-West and the three zones in the North.
Earlier in his welcome address, Gov. Ugwuanyi clarified that the committee has no mandate to zone political offices such as president or vice president.
The governor explained that “our committee is strictly limited to the PDP national executive offices to be contested at the 2021 PDP National Convention scheduled for the end of October 2021”, stressing: “We have no mandate to zone political offices such as president or vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Gov. Ugwuanyi maintained that the PDP remains the most credible platform to deliver good and accountable governance to Nigeria, adding that the work of the committee will contribute immensely “in this deliberate search for national officers of our party that will help PDP achieve the lofty ideals and goals of our founding fathers”.
He, therefore, encouraged members of the committee to be frank, open and constructive in their proposals and debates, and also exhibit consistency with the enormity of their mandate.
“The membership and leadership of this committee have been carefully selected as it is composed of very experienced, competent and eminent Nigerians who are desirous of repositioning the PDP to play its role not just as the main opposition political party in Nigeria but to build a party that offers alternative policy proposals and hope to Nigerians that there is still light at the end of the tunnel”, Gov. Ugwuanyi said.
Members of the committee present at the meeting included the governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, whois the Deputy Chairman; the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Barr. Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed, who serves as secretary; former Presidents of the Senate, Senators Iyorchia Ayu and Anyim Pius Anyim; and former governors of Niger, Ekiti, Sokoto, Jigawa and Adamawa states, Dr. Muazu Aliyu Babangida, Ayodele Fayose, Attahiru Bafarawa, Sule Lamido, and Boni Haruna, respectively.
Also in the meeting were Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, Rt. Hon. Sunday K. E Okoye, Chief Dan Orbih, Chief (Dr.) Ali Odefa, Amb. (Mrs.) Kema Chikwe, Chief Osita Chidoka, Chidi Lloyd, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Senator Emmanuel Nwaka, Engr. Donatus Udeh, among others.
Edo: Those Who Defected To PDP With Obaseki Are Almost Herdsmen, Party Chieftain Laments
Mr. Charles Idahosa, leader of the political group who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from the All Progressive Congress, APC, alongside Governor Godwin Obaseki in 2020, has complained about the fate of the defectors, lamenting that they are becoming “political herdsmen.”
Idahosa states this even as the PDP is busy searching for solutions to the crisis bedevilling the party.
The former Commissioner of the state lamented that those of them who followed Obaseki to the PDP had been stranded.
He expressed fear that they could become “political herdsmen roaming from point A to B to C because of some few greedy political lightweight “.
While admitting that the lingering crisis had negative effects on the performance of the governor in his second term, the PDP chieftain noted that the problem started when, the governor’s camp, while looking for a platform for Obaseki to actualise his second term ambition, having been thrown out of the APC, did not take into cognizance, the bad blood in the PDP.
“I concur also with that belief that the topmost delivery that Edo people know H. E. Godwin Obaseki for is missing in his one year second term. But the truth is that, when we were running from scorpions, we didn’t fully know that were bedding with snakes”, Idahosa lamented.
Idahosa, who addressed a press conference in Benin on Wednesday, said that rather than blame Governor Obaseki for the lingering crisis in the Edo PDP, the old members of the party, who resisted all moves to integrate the new entrants, should be held responsible for the crisis.
He asserted that Obaseki had done all he could do to ensure that everyone was accommodated.
Idahosa added that contrary to the belief that Obaseki lacks the quality to live in a peaceful coexistence with political actors, as indicated in the present crisis in the PDP, said that the truth “was that before we joined the PDP in 2020, the party had been divided into factions and it is those old PDP members who are shut out that causing the crisis and not the governor”.
The PDP leader added that Governor Obaseki’s main concern was the integration of those who followed him to the PDP, adding that that was why the governor appointed only 11 commissioners out of the 21 the state normal has, with the hope that the old PDP would allow harmonisation and fill the remaining 10 slots and the remaining 218 other political vacant positions would be shared equitably.
“The NWC of the party should do something. Edo issues would have been resolved like Benue and Sokoto States if not for the in-house crisis that is destabilising Governor Obaseki.
“The man has begged, cajoled, threatened and done all possible things to make PDD harmonies, but for personal gains with 2023 in mind, the old hawks in PDP Edo are resisting, but sooner than later, the right thing will be done”, he assured.
Idahosa explained that the rallying cry was enacted for the political liberation of the Edo people from the shackles of the godfathers, beginning with the late Chief Tony Anenih and in the last election to curtain Adams Oshiomhole, who fought Anenih as a godfather but wanted to play a godfather role.
“Today, every Edo man, particularly the Binis, have a sense of fulfilment that they dared the forces that the Godfather from threw at them I’m the last gubernatorial elections”, Idahosa submitted.
Idahosa therefore called on the governor and all stakeholders” to stop the unnecessary suspension and counter suspension forthwith”.
On that local parlance rallying cry of “Torgba” (it must complete) and “Ogbane” (it is complete) used during the 2020 gubernatorial elections in the state to secure a second term for Governor Obaseki, the political top shot bemoaned a situation where Edo citizens translated that to mean that because they supported the second term bid of the governor, the people could now act with impunity.
“I beg the pardon of religious persons, for us: Torgba and Ogbane are sacred words too, not word to place politics with, as it would amount to rubbishing our struggles.
“Anytime it rains or when wind blows away people’s houses, they will say ‘Torgab, Omagbane nia’ (we want it complete, it has completed), or when people build on flood channel, or right of way and such illegal building is pulled down as if the governor was re-elected to come and pamper their inadequacies or encourage them to flout town planning laws and become recalcitrant and lawless”, he bemoaned.
PDP Vice Chairman, Secretary, Others Join APC In Yobe
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yobe State has made another ‘big catch’ as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, State Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Usman Amale, Assistant Secretary Ahmadu Biriri and others have defected to the ruling party.
Receiving the former PDP officials in Damaturu on Tuesday, the State Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, said they should be part of the movement to salvage Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Buni’s Spokesman, Mamman Mohammed in a statement he signed and made available to newsmen.
Buni in the statement said, “APC is now a movement that is targeting the unity, progress and development of Nigeria, we are receiving high profile Nigerians from all walks of life, from different backgrounds, cultures, religions and geo-political backgrounds.
“The solution to the problems facing Nigeria lies in the political stability of the country, we should all come together to promote our unity for development.”
Buni informed the defectors that they have equal rights and opportunities like any other member to contribute to the development of Nigeria.
The former PDP Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Usman Amale said they had no reason remaining in PDP and apologised for the delay.
“In fact, we had no reason being in PDP because our leader and Chairman of APC needs the support for political stability in Nigeria”, Amale said.
READ ALSO: BREAKING: Over 5,000 defect To APC In Delta
He commended Gov. Buni for his selfless contribution to Nigeria’s growth and development,saying “You made us very proud and we are obliged to support you”
Rivers APC Crisis Worsens As Sen Abe Inaugurates Parallel Exco
Senator Magnus Abe who formerly represented Rivers South East Senatorial district Tuesday inaugurated his parallel State Executive of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
The inauguration came two days after the nationwide State congress of the APC which was laced with crisis in several States of the Federation.
The inauguration took place at the Freedom House, a campaign secretariat of Sen. Abe located at the GRA area of Port Harcourt, thereby deepening factional crisis of the party in Rivers as another faction loyal to the former governor and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi were also claiming to be the authentic APC executives in the State.
Those inaugurated included Golden Chioma, state chairman; Mike Amakiri, deputy chairman; Inye Jack, secretary; Joy Woko, state woman leader, among others.
Speaking with newsmen after the inauguration, Chioma said their faction held the ward, local and state congresses that produced leaders at the various levels in the state, even as he called on Governor Nyesom Wike to prepare his handover note in 2023.
This action has again put a doubt on the integrity of Rt Hon. Rotimi Amaechi’s leadership of the APC in Rivers State.
Senator Abe and the Minister have been in a running battle for the soul of APC in Rivers State. The development cost the party the 2019 governorship election in the State.