Governor Murtala Nyako
Atiku commends peaceful outcome of congresses
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Daji Sani in Yola
Fresh crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the crisis in the Adamawa State chapter of the party, as the National Working Committee (NWC) rejected the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan and governors elected on the platform of the party that ward, local and state congresses be suspended.
Governor Murtala Nyako had petitioned President Jonathan and PDP governors against what he described as the meddlesomeness of the NWC of PDP in the affairs of the party in the state. As a result of that, a meeting was summoned by the President Jonathan with the NWC members and the PDP Governors.
At the meeting held on December 20, it was agreed that the proposed congresses slated for December 27 be stopped to enable a presidential committee headed by the governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, to intervene and settle the grey areas.
As a result, the Lamido committee wrote letter to the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, asking the party to suspend action on the congresses in the state.
Part of Lamido’s letter, dated December 21, reads, “Your Excellency is aware of an ad-hoc committee that has been created for the resolution of the Adamawa State crisis.
“The inaugural committee meeting was held today and members resolved that further acts and/or actions by any organ of the party with respect to Adamawa State PDP be suspended.
“This is to enable the ad-hoc committee to conclude its work without any influence whatsoever.”
But PDP while replying through the Deputy National Secretary, Mr. Onwe Onwe, drew Lamido’s attention to the fact that the party had concluded arrangements for the party congresses billed for thursday.
PDP further said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been informed.
The party stressed that: “The National Secretariat had via a letter by the National Chairman and National Secretary dated December 5, 2012 written to INEC notifying it of the dates and timetable of the congresses.
“The National Secretariat of our great party, the PDP had via a letter signed by the National Organizing Secretary dated December 6, 2012 written to the Caretaker Committee approved timetable of the congresses in the state starting from December 27, 2012 to January 10, 2013.
“The Caretaker Committee had obtained PDP nomination forms from the National Secretariat of the party and has been selling them to aspirants from ward level to local government level.”
PDP concluded in the letter that to do anything contrary was capable of undermining the party’s reputation and esteem among its members in the state.
THISDAY gathered that in Yola on Wednesday night in a television advertisement on GOTEL, PDP insisted that the congresses will go ahead as planned.
But an NWC member who spoke to THISDAY, queried why the congresses should be stopped because when Governor Nyako was asked by the party to shelve local government election on November 24, he refused. It was gathered that at press time in Adamawa State that the congresses had commenced, in clear breach of the President’s directive.
Meanwhile, former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar, who monitored the congresses, said the large turnout of party members at yesterday’s ward congresses, the first ever since the formation of the party, in Adamawa State was historic and a clear manifestation of a yearning for democracy by the people.
In a statement by his media office, Atiku said: “The record turn-out in some wards was far in excess of that seen in general elections in the state. It is a clear indication that people want democracy,” Atiku who keenly monitored the voting process.”
The former Vice-President said it was wrong of the state government or anyone for that matter to subvert the yearnings of the people for a free and fair election in the running of their party affairs. “The right to freedom of association is a right protected by the constitution that cannot be whimsically taken away to serve the convenience of an individual or any group,” Atiku said.
He said the peaceful conduct of the election throughout the state had clearly shown that there was absolutely no basis other than politics for the security alarm raised by the state government. Atiku praised the Adamawa State caretaker committee, as well the National Working Committee of the PDP for their forthrightness and courage by first allowing elections as against consensus arrangements, and then going ahead with the vote in spite of blackmail.
Atiku said the future of the PDP lied in strict adherence to democratic values, principles without which, he said the ruling party would just be another tool in the hands of dictators.