Adamawa congress committee narrates ordeal
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Opposition against the May 21 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gained more grounds yesterday with a group under the aegis of PDP Northern Elders’ Forum joining in the call for the postponement of the event.
Another group known as Concerned Leaders of the PDP including former Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, had asked the party leadership to postpone the convention to avert crisis.
But toeing a similar line, the northern elders’ group led by former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, which met in Abuja late Wednesday night, said the postponement would allow for reconciliation of aggrieved members.
In their position read out after the meeting in Abuja, Gana’s group insisted that the present members of the National Working Committee (NWC) should vacate their officers on May 21.
It decried the level of impunity and imposition in PDP, noting that for the party to return to the vision of its original founders, it must purge itself of these vices.
The Northern Elders Forum also picked holes with the proposed constitutional amendment, noting that it violates the PDP constitution.
The PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) is to meet again next Wednesday to debate the proposed constitutional amendment.
Some members of the forum who attended the meeting were former Deputy President of the Senate, Senate Ibrahim Mantu, former Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Waziri Maina, Babangida Aliyu, former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak, among others.
Meanwhile, the members of the PDP congress and appeal committees that organised last weekend’s botched ward congress election in Adamawa State have given account of their ugly experience in the hands of party officials and thugs who prevented them from carrying out their assignment.
Addressing journalists at the national secretariat of the PDP, a member of the Appeal Committee, Mr. Moses Ibiyemi, alleged that key officers of the state executive of the party ordered thugs to surround their hotel and literarily force them to sign a ready-made report.
“We were harassed, kidnapped and beaten by thugs organised by the chairman and his team. Because all the members of the state executive wanted to retain their seats, the forced our secretary to sign documents already prepared by them.
Ibiyemi said it took the intervention a team of riot policemen brought by one of the concerned stakeholder to rescue them from the hotel and take them to the office of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Yola, the state capital.
According to him, no genuine congress took place in Adamawa State and as such the national leadership of the party should do the needful and cancel the exercise.