Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
An aggrieved group in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that goes by the name Concerned Candidates and Stakeholders on Tuesday said they would inaugurate their own National Working Committee (NWC) on January 22.
The members who stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, said they would no longer recognise the PDP Governors’ Forum, which they declared is oppressive and retrogressive to the party.
Meanwhile, the Prince Uche Secondus-led PDP national leadership had warned the group against using PDP’s logo, slogan, flag or any insignia of the party as part of its activities.
Also, the national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, had threatened that persons who use their party identity to create a faction risk being arrested.
The spokesman said the reconciliation committee led by the Governor of Bayesla State, Hon. Serieka Dickson would be meeting the rest of the aggrieved stakeholders by second week of January in order to iron out all outstanding issues relating to the December 9 national convention.
However, speaking on behalf of the group, Director General of the forum, Emmanuel Obi-Nwosu, said “finally, the inauguration of the authentic National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party will take place on January 22, 2018.
Obi-Nwosu who denied that they are working against the ongoing peace process within the party, said what they are doing is one of the major means of resolving internal dispute.
“What happened in eagle square does not require reconciliation but restitution. What we are doing is to ensure that what was done wrong is done right. What we need in PDP now is thorough internal party democracy.”
On whether they will head to court, Obi-Nwosu, said: “the Board of Trustees (BoT) has been vested with powers to arbitrate on the matter.” He however said those who feel aggrieved can go to court.
While refuting BoT’s charge that they are trying to cause distability in the party, he said the BoT chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, “called me personally and said he has gone for medical checks and when he returned we will have a meeting.”
He added: “What we are doing is part of internal mechanism to ensure that PDP does not go down. We are asking for restitution. You reconcile two people when there is a misunderstanding, you don’t reconcile people when a man kills another person’s son. What you do is restitution. There has to be punishment. The only thing BoT will do is to do the right thing.”
On why they choose to operate from another secretariat, he said rather than taking laws into their hands, they have decided to open their own secretariat, stressing that factionalisation is allowed in every democracy.
“There fundamental right as contained in the constitution. We have a right of freedom of association.”.
On the issue of their party membership, he said: “We are all card carrying members of PDP, most of us served in the recent national convention. Letters written to us in recognition of our contribution to the party. You don’t appoint non party members into the party.
“It is exercise in futility to paint members of this party in bad light by saying that we are not party members. We can’t sell our party. Most of the people causing the problem just joined the PDP. They just chanced into power and they believe they can subdue everybody.”
On his part, former Deputy Director of the Prof. Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Chief Akindele, said his former national chairman aspirant is not behind their movement.