60 PDP Lawmakers Threaten to Quit Party over Doctored LG Caretaker Committee Lists, Demand Damagun’s Removal

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja 

A group of 60 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers has threatened to quit the party if the alleged  doctored list of Local Government Caretaker Committees of the party in Rivers and 10 other states  allegedly skewed in favour of the All Progressive Congress (APC) was not nullified.

The lawmakers led by a member representing Ideato Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Imo Ugochinyere, under the aegis of Opposition lawmakers coalition disclosed  while addressing a press conference on  Monday in Abuja. 

The lawmakers also demanded the resignation of the Acting Chairman of PDP, Umar Damagun to pave way for a North central person to emerge as acting chairman of the party pending the conduct of convention as required by the party’s constitution.

Ugochinyere who was flanked by other leading members of the G60 lawmakers noted that the members cannot be in a political party where the activities of such a party are determined by another political party. 

The lawmakers accused Damagun of working for APC, alleging that the list of Caretaker Committee members in Rivers state was doctored in favour of former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the members of the Rivers House of Assembly who have defected from PDP to APC with card carrying members of APC emerging as would be officers of the PDP.

They further accused Damagun of approving the plot to impeach the Rivers State Governor, Similayan Fubara.

They said: “Damagun is fully aware of the entire details of the plots to impeach the Rivers State governor and he gave his approval to the plot, yet he refers to himself as a Chairman of a party.”

Ugochinyere insisted that going by the constitution of the PDP and in line with its zoning formula enshrined in the constitution, it was the turn of the North Central to produce the Chairman of the party and called on North central leader to meet and present a credible replacement for Sen. Iyorchia Ayu.

The opposition lawmakers stated that Damagun would fail in his plot to sell PDP to the highest bidder as his abdication of the responsibilities of the office of chairman of the largest opposition in the country coupled with the tampering of the caretaker committee lists in Rivers and other 10 states has exposed the plot and it will fail.

To this end, the lawmakers demanded: “Immediate resignation of Umar Iliya Damagun as Ag. National Chairman of PDP for anti-party activities and allow North central produce the acting chairman as clearly stated in the PDP constitution or watch us reconsider our membership of the party in the months ahead if the right thing was not done.

“Or removal of Umar Iliya Damagun by the NEC of the party with further sanctions against him for his anti-party activities.”

“That the NEC of the party should ensure that the list of party Caretaker Committees in Rivers State and all other 10 states tampered by Damagun and his APC Friends are reversed and announced as originally agreed, that is by extension of the tenures of the outgoing leadership.

“That the move to use serving APC Members in rivers state and 10 other states to lead our party caretaker at state, LGA and ward levels is the highest act of political provocation and impunity that we are going to fight with everything in us. PDP can’t be handed over to the APC.”

They lawmakers maintained that the APC officers can’t emerge as party officials in rivers or any of the 10 states with alleged imposition of APC interest. 

They added: “Let the world know that why they are hell bent on imposing APC officials as our party caretaker members is to fulfill a planned bigger plot which will see so-called PDP members who in reality are APC members decamping in mass into APC as PDP officials which will see the imposed executives of our party in over 11 states including rivers joining APC on their set date just to embarrass our party.

“Hence our resistance that we will fight with everything in us and to any length to resist that plan. God save the PDP. Just imagine imposing card carrying members of APC in the entire PDP structures in Rivers and 10 other states, God how did we get here..

“That NEC of PDP should review the sources of generating finance for the party to pay its national secretariat staff and to discharge all other responsibilities of the party and to investigate the allegation that pro APC supporters are funding the present PDP of today. This is the height of political treason.

“That PDP NEC sets up a Committee to investigate all continuing acts of anti-party activities from 2023 and mete out appropriate sanctions which will serve as deterrent and also encourage cleansing of the party. Ward executive of our party where people played anti party activities or still playing it like Cross River, Rivers, Benue, Abia, Ondo, Kano, Kogi ,Edo etc should immediately announce the expulsion of all those involved without fear or favour. This must be done immediately.

“Any executive that can’t do this should be removed by members in those wards and new officers who have the courage to enforce the provisions of our party’s constitution constituted to do the needful.”

The lawmaker insisted that a credible party leader from the North Central be confirmed Chairman of the party in line with the zoning formula as enshrined in the Constitution.

“Where these demands are not met, we, the Opposition lawmakers coalition from PDP in the National Assembly will be left with no other options but suspend participating in the party activities and seek a new political relationship  where decisions in that party will not be taken in the Secretariat of another political party. But this is the last of the last paths where every other reasonable effort at resolution fails,” they stated. 

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