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5 days to pdp convention: fresh crisis brews between nwc, organising c’ttee

Barely five days to the national Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a seeming cold war between members of the National Working Committee of the party and the National Convention Organising Committee (NCOC) is brewing.

Sunday Telegraph gathered that members of the NWC are reluctant to participate in the activities leading to the convention because none of them is returning again. It was learnt that since the party has swapped the previous positions between the North and the South, none of the NWC members is scheduled to come back, hence their anger, which has prompted many of them to stay away from their offices.

In fact, a leading member of the party from the South told Sunday Telegraph that most of the NWC members feel that some governors of the party want to hijack the party structure, hence the zoning arrangement by the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi committee to swap positions between the North and the South, thereby ensuring that none of the NWC members are returned.

The Source, who did not want to be quoted, mentioned a governor from the South South, one from the South West and another from the North as masterminds of the plot. Speaking to Sunday Telegraph, a member of the PDP National Working Committee said the current crises in the party was informed by the ploys by Governors Nyesom Wike, Umar Fintiri and Seyi Makinde to hijack and control the party.

“They want to take control of the party, and that is why they moved to push Uche Secondus aside, before the expiration of his tenure, chose an interim National Chairman and organised the convention to install their candidate.

“However, you can see that they have been boxed to a corner because of Secondus’ case at the appeal court. That explains the lull everywhere less than six days to the socalled convention. This conspiracy will not stand because the court will rule in the next few days,” he said. Speaking in the same vein, the Senator representing Ondo South, Senator Nicholas Tofowomo, said things are still hazy right now. However, he expressed optimism that the coast as regards the convention will be clearer by Wednesday. Last week, the Organising Committee performed the unveiling ceremony of the PDP logo and other items.

It was the only activity, so far by the publicity subcommittee for the convention. The subcommittee has Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, as Chairman while the outgoing National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, is the Secretary.

Obaseki was absent at the unveiling ceremony. He appeared to be more occupied with the struggle for party structure in his state with South-South Zonal Vice Chairman, Dan Orbih and Edo chapter Chairman, than the publicity of the convention. Last week, he obtained an injunction stopping the duo from attending the convention. The outgoing NWC members have stayed away from their offices since the preparation of the convention got underway. For instance, the National Organising Secretary, Col Austin Akobundu (rtd) was not always available to attend to any aspirant returning his or her nomination form.

The function was performed by a director in his department. It was gathered that the outgoing NWC members were not also participating actively in the preparation, even though they are incorporated into the various committees.

Said a party source: “They have seen that they have lost out. Some of them lobbied to come back but the offices they wanted to contest were zoned out of their region. “I know one of them wanted to run for NOS (National Organising Secretary) and lobbied the zoning committee seriously. But it was taken away from his zone during micro-zoning. So, they are not happy. “The convention committee is also afraid of sabotage. That is why they are not relying too much on them.

Even the money is not coming from the party. The money is coming from the governors. That is why most of them are heading the committees.” Out of 15 subcommittees set up for the convention, nine is headed by a state governor. NCOC Chairman, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Finitiri, told journalists at the unveiling of convention logo and promotional materials that three aspirants were disqualified for taking the party to court, while one person withdrew. Appeal of the disqualified aspirants was heard yesterday.

The national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which holds this weekend, is also threatened by likely court order . Last Thursday, lawyers of the suspended National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, wrote the party leadership and the Chairman of the convention organising committee on his pending appeal against the PDP at Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt division.

The letter, which was signed by Tayo Oyetibo, regretted that notwithstanding the service of the application for injunction filed by the suspended national chairman, PDP and its officers have continued to prepare to hold the national convention.

“The general practice is that on application for an order for interlocutory injunction, all activities affecting the res are automatically terminated as a mark of respect to the court before who the application is pending,” he stated.




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