2011: GOVERNORS PLAN MASS EXODUS FROM PDP

AS the ‘sledge hammer’ of Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over some state executive committees moves to the South-South, 12 governors are already strategising to leave the 12-year-old party.

“They are defecting to the Labour Party (LP) so that a stop can be put to this nonsense. If a cabal has hijacked the party, there are other parties where politicians can seek election, get the mandate of the people and alleviate their suffering by providing democratic dividend,” a source said last night.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling party has already dissolved the state exco in Abia State and directed the Ogun State exco to merge with some aggrieved members, a move being resisted by the recognised state chapter, led by Elder Joju Fadairo.

It was gathered that six of the governors are from the North. The remaining six are from the South.

“Three of them have a disagreement with some so-called big shots of the party at the state level who are very close to Nwodo and they are using this closeness to influence Nwodo to dissolve the state exco. One has a problem with a top player during the Obasanjo administration and he is battling to wrest power of the state exco from the governor, using Nwodo’s connection.

“Three others are aggrieved that the party does not want to respect the zoning agreement and two had problems with Obasanjo when he was President and now, the former President wants to use the National Chairman to settle scores with them. The last three just don’t know what their offences are but it is like the new leadership does not like their faces.

“Now that they have gotten the signal from some reliable sources that the national leadership is ready to use the sledge hammer against them, they have resolved to strike first before the party is hijacked from them,” said the source.

It was gathered that all the governors engaged themselves in series of phone calls at the weekend “to put finishing touches to their plan.”

Tomorrow, all governors will go to Abuja to attend the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting “and after the meeting, they will meet on the move to defect to the Labour Party or any other party.”

The NEC meeting will be chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

But, it was learnt that the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party is also plotting to frustrate their plan.

“The 34th BoT meeting called for Tuesday (tomorrow) at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, will handle that matter on how to break the rank of the defecting governors.”

But, the source said the BoT, which he described as a ‘toothless bulldog,’ cannot stop the governors as they have decided to express their grievances during Thursday’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party in Abuja.

The fear of the party hierarchy is that should the 12 governors, out of 28, make good their threat, it may lead to the end of the party.

The NEC meeting will be chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Article 12.71 of the party’s constitution says: “There shall be a National Executive Committee of the Party which shall consist of :

The National Chairman; The President and Vice President; Chairman and Secretary of BoT and other members; President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate and all principal officers and two Senators from each of the geo-political zones; Speakers of the House of Representatives; Deputy Speaker; all the other principal officers as well as three House members from each of the geo-political zones who are members of the party and all States Governors who are members of the party.

Others are the Deputy Chairman; the National Vice Chairmen; National Secretary and Deputy National Secretary and all other members of the National Working Committee (NWC); four other ex-officio members of the party, at least two of whom shall be women, elected from each of the six geo-political zones; and all former Deputy National Chairmen, Chairmen and Secretary of BoT who are still members of the party.

The dissolution scare gripped members of the party in Delta State yesterday.

The state chapter has been in crisis for three years.

Delta was listed by the NWC last month among the PDP states being bedevilled with factionalisation crisis and may likely be dissolved to pave the way for harmonisation.

Chief Edwin Clark, the foremost Ijaw leader had on July 21, last month, led 23 members of the state’s Forum of Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders to the National Headquarters of the party in Abuja to congratulate Nwodo on his emergence as the National Chairman and to demand the dissolution of the party’s executive committee.

The elders and leaders include Pa. Alex Ideh, Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, Chief G.E Ogbetuo, Chief Patrick Bolokor, the duo of Senators Chief Patrick and Adego Eferakeya, High Chief Lord Barovbe, Hon. Mercy Almona, Hon Sam Osasa, Hon. Napoleon Gbinigie, Chief Onwukamike, Hon. Sunny Omatseye, Mrs. Agbeyegbe, Hon. Young Igbrude, Sir Simeon Efenudu, Prince Williams Omoviro, High Chief Nwamu, Hon. Young Esiekpe, Chief Lizzy Obukene and Colonel Eboma (rtd).

The governorship hopefuls in the train are, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, Chief Kenneth Gbagi, Brigadier-General Ovadje (rtd), Rear Admiral John Kpokpogri (rtd), Prof. (Major) Saliba Mukoro (rtd) and Hon. Bradus Angozi.

Nwodo assured them of equity and fair-play, even as he acknowledged that it was the only solution to the crisis in the oil-rich state.

Irked by the open confrontation, the state executive led by Chief Peter Nwaoboshi headed for the court to restrain the NWC from dissolving or imposing its caretakers on the state.

Although, Nwaoboshi last week said the rift had been resolved and that the suit had been withdrawn, the speculation that Delta exco will this week go the way of Abia and Ogun has generated heat within Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s camp.

The Nigerian Compass gathered in Asaba yesterday that “the Governor has banked on the Nwaoboshi led-executive on his return ticket, the calculation which Clark’s faction is jostling to resist.”

Though, the governor’s loyalists declined comments on the development when contacted yesterday, the Publicity Secretary of the embattled exco, Newworld Sefuga, however resigned to fate.

Sefuga, a lawyer, said: “Delta State PDP executive is intact. Today is Sunday. As far as I am concerned, what will be will be and what will not be will not be.”

But, the Chairman of the National Central Working Committee of the state’s Forum of Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders, Dr. Richard Tosanwumi, said: “The search for a man of quality, creative innovations and iron-cast integrity who can conquer nature in order to bring basic amenities to the people through zero-tolerance to ethnic strive and youth restiveness in 2011 is irrevocable. Hence, the need for the harmonisation.”

Corroborating Tosanwumi, the Political Adviser to Clark, Chief Ominimini Obieuwevwi, said: “We are all witnesses to the politics of exclusion and self-aggrandisement going on in Delta State for three years now. So, the challenge before the national body now is how to resolve the crisis and bring the two factions under the PDP umbrella. Anything short of this is from the evil one. The foundation was shattered in 2007, when one man single-handedly imposed his cousin on the entire state and installed an exco that will deliver him in for a second term whether the people of the state like it or not.”

Meanwhile, the Director of Publicity of the Delta Central Movement for Credible Election, Chris Eriyamremu, urged governorship aspirants in 2011 in the state to disassociate themselves from the embattled former Governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, who is standing trail in Dubia, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) for fraud charges.

It was also gathered that there is tension in the Bayelsa State chapter of the party as the NWC is about to pick someone not loyal to Governor Timipre Sylva as the state chairman.

The state chapter has been embroiled in crisis for years. When President Goodluck Jonathan was governor of the oil-rich South-South state, Mr. Fred Agbedi was the chairman but he was later removed by those opposed to Jonathan, using the then party leadership. He was succeeded by Chief Rufus Abadi who was not recognised by the national leadership.

“For now, it is like that party in the state has no leader and the national leadership wants to use a problem to solve a problem which will complicate the crisis,” he said.

When the NWC dissolved the Abia State exco headed by Chief Ndidi Okereke, apparently to pave the way for Governor Theodore Orji to join the party, some party members cried foul.

Okereke, the state secretary, Chief Solomon Ogunji and other members of the dissolved executive described the action as unacceptable

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Comments

  1. Charles Bolokor-Emanuwa says:

    Where there is thepresence of Chief Bolokor, it is very deep success per se.

    Like

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