PDP NEC: Atiku, Wike’s loyalists in battle for party’s control

wike

•Steer clear of venue, NWC warns unaccredited members, as caucus holds today

•Review of 2023 polls, setting up of disciplinary panel to take centre stage

Selfishness eroding PDP’s democratic credentials, says ex-Minister

•PDP group urges Atiku to drop 2027 ambition

•Reps PDP Caucus demands Damagum’s resignation

By John Alechenu & Gift ChapiOdekina

AHEAD of the National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, slated for tomorrow, loyalists of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike are locked in moves and counter moves to gain control of the party.

This was as the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party cautioned non-NEC members to steer clear of the meeting venue.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, said this in an advisory sent out to members, yesterday.

Vanguard gathered that the party’s caucus which consists of high ranking party leaders will meet today to set the tone for the NEC meeting.

A high ranking party leader who spoke in confidence said: “Already discussions are being held around how the party should handle reports of anti- party activists against notable party leaders who sabotaged us in 2023.

“The caucus is to discuss and suggest action points to NEC for consideration, approval and implementation.

Ologunagba had in his advisory explained that the NEC meeting which is scheduled to commence at 2:00pm on Thursday, April 18, 2024, is restricted to only constitutionally accredited members, who are the only persons allowed into the venue of the meeting.

The party’s NEC consists of over 100 members including: the party’s National Chairman who shall be the chairman of NEC, serving and former Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, members of the BoT, principal officers of the Senate who are members of the party and not more than eighteen (18) serving Senators spread across the country who are members of the party and others.

However, the NEC meeting is to be preceded by a meeting of the party’s National Caucus made up of a fewer number of senior party leaders.

They include: the party’s National Chairman, who is also chairman of the caucus; serving and former Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; who are members of the party; principal officers of the Senate who are members of the party; principal officers of the House of Representatives who are members of the party, all serving State Governors produced by the party who are still members of the party; Chairman and Secretary of the BoT among others.

Meanwhile, a series of meetings are being held by power blocs to strategise on how best to take advantage of plans to restructure the party.

It was gathered that select members of the House of Representatives sympathetic to the cause of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, also met.

They were said to have tried to sway others into passing a vote of confidence on the party’s National Chairman, Amb. Illiya Damagum but that the issue did not get to the stage of being discussed in the larger PDP House caucus meeting.

Those opposed to Wike  but sympathetic to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, were said to have engaged in last ditch efforts to mobilize support for former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, who is angling to replace Damagum as the party’s chairman.“

Selfishness eroding PDP’s democratic credentials, says Ex-Minister

Barely 48 hours to the NEC meeting former Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Maryam Inna Ciroma, has attributed the party’s lingering crises to selfishness of some leaders, she accused of elevating selfish interests to the detriment of the party and democracy.

The view of Ciroma, a former national woman leader of the party, struck a chord with a pro-PDP group, who lamented that the party’s stability was at stake. The group known as PDP Loyal Group 100 percent, said lasting peace would elude the party if former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar does not sacrifice his 2027 presidential ambition and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, is not sanctioned for anti-party activities.

Meanwhile, the PDP House of Representatives caucus, yesterday, insisted that it was united, indivisible, and committed to perform its duty as watchdog on behalf of Nigerians.

The caucus also declared that the insecurity situation in Nigeria was no longer acceptable, insisting that the government must stop insecurity in three months or Nigerians would be forced to defend themselves.

The caucus spoke after a meeting convened by House Minority Leader, Kingsley Chinda at the National Assembly in Abuja ahead of Thursday’s NEC meeting of the PDP. It also demanded the resignation of PDP acting National Chairman, Alhaji Umar Damagum.

How selfishness is hurting PDP – Ciroma

Ciroma, who spoke at a press conference and Diaspora Grassroots Engagement parley, organized by the Directorate of Diaspora And Foreign Missions of PDP Rescue Mission International, in Abuja, decried PDP’s departure from the ideals of its founding fathers.

According to her, the PDP was formed to promote inclusive democracy which will serve as a basis for rapid national growth; an ideal which those at the helm of affairs have since abandoned for a system which promotes selfishness and greed.

The ex-minister also accused Nigeria elites, particularly leaders of political parties, of putting their selfish interests over and above those of their various parties ,thus destroying the very fabric of the parties.

Why Atiku should drop his 2027 ambition, Wike sanctioned

National Co-ordinator/Chairman of the PDP Loyal Group 100 percent, Dennis Shima, at a briefing in Abuja, said Atiku should act as a statesman, sacrifice his 2027 presidential ambition and support one of his mentees for the PDP ticket, while the party should use the powers conferred on NEC to sanction Wike and others whose activities had proven detrimental to the party’s stability.

The pro- PDP interest group came to limelight after the 2015 general election with the sole objective of addressing the political challenges and intimidation faced by PDP loyalists across Nigeria after PDP lost 2015 presidential general election as a result of internal crisis.

Shima said the group took the decision to suggest a reasonable cause of action for the party ahead of the NEC meeting after wide consultations and several meetings.

We’re united, want Damagum out – Reps PDP Caucus

Meanwhile, the Reps PDP, which claimed that it was united, demanded the resignation of Damagum 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.

Recall that last week, a group of 60 PDP federal lawmakers threatened to quit the party if the doctored list of caretaker committees in Rivers and 10 other states which was filled with members and loyalists of the APC was not nullified.

Briefing journalist after the meeting Chinda said: “We have just concluded the third meeting of the People’s Democratic Party caucus in the 10th Assembly and have resolved to tell all of us and the world that we are united and we are one and remain united, indivisible, committed to perform our duty as the watchdog on behalf of the Nigerian people.”

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