JUST IN: PDP lawmakers threaten to dump party, demand removal of acting national chairman

Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives have threatened to quit the party over the ongoing crises in Rivers State and ten other chapters....READ FULL ARTICLE

Ikenga Ugochinyere, a member of the House from Imo State, and five other members issued the threat at a press conference at the National Assembly complex in Abuja on Monday.

Some of the other lawmakers at the conference are Abdulmaleek Danga (PDP, Kogi); Midala Balami (PDP, Borno); Aliyu Mustapha Abdullahi (PDP, Kaduna) and Awaji-inombek D. Abiante (PDP, Rivers).

The lawmakers also demanded the removal of Acting National Chairman of the party, Umar Damagum, before its rescheduled National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

They said they spoke on behalf of 60 members of the PDP in the House but did not provide evidence to back their claim. There are a little over 100 PDP lawmakers in the lower chamber.

“PDP can’t be handed over to the APC. APC officers can’t emerge from our party officials in Rivers or any of the ten states with the alleged imposition of APC interest.

Let the world know that why they are hell-bent on imposing APC officials as our party caretaker members is to fulfil a planned bigger plot,” Mr Ugochinyere said.

The PDP has been grappling with strife since the presidential convention in 2022. The blowback led to the suspension of former National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, who Mr Damagum replaced in an acting capacity.

Many have speculated that the acting chairman is an ally of FCT minister, Nyesom Wike.

More so, the recent fight between Mr Wike and the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has further escalated the crisis in the party. Despite President Bola Tinubu’s intervention, the situation in the state has not abated.

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Last week, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party released a list of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee. However, Mr Fubara rejected the list, stating that there was an agreement for a three-month extension of the tenure of the local and ward executive.

“I know that a lot of you saw something flying in the social media dailies. Let me brief you, we had a meeting, and we agreed that, not just in Rivers State, but in all the States affected, the Executive Councils (of PDP) should be extended for three months,” Mr Fubara had told journalists recently.

Speaking on behalf of the lawmakers, Mr Ugochinyere rejected the NWC’s list, stating that it is part of a plot by the ruling APC to undermine the PDP.

“Despite the decision to retain everybody, Mr Damagun went ahead and received a list of APC agents and announced them as members and leaders of the PDP Local Government Caretaker Committees wholly in Rivers State and partially in at least ten other states. This is a direct attempt to kill the PDP and ensure it goes into extinction,” he said.

He stated that Mr Damagum ought to have exited his acting role but continue to serve in an acting capacity while working against the interest of the party.

“The Umar Damagum-led NWC is assiduously working to hand over the party to the ruling APC and their agents. Serious leadership would have looked into the acts of open anti-party activities, established why they happened and set up measures to ensure that it never happened again in the party.

“He was only constitutionally allowed to step in, hold the fort and midwife the process through which the North-central Zone where the chairmanship of the party was originally zoned to present another person who would complete the slot of the North-central.


“Not only did Damagun hold tight to the seat for well over a year now, he has abdicated every responsibility of the office of the chairman of PDP and is very comfortable serving APC interests,” he said.

The lawmakers gave six conditions to address the crisis in the party. The conditions are:

Top of which is the resignation of Mr Damagum and the investigation of some members of the party over alleged anti-party activities.

“Immediate resignation of Umar Iliya Damagun as Ag. National Chairman of PDP for anti-party activities and allow North-central to 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 is 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 with by Damagun and his APC friends are reversed and announced as originally agreed, that is, by extension of the tenures of the outgoing leadership.

The move to use serving APC members in Rivers State and 10 other states to lead our party caretaker at the state, LGA and ward level is the highest act of political provocation and impunity that we are going to fight with everything in us.

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“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 a deterrent and also encourage cleansing of the party.

Ward executives of our party where people were involved in anti-party activities or still involved 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 cannot do this should be removed by members in those wards, and new officers who have the courage to enforce the provisions of our party constitution constituted to do the needful.

“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,” the resolution reads.

Mr Ugochinyere said the failure of the party to comply with the resolutions could prompt the lawmakers to sever ties with their party.

“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 to suspend participating in the party activities and seek a new political relationship where decisions in that party will not be taken in the secretariats of another political party,” he said.…READ FULL ARTICLE