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PARTY REGISTRATION & CONGRESSES: Chieftains quake as PDP moves

Posted by By Umoru Henry on 2005/10/08 | Views: 320 |

PARTY REGISTRATION & CONGRESSES: Chieftains quake as PDP moves


THIS may not be the best moments for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the acclaimed largest party in Africa: in its quest to carry out a general re-validation and registration of its members in all the 8,812 wards as approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and in line with Article 14[g] and Article 9 of the party’s constitution.

THIS may not be the best moments for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the acclaimed largest party in Africa: in its quest to carry out a general re-validation and registration of its members in all the 8,812 wards as approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and in line with Article 14[g] and Article 9 of the party’s constitution.

Allegations of lopsidedness and marginalisation have trailed the exercise. According to the guidelines for the 2005 Membership Registration/Revalidation Exercise of the party which was signed by its National Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali and National Secretary, Ojo Maduekwe, every qualified person who has presented himself within the time allowed by the party for registration shall be issued with a membership card which shall contain the following information, the registered member’s name; the registered member’s number; the name of the state where registration is taking place and the INEC CODE NO; the name of the local Government/ Area Council of registration and the INEC CODE NO.

Other required information include the name of the ward of the registration centre, signatures of the National Chairman, the National Secretary and that of the National Publicity Secretary respectively

“A person qualified for registration under this guideline shall present himself to the registration officer of the party for registration”, the guidelines stated.
Armed with this, all party faithful, knowing the importance of the r-evalidation and registration exercise as the yardstick to determine who is a member of the party against the background of the party’s preparation for the congresses that kick-started with the ward congress on Monday, October 3, to be followed by that of the local government on October15; state congresses; October 29. The other legs of the congresses are as follows: November 12, zonal while the mother of all, the national convention is scheduled for December 10.

What the exercise connotes for members of the party especially for those with political aspirations to occupy one political office is that if he or she fails to get registered or get as much party supporters to get registered, at this preliminary stage, the future may be bleak as he may not be able to secure a strong political base both in all the primaries which are always preludes to the general elections.

To their total dismay, what members saw was far from what they envisaged and the guidelines put in place by the party National Secretariat
But at the end of the registration scenario and even before the exercise, it became obvious that the entire process may not take the party to the Promised Land as allegations of lopsidedness and marginalisation trailed the exercise.

The National headquarters of the party, situated at Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5 became a beehive of activities as it could be mistaken for a pilgrimage city for a first timer to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali had his busiest moments since he took over the mantle of leadership as the Party chairman. He played host to party members from Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to Chief Solomon Lar, to the Senate President, state governors, the Deputy Senate President, Senate Majority Leader, Deputy Governors, Senators, some key figures in government to even hired and unhired crowd.
According to the aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party, the registration cards, which ought to have passed through party chairmen of respective states to in turn pass them to local government party chairmen and to the ward party chairmen, went to some party chieftains especially those claimed to be loyal to the president to satisfy their selfish aggrandizement thereby relegating others to the political back seat.

Most importantly, aside the Abdul Oroh and Abubakar Momoh group from Edo North Senatorial District, that of Bauchi, Kwara, Plateau, the Iyabo Anisulowo group, Governor Egwu of Ebonyi State, Senate President, Ken Nnamani, the most ridiculous was that of the country’s Vice President, a founding member of the party and whose group, Peoples Democratic movement merged with other four at Sheraton Hotel, Wednesday August 19th, 1998 to form what is the present day Peoples Democratic Party [PDP].

When Atiku Abubakar stormed the party’s national secretariat to protest the alleged hijack of party cards meant for Adamawa, it all appeared to be an issue that could be swept under the carpet.

The Vice President, last weekend had a dose of the registration and revalidation politicking when in his home state of Adamawa, the number two citizen was said to have been humiliated to queue for two fruitless hours when he was at the end of the day registered on a notebook at Kajoli ‘‘A’’ Unit of Yelli Ward in Jada Local government area and no membership card to go with. The National Chairman of the party, sensing the damage it may have on the party, had to come to his rescue by packaging the card to him at the Aso Villa, amounting to political healing of wounds after sustaining political injury.

The case of cards denial was not limited to Adamawa State where the Prof. Aminu, Marwa and a new convert, Modibbo boldly took on the Vice President. News from other states were similar. In Bayelsa, the absence of Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha created a vacuum which Chief Tmi Alaibe of the Niger Delta Development Commission, a long standing opponent of the governor has tried to fill, However, the deputy governor, has cried out against this.

In Ebonyi, the minister of Tourism and Culture is trying to cut the governor to size, an exercise that prompted a reported a reported suspension of the minister. The lion of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi adedibu is still at loggerheads with the governor as Chief Rasheed Ladoja was denied registration. The same is true of boiling Plateau State where the governor, Chief Joshua Dariye and the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ibrahim Mantu are trying each other for size. The same is true of Abia State where the governor, Chief Orji Kalu and the party’s national Secretary are on the war path. To most of them, this is really a make or mar exercise.

In Edo State, those perceived to be supporters of Lucky Igbinedion were denied cards leaving the Anenih group to take full control of the cards. This, sources said, is aimed at enabling Anenih achieve his political goal of having his candidate take over the Edo State Government House, come 2007.

But the questions now are if there are no politicking attached to the registration exercise, why was Atiku not given a red carpet reception close to what was given to the President at his ward? Why must the party’s National Chairman take it upon himself to give the Vice President his card at the Presidential Villa; why must Ministers be allowed to take the responsibilities of state party chairmen; why must the likes of Oyofo determine who should get party cards in Edo North when the party chairman still exist.

The PDP at the moment controls the political scene with more than two-thirds of the office holders all over the federation. As the party prepares for the second of its congresses, it is pertinent that all unfolding issues that bedeviled the recent registration exercise be laid to rest if it must live to expectations as the biggest party in Africa.

2007 remains the main reason for the heat in the polity. The main manifestation of that heat at the moment are the squabbles in the ruling party. What the PDP makes of this registration exercise would determine if progress is made and what becomes of the political scene in the build up towards the next election.
Would the PDP remain one party? What becomes of the Vice President’s political career? Would the president’s stranglehold on the party continue? What is the next stage? There would be an opportunity to peep into the future before the year runs out. The national Convention presents a unique opportunity.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.