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War in PDP’s house

Posted by Bukola Ojeme and Musikilu Mojeed on 2005/11/20 | Views: 407 |

War in PDP’s house


Despite the façade of cordiality among members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), fresh facts on Friday indicated that the party’s secretariat is headed for another major upheaval, arising from PDP’s recent state congresses.

Despite the façade of cordiality among members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), fresh facts on Friday indicated that the party’s secretariat is headed for another major upheaval, arising from PDP’s recent state congresses.

Both the National Chairman, Senator Ahmadu Ali and the National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, are locked in a fierce battle of supremacy over some results of the congresses.

Maduekwe is furious that PDP national chairman was trying to undermine his political clout and influence, especially in Abia State.

However, the Chairman of the National Convention and Congress Committee (NCCC) of the party, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, is treating the matter with what a top level party officer described as extreme caution because of the personalities involved.

Most of the party executives were returned by affirmation during the ward, state and zonal congresses that were held recently.

The congresses, in some cases, were held under controversial circumstances, leading to the emergence of factional executives in a number of states.

In Abia State, three parallel congresses produced three party executives, one backed by the former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, while another is backed by the PDP National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe. The third one is backed by the state governor, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu.

Kalu’s faction produced the Dr. Uzodinma Okpara led executive, while that of Maduekwe produced the executive under the chairmanship of Dr. Rex Otuka, just as the camp of the former Chairman of the the NDDC, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu elected Chief Alfedo Awah as the chairman of its own executive.

At the centre of the brewing storm between the PDP National Chairman, Senator Ahmadu Ali and Maduekwe is the decision of the Samuel Ogbemudia led NCCC to recognize the Chief Awah led factional executive backed by Ugochukwu.

We gathered on Friday that Maduekwe had vehemently protested to close political associates over what he described as Ali’s betrayal and attempt to deliberately undermine his political clout in Abia.

He was alleged to have sworn to fight Ali to the end.

A source close to Maduekwe confided in Sunday Punch, that, “ Chief Maduekwe is not happy with attempts by the National Chairman to deliberately undermine his influence in Abia politics by unnecessarily interfering in the outcome of the just concluded state congress.”

“It is inconceivable to say that the National Secretary of the PDP was involved in a congress not duly approved by the NCCC. The truth of the matter is that the National Chairman caved in to pressures outside the NCCC to influence the resolution of that problem in favour of a particular group,” he added.

He stated further that, “ We have taken our case to the Board of Trustees, because what we are dealing with here is arbitrariness at its worst. We believe that at the end of the day, we shall be vindicated. It is, therefore, important for those parading themselves as the recognised executive to cease forthwith, until the final resolution of the matter.

“As I speak to you now, the NCCC is yet to formally recognize any faction. To the best of my knowledge, South East is not included in the list of state party executives, soon to be released. You can take my word for it,” he said.

But a close aide to the National Chairman, who did not want to be named, dismissed insinuations that Ali is tele-guiding the Ogbemudia led NCCC, insisting that, “ The National Chairman has nothing to do whatsoever with the work of the NCCC, except when it reports to the NWC or NEC of the party.

“To answer your question, there is no problem between the Chairman and the National Secretary over which of the factions to recognize, because there are guidelines for the congresses. Perhaps, the only area of misunderstanding is that some people thought membership of NEC is a license to bend the rules,” he said.

Contacted for comments in a telephone interview on Friday, Maduekwe neither denied nor confirmed that he was squaring up to the National Chairman over the outcome of Abia State PDP Congress.

“Go to the Ogbemudia committee. They will give you all that you want to hear. We have set up the committee and we want to allow it to do its job.”

Sunday Punch also got across to Ogbemudia, but he failed to give a categorical answer on which of the three factional executives would be recognized by the NCCC.

“Whatever the committee says, is final,” he told Sunday Punch in a telephone interview.

When Sunday Punch also sought to know from the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. John Odey, which of the factional executives has been recognised by the party, he said, “The party recognises the congress the party officials were assigned to conduct. And, results are about to be published.”

SUNDAY PUNCH, November 20, 2005

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.