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Police seal off factional PDP secretariat

Posted by By CHRISTIAN ITA, JOE OMOKARO, JACOB EDI (Abuja) and BUCHY ENYINNAYA (Asaba) on 2006/06/12 | Views: 656 |

Police seal off factional PDP secretariat

Security operatives yesterday in Abuja, swooped on the National Secretariat of a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), sealing it off.

Security operatives yesterday in Abuja, swooped on the National Secretariat of a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), sealing it off.

The operation, which began at about 7 A.M, was carried out by a detachment of anti-riot policemen numbering 20 and led by the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawrence Alobi.

In a dramatic twist Friday, the PDP faction believed to be loyal to Vice President Atiku Abubakar, opened the secretariat and announced the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Dr. Amadu Ali.
Confirming the raid on the secretariat, Alobi told Sunday Sun that “the policemen will continue to be there until we are sure there will be no crisis.”

On what prompted the action, the FCT Police Commissioner said the police acted to prevent a breakdown of law and order, adding, “when there is a crack, there is bound to be crisis. We anticipated crisis and it is better to prevent it than manage it.”
The factional PDP, which identified itself as “leaders and co-founders of the PDP” has such members as Senator Ibrahim Safana, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun and Ifeatu Obi-Okoye.
The group asked members of the NWC to vacate their offices immediately and hand over to the directors in their various departments.

It said it took the action in order to give a sense of direction to the party and ensure that it does not continue “to nose-dive into oblivion”.
Led at the world press conference by Oyedokun, the group named the founding National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Solomon Lar, as the head of a 26-member Interim National Management Committee (IMC) to direct the affairs of the party pending the conduct of an elective national convention later in the year.

Others named in the committee are Safana (deputy national chairman, north); Oyedokun (deputy national chairman, south) and Chief Orji Nwafor-Orizu (national secretary), among others.
It purportedly nullified the expulsion of ex-Governor Chris Ngige and the indefinite suspension of Governor Joshua Dariye from the PDP, adding that all activities of the party carried out by the Ali executive, including the membership revalidation exercise and congresses at the ward, council, state and zonal levels stand voided.

No fewer than 17 serving governors of the PDP as well as Chief Solomon Lar, one of the founding fathers of the PDP attended the “emergency” meeting.
But in a swift reaction, the embattled PDP leadership has dismissed the development as illegal and that the party will go through a legal process to pursue the matter.

National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, John Odey told a news conference that there are no factions in the PDP.
“What is really happening at this stage is that an alliance of a few politicians who are stranded by virtue of a deserving loss of influence and reputation, together with politicians of some opposition parties rather than prepare for the forthcoming elections are indulging in a delusion that can scatter the ruling party,” Odey said.
The National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, in his comments said the party’s resolve for reconciliation should not be viewed as a sign of weakness.
“Our olive branch should not be taken to be a white flag of surrender. No one should be under any illusion that we are scared,” Maduekwe declared solemnly.
Meanwhile, the Osun State chapter of the party has reacted to the development by disowning Oyedokun.

The party, in a statement signed by its Secretary, Mr Yinka Adeojo, said Oyedokun's name is not in the party's register, having voluntarily withdrawn to join the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) with his co-travellers.
The party said it was laughable that Oyedokun who addressed a press conference a few days ago in Osogbo City Hall as the ACD leader in the state could suddenly emerge in Abuja to say he and his friends were taking over the PDP.

"As a Yoruba man, we expect Alhaji Oyedokun to know that the people have a name for anyone who attempts to sneak back into a house where he had earlier said goodnight. Nigerians should ignore this man and his friends," the statement said.
In Asaba, Delta State, a prominent politician and retired civil servant, Chief John Enemoh said the present fate of the party was long overdue, describing the PDP family as bereft of principles and ideology.

Enemoh said that the PDP, contrary to its earlier" manifesto had been emasculated and rendered impotent as well as turned into a military organisation where members were only to express or show loyalty.

Also, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the state said it was not surprised at what is happening in the PDP, describing it as a good omen for other parties to strategise ahead of 2007 elections .

The Vice Chairman of AD in the state , Chief Tony Ezeagwu noted that the PDP has long been deceiving Nigerians that all was well when in actual fact, it was locked in deep crises of confidence and zero performance.

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