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PDP crisis: Stakeholders to meet Friday

Worried by the disturbing dimension the crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken, statutory bodies and stakeholders of the party such as the Elders Forum, Governors Forum, a former Governors Forum, among several others will be meeting, in Abuja, on Friday, it is gathered.

The meeting would be held in place of the National Executive Committee meeting called by the party’s deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Suleiman Nazif, on Tuesday.

However, Sen. Nazif’s declaration was nullified by his counterpart from the South, Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, whom the PDP constitution recongnises as acting national chairman in the event of the absence of the national chairman.

Nazif who is one of the claimants to the seat of acting National Chairman following a restraining order placed on the substantive National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, had at a press briefing declared himself chairman in acting capacity.

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A member of the party’s National Working Committee, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue, explained that Friday’s meeting has the blessing of major stakeholders.

The source said, “Notices have been sent out for the meeting, before then, a series of other meetings such as that of Governors and the Board of Trustees are being held tomorrow (Thursday) to set the tune.”

Another top-ranking member of the party explained the genesis of the latest crisis. He said, “Party stakeholders which include our governors, elders and all our caucuses in the National Assembly had agreed on a middle ground which produced a win -win situation for all the contending forces.

“It was agreed that the National Chairman, Uche Secondus should convene a National Executive Committee meeting this week to kick start the process of setting up a zoning committee and a convention planning committee this week.

“The procedure is the National Working Committee, with Secondus as Chairman will write a memo with the schedule of activities which he will present to NEC for ratification. Remember, the agreement was that the convention should hold by October ending at the most.

“However, a memo which he produced but later withdrew, suggested that the NEC should hold in October and the Convention should hold on December 5th , five days before the expiration of the tenure of the current NWC.

“Of course, this did not go down well with some party members. Those in this category were the ones who went to Court in Rivers and got judgement. That is what brought us where we are today.”

Acting national chairman of the party, Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, in an interview, on Wednesday said, as things stand today, no NEC meeting can be held without his authorisation.

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In response to a question as to whether a NEC meeting of the party will be held on Friday said, “If there is going to be a NEC meeting, it will come through me. I will consult before setting a date for one.

“We have a Board of Trustees, I will consult them, we have a NEC, I will consult them, we have a Governors Forum, I will consult them.”

When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, who neither confirmed nor denied plans for Friday’s meeting said, “What is happening within our party is a family affair.

“The PDP is a party that has a solid structure, we have a series of meetings lined up beginning from tomorrow all these issues will be resolved.”

Speaking in a similar vein, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Diran Odeyemi said, “There is no confusion, what happened yesterday was not unusual, the Deputy National Chairman south was not around at the time the meeting scheduled for 2:00 pm commenced so, his northern counterpart who is next in rank presided and when the rightly acting Chairman came, he made an announcement which is binding on all of us.”

As part of its efforts to resolve the impasse, the Governor Aminu Tambuwal-led PDP Governors Forum, has summoned an emergency meeting of its members.

In a statement titled, “PDP Governors Summon Emergency Meeting Again at Abuja,” which was signed by the Director General of the PDP-GF, C.I.D. Maduabum, on Wednesday, the governors agreed to meet, in Abuja, on Thursday.

The statement read in part, “The Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, in consultation with his colleagues has summoned an emergency meeting of the Forum to hold, on Thursday  August 26, 2021 at 5:00pm.

“The meeting will discuss recent developments in the PDP.

“The Governors enjoined all PDP members and stakeholders to exercise patience as efforts are being made to ensure continued stability of the Party in the days ahead.”