Fresh crisis threatens PDP reform plans

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The embattled Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) may have started the New Year on a bad note as a fresh crisis threatening the leadership of the party appears to be unfolding. This is coming amidst plans by the party this year for its reforms and repositioning in preparation for the 2019 general election when it hopes to bounce back into reckoning. This followed the order of a Federal High Court in Abuja which directed its controversial acting National Chairman, Uche Secondus to vacate office. Consequently, Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, who took the party and Secondus to court has declared himself the Chairman of the party, cancelling all arrangements so far made for the forthcoming congress by the Uche Secondus-led PDP. In a statement, Gulak’s media aide, Ochuba Emmanuel, predicated his principal’s action on the declarative judgment by the High Court in Abuja, on December 16, 2015, which ordered Prince Secondus to vacate office as the Acting Chairman of PDP, not later than December 29, 2015, and hand over to Gulak or any other person from the Northeast zone of the country.

His words:, “The Court went further to make an Order of perpetual injunction against Prince Uche Secondus, restraining him from continuing to act in the office of the National Chairman of PDP. In disobedience to the court Order, Prince Uche Secondus did not vacate office, nor hand over to the plaintiff, or any other person from the North-east zone of Nigeria” as directed. Emmanuel continued that a detailed letter by Gulag’s counsel to INEC and BoT of PDP also specified that Gulak is now the ‘authentic National Chairman’ of the PDP, pending the election of a national chairman.

“Alhaji Gulak has also cancelled the congresses already scheduled by Prince Secondus, declaring it illegal as the National Executive Committee (NEC) did not meet to ratify the dates. He said new dates shall be announced in due course after a NEC meeting,” he said. The ex-presidency official further charged all PDP members across the country to remain calm and law abiding, assuring that the party shall soon be rebranded with his new leadership. Gulak had taken the party to court over the choice of Secondus as acting National Chair man following the resignation of its National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, who was virtually forced to resign sequel to the dismal performance of the party in the last general election. Gulak had claimed that since the position was zoned to the North West, the acting chairman ought to have equally been picked from the same zone. However, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State had rejected the call saying the position of the National Chairman should be zoned to the South West instead.

However, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh has refuted the take over by Gulak saying the change of guard was not true. According to him, it was impossible for Gulak to emerge as PDP national chairman without the Appeal Court delivering a ruling on the stay of execution filed by the party over the issue. His words: “We don’t have a new political party. What we have is the PDP and the acting national chairman is Prince Uche Secondus. So it is not true, it is not possible and nobody can be rewarded for saying that Gulak is the new PDP national chairman. We have filed a stay of execution at the appeal court. “There is no judgment that Gulak should be made the national chairman of the PDP. We don’t expect a new PDP national chairman without NEC. With the stay of execution filed at the Appeal Court, you can’t expect a new national chairman of the PDP now until this season is over,” he said.

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