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PDP crisis deepens, as BoT takes over

Despite the opening of the national Headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for business on Tuesday after days of closure, the crisis within the party appears to have deepened. Perhaps, as a result of this and disturbed by the seemingly unending leadership crisis, members of its Board of Trustees (BoT) have taken over the running of affairs of the party. The BoT, after the take over, said it will remain at the helm of affairs of the opposition party until the resolution of the leadership crisis. The BoT, going by the provisions of the constitution of the PDP, is merely an advisory organ.

But the Chairman of the party’s BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin maintained on Wednesday that it (BoT) remains the only legal body of the party now that has not been bogged down by any court order. Jubrin spoke while addressing workers at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday. The BoT Chairman said, “Nobody has taken the BoT to court. Today the BoT remains the only legal body now in the whole set up and that is why we are here to play our role. “We are here to perform our duty according to the PDP constitution, hoping that our problems will soon be resolved”, Jubrin said.

The BoT of the PDP, according to him, will be operating from the board room. He quickly added, “we are not going to takeover anybody’s office.” At the meeting with the staff aside the BoT Chairman, were its Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, former Senate Majority Leader and Senator Stella Omu. Continuing, Senator Jubrin was not older than 47 years when he was elected president of America. Those who are saying that I am in a hurry to become governor of Edo State, ask them what they have done. Part of the reason that I am in a hurry is because they have not added value.

Oshiomhole has done his best but when I look at those who want to succeed him, I doubt if they have the capacity to be innovative and creative to find solutions to our current challenges and the ones we may face in the future. What I am guaranteeing is that I have solutions that will help us secure our today and guaranty our future. People are also expressing concern that a labour unionist is spending eight years in office as governor and another unionist is aiming to succeed him? That is to tell you our level of reasoning.

First thing is, I have toured all the local government areas in the state. As a journalist, go and find out from the people who among all the aspirants have the best plan for the state. I have heard so much positive comments about me. The people are so shocked Another Labour leader, former President of PENGASSAN and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Peter Esele is angling to succeed incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomhole, a former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) after eight years at the Osadebey House, Benin. In this interview with Titus Akhigbe, he spoke of his hurry to develop the state if given the chance by taking off from where the Comrade Governor stops.

Excerpts: People are saying that you are a young man and thus need not be in a haste to become the governor of Edo State. Do you really have what it takes to govern the state? It is unfortunate that you hear people say something like that. We are in a country where people call a man who has crossed the age of 40 years a young man. The Prime Minister of Britain, Cameron, clocked 40 years of age when he assumed office.

“We the BoT have been asked under the constitution of the party to be in charge of the assets and the liabilities of the PDP generally. “It is in that respect that the Inspector General of Police, having considered the importance of our constitution and having considered the importance of the staff of the PDP headquarters here, that this place be open and not only be opened but is entrusted in the hand of the BoT”, he added. The BoT Chairman expressed the firm optimism that the crisis rocking the party would soon be resolved, because, “it is a temporary matter which would be overcome soon”.

He revealed that the BoT has reached out to all those who are involved in the crisis with a view to resolving it. His words: “We have gone very far to resolve this matter, we are making contacts and consultations and we are not here to blame anybody, but to resolve the problem.

“PDP will never die. We are only on sabbatical and once the sabbatical is over, we are going to take over our leadership, we are going back in 2019”. In his own contribution, Secretary of the BoT, Chief Maduekwe disclosed that the board has decided to oversee the affairs of the party to prevent a vacuum in the face of conflicting court orders. In his words: “We are giving members opportunity to withdraw all cases in court so that PDP can rebrand”.

It will be recalled that after the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, two persons-Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi began to lay claims to the PDP leadership following factions within the party. Sheriff, who was the acting National Chairman of the party, distanced himself from the National Caretaker Committee set up by the convention to steer the affairs of the party.

The decision to appoint a seven-man caretaker committee, headed by former Kaduna State governor, Senator Makarfi at the convention followed a court order which stopped elections into three national positions of the party. The three positions are those of the National chairman, national secretary and national auditor.

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