REPORT: PDP’s reconciliation heading for the rocks

Published:1 Dec, 2012

The ongoing reconciliation in the Peoples Democratic Party may not record much success, writes OLUSOLA FABIYI

Walk up to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur any day and ask about his vision for the party, his response will be to reconcile all its aggrieved members. It is a sermon he is not tired of preaching. At every occasion, he preaches it. He tells visitors to his office at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja that the party’s National Working Committee will not look back in its efforts towards bringing those who left the party in annoyance back into its fold.

To show the seriousness with which the party is desirous of the reunion, the NWC swung into action on Sept. 12, with the re-admittance of a former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose. The decision to readmit him was taken at the meeting of the NWC. Already, he has started enjoying the privileges of being a member of the party since Friday, Sept. 14. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said Fayose had been granted a waiver in accordance with Article 17.2 (g) of the party’s constitution.

The article reads, “There shall be a minimum of two years membership span for a member to be eligible to stand for election into any party or public office unless the appropriate executive committee rules to the contrary. Where appropriate committee rules, it must be approved by the immediate higher executive committee save National Executive Committee is final authority.”  Metuh said that with this, Fayose was free to enjoy all the privileges of members of the party.

Fayose left the party shortly before the governorship election rerun in some parts in the state. During the rerun, Fayose aligned with the rival political party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, against the then ruling PDP in the state. It was alleged that this enable the ACN to defeat the then governor of the state, Mr. Segun Oni. However, Fayose later had a disagreement with the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, when he was not allowed to run on the ticket of the ACN as its senatorial candidate. This made Fayose to move to the Labour Party, where he was defeated by the ACN in the election. He later signified his intention to return to the PDP, after being instrumental to the emergence of the new state executive committee of the party in his state. Fayose is said to be among those nursing a governorship ambition in the party.

If Fayose had a smooth return to his once-despised political party, the same cannot be said of his co-traveller, former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Kalu. His former Chief of Staff, who is currently the state governor, Chief Theodore Orji, led some prominent leaders from the state to the party’s national headquarters in Abuja to protest Kalu’s planned return to the party. The governor and members of his entourage met with the members of its NWC, led by Tukur, insisting that Kalu should not be allowed to return to the party, which gave him the privilege to serve as a governor for eight years before leaving to form the Progressive Peoples Alliance.

Apart from the governor, the three senators from the state – Nkechi Nwogu, Uche Chukwumerije and Enyinnaya Abaribe – were also in the entourage. Others are the former National Chairman of the party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor; Vice-Chairman of the party in South-East, Col. Austin Akabundu (retd.); members of the House of Representatives and some other prominent members of the party in the state. Akabundu read a petition addressed to Tukur on behalf of those he referred to as “Abia Stakeholders.”

Entitled, “The position of Abia Stakeholders on the re-admission of Chief Orji Kalu to the party,” Akabundu said that the doors of the party remained open to any member. He said, “His presence will add neither quality nor quantity. His comprehensive defeat in the 2011 Abia senatorial race exposed his lack of electoral value. It was only after he left the party that we were able to win all the seats we contested. His exit from the party seemed a settled matter from the beginning and there is no need to revisit it without the real risk of destroying the foundation of harmony and progress upon which the party currently stands.”

Apart from the Abia people’s revolt against Kalu, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State has also expressed his anger against the reconciliation process. Jang said those who had defected from the party to contest election in other political parties should not be allowed to return, adding that their blocking would help to deepen the country’s democracy. Jang advised Tukur and other members of the NWC to allow the defectors to remain in their new parties and nurture it. Jang’s deputy, Mrs. Pallen Tallen, was the governorship candidate of the Labour Party during the 2011 election in the state. Jang said it was wrong for members of the party to see it as a mere platform to contest elections.

He said, “Reconciliation relating to the issue of membership is the commendable efforts of the national chairman towards reconciliation and for harmony in the party. Only members of the party, who still identify with it and who are aggrieved because of some actions or inactions of the leadership, can seek to be reconciled. It may not be appropriate to discuss reconciliation with people who are jumping from one party to another, seeking only election platforms.” Jang, who was a former member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, called on Tukur and members of his NWC to counsel those that left the PDP to contest elections against the party to remain in those parties and provide constructive opposition and multi-party platforms. This, he said, would be beneficial to the country’s type of “liberal democracy.”

The open display of resistance by these two governors may be an indication that governors are averse to the ongoing reconciliation in the party. The governors, according to an investigation, are said not to be ready to allow the aggrieved members of the party in their states to return. Already, governors in about four other states are said to have kicked against the planned return of former members of the party to its fold in their states. The states are Taraba, Enugu, Kaduna and Kano. A member of the NWC of the party told our correspondent that there were fears that the reconciliation may be heading for the rocks. The member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “Our governors are not helping us in this reconciliation exercise. These governors don’t want the party to open the political space in their states. They block every move to bring back members that have left the party. They use the influence of their number to intimidate the NWC.”

For instance, the NWC member said Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna and the National Organising Secretary of  the party,  Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, are blocking political associates of the former Governor Ahmed Makarfi, from returning to the PDP. It was also learnt that the Governor Musa Kwankwaso of Kano has blocked access to the Chief Alabo Graham-Douglas committee set up by the NWC to reconcile aggrieved members of the party in his state. It was learnt that Enugu’s Sullivan Chime, is against the reconciliation between associates of former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani and the former National Chairman of the party, Okwesilieze Nwodo, to return to the main stream PDP in the state. The NWC member said, “As we talk, the associates of Nnamani and Nwodo are still left out in the reconciliation exercise, yet we say that PDP is reconciling its aggrieved members.”

Tukur may have bowed to pressure from the governors as he says the party will not go against the wishes of the majority because of reconciliation. He told our correspondent on the telephone, “We don’t want reconciliation through imposition from the national secretariat of the party. Is this not an indication that the reconciliation has failed?” Maybe, as the party says, it will not because of reconciliation re-admit those it described as ‘snakes and reptiles.’ Besides, it adds that it is not in a hurry to re-admit those who will be of no value to it. The National Legal Adviser of the party, Mr. Victor Kwon, said among those who had left the party, there were those, if re-admitted, would come with the intention to destroy it.

He said, “This party is large enough to accommodate everybody, but just because you want to accommodate everybody does not mean you accommodate snakes and reptiles.” Do those rejected belong to this category? Either right or wrong, Kalu says nobody can force him out of the party he claims to be one of its foundation members. However, the Abia State chairman of the PDP, Senator Emma Nwaka, says Kalu is day-dreaming. He says any member who has defected and wants to return to the party needs to pass through his home base, arguing that Kalu cannot be an exception.

Whether the reconciliation will be achieved eventually or not is a question that only Tukur and members of his NWC can answer. Their body languages, however, signify that they are determined about what to do.

  • Clement Udegbe

    One of ways our young democratic experience will take good root is for political party leaders to deleberately entrench resistance against cross carpeting among their members.If the parties serve members only as ladders to climb into elective offices and more, many parties will implode with the passage of time.Loose party loyalty will create a culture of indiscipline, at the expense of strong party base and philosophy.Ambition without discipline and integrity is a panacea for disaster.People who powerfully humiliated the party should not be patted on the back, when they suffer humiliation from other forces in politics.If such persons must be readmitted, it should be contitional, for example denying them right to contest for at least Four years.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Ogunsanya Tosin: Welcome Into The Nigerian School Of Public Governance

A welcome speech by the institute head… Listen up everybody, we welcome you all to NSPG, a place where we transform individuals to leaders primarily in the public sector. You are left with only one option and that option is to learn. More specifically, NSPG covers all aspects of governance in domestic and global organizations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, disregarding societal status to whoever jettison the rule of law, design and evaluation.

#DeltaTribunal: Lack of Proper Certification of Election Results by INEC Threatens to Render Evidence Inadmissible

?The Delta State election tribunal proceeded with a hearing on Friday, 28th August. The counsel to the petitioner (Emerhor/APC), Chief Okpoko (SAN), drew the attention of the tribunal to the failure of INEC to properly certify results from polling units in 24 LGAs. He noted that certification is to be done by an authorized scripted signature rather than an unscripted signature, and further stated that INEC, being an electoral body, should be an unbiased umpire instead of...

Kylie Jenner Allegedly Paid Tyga’s Rent

Tyga made headlines last month when he allegedly had his girlfriend Kylie Jenner lend him cash and by cash we mean $50,000 to pay off rent on his Calabasas, Calif. mansion. The 25-year-old was pictured on Thursday leaving a bank, openly holding a stiff looking stack of dolla billz! We can clearly see a Ben Franklin at the top of the stack, an can only assume there is more where that came from! Read...

OPC Opens Up On Buhari’s Appointments

Reacting to Buhari's appointments on Thursday, founder, Oodua Peoples Congress,OPC, Dr Fredrick Fasehun has implored Ni­gerians not only to be vigilant but also get prepared for a long battle ahead. According to him, Buhari through the appointments has shown himself to be insensitive to the feelings of oth­er ethnic groups across the country. ‘’What Buhari has done is evil. Through his actions since his inau­guration, he has been pandering to­wards the interests of a particular...

Senate Begins Probe Of Power Sector

The stage appeared set for a comprehensive probe of the nation’s power sector as the Senate declared on Friday that officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, its departments and agencies and other key players within the sector would soon appear before it. The Chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Power, Senator Abubakar Kyari, stated this when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, inaugurated the 14-member fact-finding panel at the National Assembly Complex. Kyari said stakeholders in...

Seven Die As Nigerian Air Force Aircraft Crashes

Seven people have been killed after an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force crashed at the old site of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna , Northwest Nigeria. The casualties include all four crew members and three passengers. The victims were travelling from the Nigerian Air Force Base in Kaduna en route Abuja. Emergency officials say the helicopter crashed less than ten minutes after taking off. Read More: channelstv

Appointments Will Be Balanced By September, Buhari Defends Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday defended the appointment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal and five others. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, yesterday assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari’s political appointments will balance out soon. Adesina spoke on a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower 100.5FM. Adesina said the President was aware of federal character and expressed the belief that...

BUSTED! Boko Haram Planned To Bomb Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport

A plot by Boko Haram terrorists to bomb the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was uncovered last Monday by the Department of State Service, DSS. The DSS made this known on Saturday in a statement by an official, Tony Opuiyo in which he said a fourteen year old boy,  Sulaiymon Abdulraman (a.k.a Sunday AJAYI), of Kogi State was apprehended inside the airport. On interrogation, Abdulraman allegedly disclosed that he infiltrated the airport with the assistance of...

Buhari’s Appointments “Totally Unacceptable To Ndigbo”- Igbo Youths

The Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), on Friday, condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest appointment for the positions of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Chief of Staff to the President and others. Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the president of the group, said in a statement he jointly signed with the OYC’s spokesperson, Obinna Adibe, said the appointments were “totally unacceptable to Ndigbo”, arguing that they violated the principle of federal character as enshrined in the Nigerian...

Jonathan’s Bodyguards Posted Out Of Villa

Department of State Services personnel who served as bodyguards to President Goodluck Jonathan have been posted out of the Villa to various state commands. Competent sources at the Presidential Villa said that the signal for the posting of the over 150 bodyguards who had remained redundant following the directive by the ADC to President Buhari that they should leave the presidential villa came yesterday. “Almost all of our personnel who were bodyguards in the villa...

Lagos-Based Journalist Arrested In Cameroon, Accused Of Spying For Boko Haram

A Lagos-based Cameroonian journalist, Simon Ateba, has been arrested by Cameroonian authorities as he investigated the conditions of Nigerian refugees camped in the country’s far north. The journalist, who managed to leave a messages on his Facebook page before he was locked up Friday, said he was arrested for venturing, without permission, into a refugee camp with 50,000 Nigerians. He later told a colleague that the authorities were threatening to charge him for espionage –...

Buhari Orders CBN To Pay Amnesty Beneficiaries

President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN), Godwin Emefiele to ensure the outstanding tuition, stipends and allowances of all amnesty beneficiaries were paid without further delay. This is as the European Union (EU) has strengthened its partnership with the  Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, under which the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is domiciled, to seek ways of ensuring that the programmes meets up with...

Garba Shehu: Understanding Buhari in 100 Days

The enormously popular talk show, ‘Berekete’ on Wazobia FM, Abuja, told the incredible-yet-true story of a hard-working and respected school teacher somewhere in Plateau State who hanged himself. He hadn’t been paid salary for seven straight months. He came home to find that no-one had eaten and two of the children had medical prescriptions for which there was no money. He sneaked out without talking to anyone. After a long while, news came home that he had...

Obasanjo, a liar, economic illiterate – Soyinka

Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has described former president Olusegun Obasanjo as a pathological liar, adding that he has lost total respect for him. Soyinka said this on Friday night when he was responding to questions during a programme tagged: ‘An evening with Wole Soyinka’, organised by Globacom.

Praiz, 9ice, Pasuma And Others Set For Battle At The Celebrity Fans Challenge Tomorrow !

The biggest and most exciting celebrity football party is back  !Kiibati Bankole presents another exciting edition of her novel celebrity football contest- Celebrity Fans Challenge; and this time around, it is bigger than ever, as some of Nigeria's biggest names in entertainment go head to head for bragging rights and the title of Nigeria's biggest celebrity SUPERFAN!The celebrities include 9ice, fuji ace- Pasuma, Reminisce, Praiz, Gbenga Adeyinka(GCON), Illbliss, Nollywood stars Segun Arinze and Fred Amata; and representing the ladies- Simi (Jamb...

Troops Kill Boko Haram Members Dressed In Nigerian Military Uniform

Boko Haram members dressed in Nigerian military uniform were killed during a raid of the sect members camp in the North East. See the photos after the cut...be warned it's graphic!

#Pausibility: Gehazi, Vuvuzela-General And The Lesson For The New Generation By Adebayo Coker.

The diverse reactions that were triggered by the recent appointments of the President are funnily incredulous. Very soon we will hear Dauralization or Patriarchization. We voted PMB to deliver to us chenji then we complain when he selected his team. PMB has chosen the people he wants to work with; I hope when playtime comes he will consider some of us. September is a month to look forward to. My...

Chad Sentences 10 Boko Haram Members To Death

Chad has sentenced 10 members of Nigeria-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death on terrorism charges, judicial sources said on Friday. "They are all sentenced to death," said one of the sources. Chad's capital N'Djamena, less than 100 kilometres from the Nigerian border, was hit by a series of suicide bombings in June and July that killed more than 40 people. Source: Trust.org

Fayose Appoints 72-yr Old Carpenter As Council Boss

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State Friday appointed a 72-year old Carpenter and illiterate, Mr Olatunde Afolayan as the caretaker chairman of Moba Local Government. Fayose, also sworn in members of the State Independent Electoral Commission, headed by a retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kayode Bamisile , to be able to conduct local government elections before the end of the year. After administering the oaths on the appointees, Fayose told President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Mrs Amina...

Van Gaal Targets Revenge Against Swansea

The Swans recorded a historic double over Manchester United last season, including victory in the manager's opening game, but the Dutchman says his squad is now more prepared Louis van Gaal is targeting revenge as he prepares his Manchester United squad to face Swansea City. Goals from Ki Sung-yueng and Gylfi Sigurdsson saw Van Gaal lose his first...

Nigeria-Bound Terror Chief Was Coming On Invitation – Report

According to a report by Daily Trust, wanted terrorist, Ahmed Al-Assir, who was arrested in Lebanon on his way to Nigeria, was coming on the invitation of a foreign company operating in the country.  Sources in Nigeria’s security circles, who spoke to Daily Trust on condition of anonymity, said the visa was issued by a Foreign Service official in Beirut based on that invitation. According to the sources, without a letter of invitation...