PDP Crisis over House Minority Leadership Festers

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National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan
  •  NWC insists Elumelu, others remain suspended

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

A mild drama ensued Thursday indicating strong division within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) as the Chairman of the party’s BoT, Senator Walid Jubrin, and the BoT’s Secretary, Senator Adolphus Wabara, openly disagreed on the status of the report of the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led committee that investigated the emergence of Hon. Ndudi Elumelu as the minority leader of the House of Representatives against the wish of the party.

The deep division within the main opposition party first came to the open when the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, issued a statement earlier in the day that Elumelu and others remained suspended even when the meeting of the party’s BoT was still deliberating on the issue.
After over six hours of meeting of the BoT, both Jubrin and Wabara emerged to address journalists on the outcome of their meeting.

But while the BoT chairman told journalists that the BoT has not submitted the Ayu Committee’s report to the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), the BoT secretary said they had deliberated on the report and submitted same to the party.

According to Wabara, “We have discussed the Ayu report and have submitted the report to the NWC.”

But in a swift reaction, the BoT chairman countered Wabara, saying, “I am the chairman; we have not submitted our report.”
The chairman of BoT further said to Wabara, “I am not a baby. I am an old man and I should say it the way it is. We have not submitted our report.”
Speaking further, the BoT chairman said the matter would be handled internally in the overall interest of the party.

Jubrin declined to answer questions, saying: “It is an internal affair and we will resolve it internally.”

He restated that 10 members of the BoT visited the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in Dubai to discuss how to move the party forward.
He stated that the meeting with Atiku was to forge unity with the PDP.

When asked to disclose the outcome of the committee’s report, he said: “All these are internal and we are handling it the best way. It is internal. The visit is for the progress and development of the party. All these things happening are internal and we are going to deal with it internally and all of you will be happy at the end of the day.”

The Ayu committee was set up by the BoT to investigate why the elected members of the House of Representatives disobeyed the party directive to elect Hon. Kingsley Chinda as minority leader as against Hon. Ndudi Elumelu who eventually clinched the position.

Meanwhile, as the BoT meeting was ongoing so as to take a decision on the fate of Elumelu and others, the NWC issued a statement that it was yet to take a position on the crisis and that Elumelu and others remain suspended.

The statement by Ologbondiyan said: “In the light of public enquiries and conflicting reports on the position of the leadership of our great party on issues related to the minority leadership of the House of Representatives, the National Working Committee (NWC) hereby clarifies that it has not yet received any report from the Board of Trustees (BoT) concerning the outcome of the five-member committee it set up to intervene on the contentious matter.

“Consequently, the NWC maintains that it has not taken any decision to review its subsisting stance on the minority leadership of the House of Representatives.
“The NWC therefore urges critical stakeholders, party members and the general public to completely disregard any report to the contrary.”

THISDAY, however, gathered that the BoT discussed and submitted the report to the NWC.

The National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, and the National Secretary, Senator Umar Tsauri, as members of BoT, were said to have attended the meeting that took place at the Wadata Plaza Office of PDP.