***We Won’t Be Distracted By Their Comical, Childish Action – Secondus
By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
The crisis arising from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention, escalated as angry party members under the aegis of Concerned Candidates and Stakeholders, put paid to their threat by opening a parallel national secretariat in Abuja.
The concerned members, who also rejected the outcome of the December 9 convention of the party, further declared that the party under their leadership has been reformed and will be branded “Fresh PDP.”
But in a reaction to the group, the Prince Uche Secondus-led PDP, who described action as the group as a comical act and childish attempt to distract the party’s move to reposition itself.
The national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbodinyan, who declared that PDP is not unperturbed by the action of the group said it will not be responsible or respond to any person or groups of individuals who decide to allow themselves to be used by forces from another political party.
The national secretariat of the group is located at No. 10, Tito Street, Asokoro. The flag of the party was mounted outside the premises.
Briefing newsmen at their new secretariat, they described the convention that produced the Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee (NWC) as a charade.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, Director General of the (FPDP), Prince Emmanuel Obi-Nwosu said “as part of their resolve to ensure that PDP sweeps the 2019 polls, it will inaugurate what it called authentic national working committee after the holidays.”
Obi-Nwosu, who was flanked by Comrade Franklyn Edede who contested the National Youth Leader position and Chief Godwin Chinedu Duru, who contested for the office of National Organising Secretary, added that they will mobilize for new members and commence electronic membership registration while it will start computerisation of party activities and financial transaction.
He added that PDP primaries will be electronically done using the electronic voters register adding they will use the timeline to be released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Other members of the group who signed the press statement are Deputy Director General of Prof. Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Chief Olukayode Akindele; and Alhaji Hassan Adamu.
Obi-Nwosu Emmanuel, who claimed that the process of selecting the current NWC was concluded days before the convention, said the names of the “authentic NWC” of the PDP would be announced in early January, 2018, when political activities would kick-off fully.
“We reject in its entirety, the selected NWC list and we call on INEC and all other relevant authorities to disregard the purported election of the NWC because they weren’t elected in line with the provisions of our party constitution and in accordance with the electoral guidelines for the convention.
“As committed and dedicated candidates and party stakeholders, we have decided to ensure that internal democracy is sustained in the party and that the dreams of our founding fathers who laboured and sacrificed so much to build the party are not destroyed.
“To this effect, we have officially opened a national secretariat of the party here in Asokoro, Abuja, from where the authentic NWC of the party will be operating.
“Today, the PDP that Nigerians have yearned for is born. We hereby declare that the era of impunity, imposition and manipulation of our party’s internal election process is dead and buried.
“Delegate system which has been fraudulently manipulated is to be replaced with direct primaries through electronic voting. The party chairmen at all levels shall be the party leaders in their respective jurisdictions.
“As part of our resolve to ensure that PDP sweeps the polls in 2019, we shall inaugurate the authentic NWC, commence mass mobilisation of new members and computerisation of party activies and financial transactions immediately after the holidays.
“The long wait for a truly re-branded PDP is over. Nigerians now have every reason to hope for a very robust opposition to the ruling APC,” they said.
He recalled that the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, “deliberately refused” to release the delegate list until barely 24 hours to the convention, describing it as an aberration.
He further claimed that some persons on the unity list collected nomination forms after the official closing date for the process.
obi-Nwosu claimed that “evidence is available to show that some names in the fraudulent Unity list collected nomination forms after the official closing date and some others were not even screened as required by the party’s electoral guidelines. ”
According to him, “the most despicable part of the entire moonlight play was that thebso called unity list was printed on the letterhead paper of our great party, suggesting that it was authorised by the leadership of the party and the national executive committree. ”
He further spoke: “The fraudulent unity list was openly circulated to the delegates without restraint and the electoral committee chairman, Chief Gabriel Suswam supervised the entire charade, even confiscating the telephone handset of an agent to a candidate who dared to challenge the fraud and captured the event with his camera phone.
“To prove that there was no election but selection which was concluded long before the convention every person on the purported unity list emerged victorious, not one person on the list. What an irony and abuse of leadership”.
In a reaction however, the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbodinyan, said “The PDP is completely unperturbed by the comical act of some individuals who make outlandish claims in the media regarding our party
“The fact is that we are happy with the efforts of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led Reconciliation Committee as well as the responses from all the respectable and responsible leaders of our party in that regard.
“We will however not be responsible or respond to any person or groups of individuals who decide to allow themselves to be used by forces from another political party in a laughable and childish attempt to distract us.
“The PDP under the Prince Uche Secondus-led national leadership will continue to focus on repositioning our great party to be the formidable opposition that will guarantee checks and balances in our polity and ultimately regain power in 2019.”