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PDP Govs Shun Party’s Panel

Posted: May 6, 2015 at 1:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Party Investigates Funds Disbursement •Jonathan Orders End To Media War •Mu’azu Sold PDP To APC, Fayose Insists

By Rotimi Akinwunmi, Ignatius Okorocha (Abuja), Akinwunmi King and Temidayo Akinsuyi (Lagos)


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated the Ike Ekwerenmadu-led 15-member committee to probe its woeful loss at the March 28 Presidential poll, after 16 years in the saddle.

However, in what may appear a sign that the subsisting trouble within the party is not over just yet, three serving governors who are part of the committee: Godswill Akpabio (Akwa-Ibom), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Ibrahim Dankwanbo (Gombe), were conspicuously absent at the ceremony.

Akpabio has been at the forefront of clamours to remove Adamu Mu’azu, the PDP National Chairman from office.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh explained to newsmen that the absence of the governors was due to communication gaps, as they thought the event would not hold again on Tuesday.

Other members of the Committee are: Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Governor-elect of Rivers State, Nyeson Wike; Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau, and Minister of Internal Affairs, Abba Moro.

The committee also has former Niger State Governor, Abdulkadir Kure; Adamu Waziri, Ahmed Makarfi, Makanjuola Ogundipe, Shuaib Oyedokun, Pegba Otemolu and Zainab Maina, the Minister of Women Affairs.

Walid Jibril, who is the Secretary of the Board of Trustees (BoT), is Member/Secretary; while Adamu Waziri was directed to act temporarily, owing to Jibril’s illness.

The committee is to probe the disbursement and application of various sums meant for the re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 election, just as those involved would explain to the special panel how they spent the funds.

Jonathan, who contested the March 28 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), lost to General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Disbursement of the campaign fund running into billions of Naira, has caused unease within the PDP, with accusing fingers pointing in all directions, while some vociferous party members insist on sacking members of its National Working Committee (NWC). The NWC members had on Monday blamed the defeat of President Jonathan at the poll on wrong strategy adopted by the Presidential Campaign Organisation, which was directly under the supervision of the Presidential Villa, rather than the PDP’s Wadata Plaza national secretariat, Abuja.

The 15-man panel is part of efforts to end the bickering and unravel the cause of the electoral defeat it suffered.

Tagged “PDP Post Elections Review Committee,” the panel would probe the entire funds sunk into the just concluded general elections and other factors that contributed to the woeful performance of the once vibrant party in the elections.

The party also at the occassion, announced that President Jonathan has ordered the warring parties, including his aides, members of the NWC and members nationwide to stop the ongoing media war over the elections in the interest of the PDP.

Mu’azu, who spoke through the National Secretary, Adewale Oladipo, while inaugurating the committee, said it was imperative on the panel to “look at the funding of the elections to determine whether or not the funds meant for the campaigns were adequate and whether disbursements were properly done.”

He urged the committee to “identify the remote and immediate causes of the relatively poor performance of the PDP in the 2015 general elections,” besides the need to “ascertain the degree of anti-party activities, compromises and outright sabotage that may have contributed to the misfortunes of the PDP at the elections.”

The committee is also: “To trace the origin and process of the seeming decline of the party in its electoral performance; to take a critical look at the preparations and build-up of the PDP to the general elections and determine its adequacies and lapses; to review and determine the adequacy of the structures for the 2015 general elections and how those structures functioned; to identify different groups in the party who were to play critical roles before and during the elections and determine the effectiveness or otherwise; and “to determine any other matter that may be considered necessary and in the interest of the party;  to propose a road map for the party to recover its past glory and definitely win the general elections in 2019.

On the crisis rocking the party since the elections, Mu’azu said the NWC members would abide by the President’s directive for an immediate ceasefire henceforth, and pass it down to all members through its appropriate organs for strict compliance.

Commenting on the task ahead, Ekweremadu said “change is the only constant thing in life” noting that “much as we are pained by the sad turn of events, we must come to terms with the fact that anger, recriminations, self-pity, and blame trading will not take us even an inch away from the harsh outcomes of the elections.

“The worst tragedy that could befall the PDP is not to have lost the 2015 presidential election or our majority status at the National Assembly or some PDP controlled states to the opposition. The greatest tragedy would be our failure to draw from the lessons embedded in the outcome of the elections”.

He enjoined party faithful to remain in the PDP and rebuild it instead of running to already-made shelters, adding that the loss presents “an opportunity to reassess and reinvent our party to retake its rightful place”.

Ekweremadu assured that the Committee members would carry out their assignments “without fear or favour”. He called on members of the party to avail the Committee all necessary information in line with its terms of reference as all shades of opinion will be heard”.    `

Meanwhile, Mu’azu took to his twitter handle also on Tuesday, when he denied betraying the President, insisting instead that he gave his best to the PDP presidential campaign.

He maintained that he did his best to save the President from defeat at the presidential poll, insisting that he is too principled to betray his party.

“I gave my best and all to the campaign of Mr. President and the party. We went to every state in Nigeria to campaign.

“In the face of abuse, insult and open ridicule by our friends and brothers, we supported our leader, President Jonathan, faithfully.

“The perception of President Jonathan and our party in the North was at an all-time low because of the lies they were told by politicians

“Those who blame us for not delivering maximum votes to the president in the North seem to have forgotten that it’s the people who vote,” Mu’azu tweeted.

He further stated that he had always preached against ethnicity and tribalism, adding that the voting pattern in the election was a concern to him personally.

He recalled that: “Some even ridiculed and insulted us that we betrayed President Jonathan. How can one betray himself?

“Those who are busy pointing accusing fingers are yet to come to the realization of what has happened but we have gone beyond that.

“We are committed to repositioning our great party the PDP and we will provide able leadership to her by restoring her glory.

“For those who are wishing that I will either decamp or resign, I advise you to kindly stop wishful thinking. We have a party to lead.

“Some who are singing ‘change the entire NWC’ were the same ones who brought us to this level with their insincerity and praise singing.

“The APC has nothing to offer someone like me. I am too principled to betray my party. I have been here since 1999. But things will change now. Power truly belongs to the people and we are giving it back to them,” Mu’azu stressed.

But as if reacting to the PDP chairman, Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, on Tuesday insisted that his call for dissolution of the PDP NWC was in good faith, and in the overall interest of the party.

Fayose, in a statement by his spokesman, Lere Olayinka, also accused Mu’azu of selling the PDP to APC in the just concluded general elections.

While describing the attack on his person by the NWC as unfortunate, the governor said it was sad that the NWC members, especially Mu’azu were refusing to allow new people to manage the party after managing it into its first national electoral failure.

For Fayose: “How do we explain the PDP losing so scandalously in Bauchi State, despite the presence of the National Chairman, Federal Capital Territory Minister and the State governor?

“I am even more particular about the National Chairman because he sold the party to the opposition. I have cogent evidences of his unholy alliance with the opposition before the elections and if they go any further, I will expose all his underhand deals.

“I want to say it again that I have no apology for calling for the resignation of the NWC members, especially the National Chairman. After all, someone resigned his position as the National Chairman for Alhaji Mu’azu to assume office.

“Lastly, let me say it categorically that they can only attempt to destroy this party for the moment, not forever. Sooner or later, they will all fade away and PDP will rise again.”