Wednesday, November 27, 2013

PDP expels Baraje, Oyinlola, Jaja

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji
Bamanga Tukur, said yes-terday that the defection of four aggrieved
governors and members of the New PDP into All Progressives Congress
(APC) would not affect the party's electoral fortunes.This is even as
the PDP yesterday expelled leaders of the New PDP, Ahaji Kawu Baraje,
Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Dr. Sam Jaja.Tukur, who is in China on
the invitation of the Chinese government, disclosed in a statement
that the grievances of the governors against his leadership was no
justi.cation for their action to pitch tent with an opposition party.
"There is always a limit to demonstration of anger. If anger can cause
you to pack all your bags and load and then move into the home of your
arch opponents, that to me is an anger so misdirected and it is
unfortunate. "We cannot ask anyone not to leave the party if he so
decided. After all, soldiers go, soldiers come. If any one leaves the
PDP, many more people will join. It happens every time. All the same,
I seize this opportunity to say to others who want to remain to stay
back and join the process of re-building and reforming PDP".
Also yesterday, the Umaru Dikko-led National Disciplinary Committee of
the party expelled Prince Oyinlola, Alhaji Baraje and Dr Jaja from
the party. Deputy Chairman, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, who read the
recommendations of the seven-member committee to newsmen, said it
was subject to rati.cation of the National Working Committee (NWC).
Dikko, who was transport minister, was also an aspirant at the
national convention held in March 24, 2012. Babatope, however, said
that Amb. Ibrahim Kazaure, who was placed on inde.nite suspension
alongside with the three chieftains expelled yesterday, would be
spared pending his appearance before the committee next month."We
still want to hear from him. We have recommended that his suspension
be extended by one month and he should report to the committee in two
weeks' time", Babatope told journalists.
Amb. Kazaure is the National vice-Chairman, North-West.When asked why
the committee met and took a decision despite a notice from Prince
Oyinlola's counsel, Awa Kalu, (SAN) that there were pending
litigations on the issues that led to their suspension, Chief
Babatope claimed that the committee did not receive any letter.
Earlier, Oyinlola said in a statement that he would remain in PDP.A
con.dant of Prince Oyinlola who did not want his name mentioned,
said that the composition of the committee casts a slur on its
credibility.He noted that Chief Babatope, has an axe to grind with
Prince Oyinlola as the former was an aspirant to the same exalted
position at the March 2012 convention where the latter had emerged as
PDP scribe.He claimed that the secretary of the committee, Onwe
Solomon Onwe, who is also the Deputy National Secretary of the party,
had been scheming to take Oyinlola's position.
" Apart from the fact that the committee is not validly created,
Alhaji Dikko is national chairman of another political party and is
not known to be a member of the PDP. Chief Ebenezer Babatope, the
deputy chairman, contested last year's election into the of.ce of PDP
National Secretary against Oyinlola and is known to be aggrieved,
having stormed out of the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the national
convention. Incidentally, one of the allegations against Oyinlola is
walking out of PDP's convention last August, the same act committed by
Babatope in the full glare of Mr. President and other top party
leaders. "The body's secretary, Onwe, is known to have an interest in
functioning as the acting National Secretary of the PDP in the absence
of the substantive holder of the position, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
He wasted no time in accepting a celebrated swearing-in, when Oyinlola
was unjustly removed by Justice Abdul Kafarati last January."It is
obvious that Onwe will embrace and support the idea of removing
Oyinlola to be able to take over the functions of the national
secretary. In the case of Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, he nurses an
unexplained grudge against Oyinlola, right from his days as Deputy
National Chairman of PDP and stoutly opposed Oyinlola's bid to .y
PDP's .ag as its governorship aspirant in 2003."The reason Tukur chose
these people are well known to right-thinking members of the party and
the society but the good thing is that the committee has not been
legally constituted", Oyinlola's aide said.Meanwhile, reacting to the
defection of Govs. Rotimi Amaechi, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Rabiu Kwankwaso
and Murtala Nyako of Rivers, Kwara, Kano and Adamawa states
respectively and members of the New PDP into APC, Oyinlola said he
remains a PDP member.In a statement issued by his Principal
Secretary, Femi Adelegan in Abuja yesterday, Oyinlola said he is not
only a member of the PDP, he also remains the National Secretary of
the party. 

 Oyinlola said though he acknowledges the PDP has a
crisis, he will, however, not relinquish his mandate to join
another political party, contending that the mandate to serve the
PDP was given overwhelmingly by all members of the party across
ethnic divides in the country and was recently revalidated by the
Court of Appeal. 

He urged PDP members across the country to be
steadfast and pray for the party in these trying times. He promised
to use his position as National Secretary with his experience in
crisis management to help in rescuing the party from the self-in.icted
The former governor noted that his purported suspension from the
party does not invalidate his substantive position as the national
scribe. Besides, the embattled retired Army of.cer said he is
committed to leadership through dedicated and sel.ess service, as well
as rising to challenges and the responsibilities of any of.ce he is
privileged to occupy legitimately.
Oyinlola said that he "is deeply
encouraged by the demonstration of solidarity by well-meaning
Nigerians, locally and abroad; who have continued to call to commend
him for his indomitable spirit, endurance, courage and the dutiful
manner with which he has continued to respond to the political
problems of the PDP".

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