Top party members demand the removal of Akitoye as acting scribe to avoid constitutional crisis.
Some senior members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country have demanded the removal of the acting National Secretary of the party, Remi Akintoye, in order to prevent further crisis in the party.
The party members, in a petition to the National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, expressed concern over the continued stay of the acting secretary more than two weeks after the party elected its national officers.
They also sought the elders and law abiding leaders of the PDP to forestall fresh crisis in the ruling party by ensuring that its constitution is strictly protected. They noted that by so doing the party would not become a laughing stock and object of mockery.
Those who signed the document are Wale Olaifa, South-West zone; Okey Nwachukwu, South-East zone; Brown Otomi, South-South zone; Tijanni Ahmed, North-West zone; Francis Ako, North-Central zone; and Abubakar Bello, North-East zone.
Mr. Akintoye, who is also from the South-West, was appointed alongside 15 others in June following the resignation of some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, whose election in March 2012 National Convention of the party, was faulted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Although, elections were conducted to fill the positions at the last August 31 Special National Convention, that of the office of the National Secretary was not filled because its former occupant, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, challenged the plan to do so in court.
After the convention, the PDP national leadership retained Mr. Akitoye as the acting national scribe.
The protesting party members frowned at the endorsement of the party’s NWC of Mr. Akintoye’s retention, saying it was against Article 13.5 of PDP constitution.
They asked the party to allow the Deputy National Secretary of the party, Solomon Onwe, to act in line with the provision of its constitution.
Article 13.5 of the PDP constitution states that “there shall be Deputy National Secretary who shall assist the National Secretary in the discharge of his or her duties and shall act for him or her in his/her absence or whenever so directed.”
“In view of the foregoing article’s provision and convention on 31st August 2013 Dr. Akintoye or any acting position should be vacated and the Deputy National Secretary should act in the position of the National Secretary and not any others person,” the party members said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Osun State chapter of the PDP, Gani Olaoluwa, has also called for the removal of Mr. Akitoye, stating that his retention is a breach of a court order which could lead to contempt proceedings against him and the party.
He said that the South West zone to which the position of national secretary was zoned had nominated one Wale Ladipo as Secretary, in compliance with the court order and insisted that the nomination should be recognized.
He, however, said in the alternative, Mr. Onwe should be asked to act in the position.
“Prof. Wale Ladipo be appointed as Secretary having been duly nominated by South-West in compliance with the order of the court. In the alternative, that Barrister Onwe who is the Deputy National Secretary be appointed to act as National Secretary pending the regularisation of Prof. Oladipo’s nomination,” Mr Olaoluwa said.
The Osun PDP chairman recalled that Mr Akitoye’s appointment had nothing to do with a court order, adding that it was done in error to fill the vacant position when some officers resigned against the wish of the party in the southwest.
“Now that the term of Dr. Akintoye’s appointment has lapsed with the election of all officers, he should quit the position like others,” the state chairman said.