Leaders of Nigeria’s ruling party, PDP, struggle for control of party.
By Austin Ajayi
Despite claims by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur, that the crisis in the party’s national leadership is over, happenings in Mr. Tukur’s home state of Adamawa, have shown otherwise.
The Adamawa PDP, which is also a major battleground for the party leaders, now has two different sets of leaders as two executive committees claim to be the legitimate body in charge of the affairs of the party in the state.
One faction is headed by Joel Madaki, who was elected under the supervision of the caretaker committee, led by Umar Damangu, earlier set up by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party. This faction has the support of Mr. Tukur.
The other faction is led by Mijinyawa Kugama and comprise of the executive committee members recognised by Governor Murtala Nyako. This other faction, which was initially dissolved by the NWC, was declared as authentic on Tuesday, after an NWC meeting, as contained in a statement signed by the PDP Deputy National Chairman, Sam Jaja; and the National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola. The meeting was not attended by Mr. Tukur.
A day after the statement signed by Messrs. Jaja and Oyinlola, the PDP chairman told journalists that President Goodluck Jonathan had intervened and resolved the dispute among the NWC members.
“PDP National Working Committee is the first family of PDP. I can assure that like any other family, there may be disagreements but based on principle, not disagreement for anything. We have resolved all our differences,” Mr. Tukur stated.
In other to show that every member of the 12-member NWC was a party to the resolution, Mr. Tukur said the meeting was attended by the “secretary of the party, deputy national chairman, the women leader and our mouthpiece (spokesperson).”
The party chairman did however not comment on an agreed resolution of the Adamawa crisis.
Adamawa crisis still on
Mr. Madaki, who heads the Adamawa faction supported by Mr. Tukur said he is still in charge of the PDP in the state
Speaking to reporters in Yola on Thursday, Mr. Madaki, flanked by some of his supporters, said, “we are in charge of the state PDP executive, and therefore we will not be intimidated by the pronouncement of some elements in the party’s NWC that staged a coup against the party leadership,” he said
He also said the Damagum led caretaker committee was a legal body set up by the NWC and they “were given working materials to come and conduct congresses in Adamawa state”.
Mr. Madaki also said he will not be bound by the recent decision of the NWC to reinstate the Kugama led executive committee.
“We are neither rattled nor perturbed by the so called pronouncement credited to the NWC,” he said.
The factional Chairman also came down hard on PDP governors describing them as “anti-democratic elements, who are a disappointment to the nation’s democracy by trying to suppress people’s mandate”.
Nyako’s loyalists react
But in a swift reaction, the secretary of the reinstated executive, P. P Elisha, said the NWC’s decision to reinstate them has come to stay.
“By the decision, of the NWC, the Kugama led executive is now the authentic leadership in Adamawa PDP contrary to the notion by some few disenchanted people within the party bent on taking over the party structure,” Mr. Elisha said.
The Kugama faction is supported by Mr. Nyako and has got the backing of Messrs Oyinlola and Jaja.
Mr. Elisha said most of those that claim to have conducted the so called congresses are not PDP members, because they defected to other parties, adding that they have to meet some requirements before they could be re- absolved back into the party.
Mr. Elisha also apologized for the inactions of his executive that led to their initial dissolution by the NWC last October.
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