Nigeria’s ruling party debunks claims that there is a crisis in its ranks.
The National Working Committee, NWC, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Wednesday, debunked speculations that it could be removed from office by the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party.
It also said NEC does not have the powers to seek amendment to the constitution of the party to ensure that governors of the party who are on their first term and President Goodluck Jonathan are offered automatic tickets in the 2015 general elections without going through primaries.
Spokesman of the party, Olisa Metuh, disclosed this during an interactive session with editors of some national newspapers and television stations, in his office in Abuja.
Mr. Metuh spoke against the backdrop of media reports that the party’s chairman and other members of the NWC may be sacked by NEC at the latter’s next meeting.
The PDP NEC is an organ of the party, which among other things supervises and directs the work of the party and all its organs, including the National, Zonal, State and Local Government Organs.
Its membership include the national chairman and other members of NWC, President and Vice President of the country who are members of the party, chairman and secretary of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, state governors who are members of the party, leaders of the National Assembly, state chairmen of the party and others.
According to section 12.74 of the PDP Constitution, NEC meets at least every quarter of the year. However, NEC has not met since July last year; fueling speculations that Mr. Tukur refused to convene further meetings to forestall his removal from office.
Mr. Metuh explained to the journalists that the chairman and other members of the NWC can only be removed from office by an appropriately convened national convention, which elected them ab initio.
He denied reports that the ruling party’s leadership is engulfed in any crisis and that there are plots by the governors elected on its platform to remove Mr. Tukur. He added that the leadership is already planning to hold NEC meeting in a short-while. In charge till 2016.
Mr. Metuh also said the current members of the NWC of the party would be in office until 2016 after the 2015 general elections. “What we read in the papers is that there appears to be clear war in the NWC. These are untrue,” Mr. Metuh said. “We have read all kinds of doomsday predictions in the papers and these are grossly exaggerated. “We don’t know where they are coming from. But, we know they are calculated attempt to distract us from running the affairs of this party. We have the full confidence of the executive, the legislature, our governors and the Board of Trustees. I can assure you that after the Easter Break, we shall hold our NEC meeting.
“We are not embattled, either in the Working Committee or with our Governors. I can assure you, this Working Committee has come to stay; this Working Committee will conduct elections; we will be in-charge of our party administration until our tenure ends in 2016.
“There is no attempt to remove anyone in the National Working Committee. There is no problem, there are no crises. We understand that because one or two decisions have been taken in the past, it appears there is disintegration in the party. We have differences in ideas and approach but definitely we are united in being together to drive the vision of our founding fathers.” No automatic ticket On tenure extension for the President and governors, he said, “NEC does not have the powers to seek amendment of the PDP Constitution to allow serving governors and the president to have the first right of refusal (of their tickets) in 2015. Our constitution speaks about primaries to pick candidates.”
He regretted that events in the PDP are always over-exaggerated by the opposition, adding “we have been praying and watching to see the registration of APC as a political party because we know they would disintegrate sooner than expected as they don’t have the capacity to manage crises of the magnitude being successfully managed by the PDP.”
The PDP spokesman further explained that though the constitution
requires NEC to hold its meeting quarterly, the leadership has not been able to convene the meetings because of the challenges of electing a new BoT Chairman after the resignation of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who headed the last BoT.
He praised the emergence of Tony Anenih as the chair of the BoT, saying “we are happy with it.”
Mr. Metuh pledged that the NWC will obey any court judgement on the suit filed by the suspended National Secretary of the party, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the South West Zonal chairman, Segun Oni andothers.
“Whatever the court says, we will respect,” he said. APC in Nigeria’s interest Mr. Metuh said the emergence of APC on the political scene is in the best interest of PDP just as he debunked claims that there was a presidential directive on APC. “We are not afraid of APC and I will ask you to disregard the so called presidential directive on APC. No such thing ever happened. “Sitting here, I can tell you I read in the papers that Olisa Metuh is coordinating the registration of a new APC and that I drafted the onstitution. I read it and I laughed because I have nothing to do with APC.
“Somebody told me that (Bola) Tinubu has sent somebody to come and negotiate with them. What is my business with that? Another person said Ugochinyere’s own will not be registered that his own will be registered, what’s my business with all these?