PDP Govs Warn Against Illegality As NEC Meets Today

PDP govs warn against illegality as NEC meets today

Ahead of the National Executive Committee meeting scheduled for today (Thursday), governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have warned the party members against illegality.

Today’s NEC meeting is set to address whether the acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, should retain his position or be replaced.

Damagum, who was the PDP National Chairman (North),   became the acting  National Chairman following the suspension of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, in March last year by a court in Benue State.

The court gave the judgment following a suit filed by Terhide Utaan, a PDP member in the Igyorov ward of  Gboko Local Government Area of the state.

The party executive in the ward had earlier passed a vote of no confidence in Ayu.

On Tuesday,  60 members of the House of Representatives called for Damagum’s removal and demanded the appointment of a substantive chairman from the North Central, where Ayu hails from.

But the House minority caucus led by  Kingsley Chinda distanced itself from the group, labelling it an unrecognised entity within the parliament.

The PDP caucus meeting in the House of Representatives on Tuesday ended in disarray, with lawmakers sharply divided between those supporting Damagun’s tenure and those opposing it.

On Wednesday, governors elected on the platform of the party met  at Akwa Ibom State Asokoro’s Governor’s lodge in Abuja ahead of Thursday’s (today) NEC meeting

Shortly after the meeting,  the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, affirmed the commitment of the forum to upholding the party’s amended 2017 constitution.

 Section 47(6) of the PDP Constitution provides that “Where a vacancy occurs in any of the offices of the party, the executive committee at the appropriate level shall appoint another person from the area or zone where the officer originated from to serve out the tenure”.

The Bauchi State governor asserted that the forum would assume control and prevent any attempt by marauders to factionalize the party.

In response to inquiries about the stance of the governors regarding Damagum, he stated: “I mentioned that the issues have been resolved, and our focus is on operating within the constitutional provisions of the party.

“Therefore, this meeting is not convened to discuss a change in leadership. Our priority is to address all outstanding matters and move forward so that all activities outlined in the party’s constitution, including congresses, are completed within the stipulated timeframe.

“While the public is free to speculate and discuss, it’s important to note that NEC, comprising the PDP Governors’ Forum and other stakeholders, will ultimately make decisions on such matters. As governors, we understand our leadership role, but we recognise that the NEC will determine whether it is appropriate to fill the leadership vacancy, taking into account legal considerations due to ongoing litigation.

“We are committed to unity within the party and will not allow any factionalisation attempts by external forces. Our goal is to address all issues and ensure the party is unified for optimal performance and success in the upcoming elections.”

He also explained that the meeting reviewed recent developments in the party and urged the National Working Committee of the party to set in motion the machinery to conduct credible congresses in all the states where the tenures of party officers had expired.

Meanwhile, a member of the NEC, who prefers not to be named due to lack of authorisation to speak on the matter, revealed that whether Damagum would remain in his position or not would be the central topic of discussion in the NEC meeting.

He said “ Damagum stands a strong chance of remaining in his position. The governors fully support him. The NEC is expected to approve the decision made by the NWC to extend the tenure of state executives acting beyond their original tenure by three months. Additionally, to pacify the North-Central zone advocating for a chairman from their region, a person from Benue is set to be named as the Director General of the party’s governors’ forum, and a replacement from the North-Central zone will be announced as the PDP Deputy Chairman (North).

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