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S-East Presidency: Yar’Adua summons Ogbulafor

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—PRESIDENT Umaru Yar’Adua may have summoned the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Ogbulafor weekend to explain how the party arrived at ceding the presidency to the South East by 2015.

It was gathered that Ogbulafor was reportedly asked to appear at the Presidential Villa and where he was alleged to have met with President Yar’Adua to explain the remote and immediate circumstances that led to the comments credited to the Deputy National Chairman of the party, Mohammed Bello Haliru, and in the presence of Ogbulafor, that the South East geopolitical zone should unite and warm up to clinch the exalted position of the country’s president after the tenure of President Yar’Adua.

It would be recalled that the Deputy National Chairman of PDP said weekend when the Olokoro Community in Abia State led by their traditional rulers visited Prince Vincent Ogbulafor who hails from the area that “after the administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua, we expect the presidency to move to the Southeast. That is the simple truth about it.

“If the southeast cannot be united behind a leader, it would be difficult to entrust the Igbo race with leadership when it moves from the north to the southeast.

“We therefore want to remind you that this is the time for you to work for it. We have no doubt in the leadership of an Igbo man. They must unite to show leadership in PDP and Nigeria . It  is  always  a  source  of  strength  to  know  that  the  community  that  sent  you  is  behind  you.  This shows that your people have a good heart”.

According to the source, the President who may have expressed his anger with the leadership of the party over the development, was not happy with the statement which the source said he described as “outlandish statement”, just as he was said to have reminded the PDP national Chairman of his warning during the party’s mini- convention where he put a stop to all campaigns, even including his own until 1st quarter of 2010.

The campaigns according to the president were distractions which were affecting elected officers from delivering to the people, dividends of democracy.

The President was alleged to have expressed “serious anger” at the party’s Deputy National Chairman, “whose controversial profile seem to be growing and dangerously too.”

Bello Haliru , it would be recalled, had early this year raised an alarm at an emergency press briefing on a Saturday that the party had evidence that some influential former members of PDP had concluded plans to destabilize the Yar’Adua led government.

Though he did not call names, but the insinuations according to his accusations were the ANPP’s Presidential flagbearer in the 2007 general elections, General Mohammadu Buhari, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, former Governor Balarabe Musa and Aminu Bello Masari among others.

As the nation was trying to recover from that, Haliru was at it again, this time, he accused the United States of collaborating with some members of the opposition to destabilize the government and this drew a lot of criticisms as it caused a diplomatic row between the government and the US government until the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ojo Maduekwe and the PDP immediately disowned the former Customs boss that he was on his own.

The source said further that the apparently angry President said at the meeting, that he was not ready to accept any form of political distraction until next year, just as he urged Ogbulafor to ensure that his deputy does not make any other inflammatory comments.

It was also gathered that after Haliru made the allegation against the US, he escaped being made to step down as chairman of the party’s Disciplinary committee and face the committee himself since the party said he was on his own. The intervention of party elders stopped the investigation.

Sources at the PDP Secretariat also disclosed that at the next meeting of the National Working Committee [NWC], members will discuss the meeting of the party chairman with the President.

But when contacted on phone to speak on the matter, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Professor Ahmed Rufai Alkali said he was not aware of the meeting, just as calls to the National Chairman and his Special Assistant(Media), Chijioke Adindu all proved abortive.


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