By Henry Umoru
After a whirlwind three month tenure as Chief of Staff to the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Habu Fari, himself a former national chairman of another political party is forced out of office. In the last couple of days, attention was at the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP following the cold war between the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
At the centre of the crisis are the Chief of staff to Tukur, Alhaji Habu Fari, former National Chairman of the National Democratic Party, NDP and the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the NDP.
Fari had engaged Oyinlola in a war of words just few days after he was engaged. In fact it became a case of who was more knowledgeable in English language and whose language was more verbose and vilifying.
Habu Fari’s actions were regarded by the National Secretary and other members of the NWC as confrontational. He was also accused of rendering the office of the National Secretary redundant because he replied to memos from outside the party without recourse to the National Secretary’s office.
Fari who also doubled as the Principal Secretary to Tukur claimed he was doing the script of his boss, Tukur and that he had the authority, mandate and directives of the National Chairman in all he did in the course of his duties.
How it all started
Not comfortable with these activities, the National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a retired soldier knowing the importance of self defense before your enemy crushes you, had to write a five-page letter titled, “Illegal Acts Prejudicial to the Interest of the Peoples Democratic Party” with reference number PDP NS 03/12 to Fari.
Oyinlola in his letter to Fari, copied President Goodluck Jonathan, PDP National Chairman; Vice President Namadi Sambo; Senate President David Mark; Speaker Aminu Tambuwal; Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi; and all members of the National Working Committee.
The National Secretary in the letter said, ‘’I am constrained to once again react to your continued disregard for the laws and constitution guiding activities of our great party which you claim to be serving at the national headquarters of the PDP.
First and foremost, I wish to invite your attention to the fact that you currently have no letter appointing you to any office as a political appointee or an employee of the PDP. Your actions so far since the inception of the current National Working Committee are illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
“Be that as it may, I consider it important and proper to educate you, as I have repeatedly done in the interest of harmony between the office of our revered National Chairman on one part, and offices of the other NWC members. I note with consternation that your misdemeanor since the inception of the current NWC and failure to yield to repeated counseling has left no one in doubt that you are apparently incapable of projecting the office of the Chairman where you have consistently illegally acted in various capacities including a non-existent office of the Chief of Staff to the National Chairman.
It would be beneficial for you to realize that the fact that you once served as the Director of Administration of the PDP in its headquarters in the formative years of our party does not empower you to act illegally and in a manner that would be injurious to the overall interests of our great party; most especially since you do not hold any position at the moment.
‘’I must also alert you that the mode of the operations of your former party, the NDP where recourse to law and institution of the party may not be the usual practice cannot be the practice in a law abiding party like the PDP which follows the Due Process in application of guidelines and regulations (see “annex D-F”).
“I advise you to desist henceforth with your illegal activities that are prejudicial to harmony and smooth conduct of official activities at the National Secretariat of the PDP. You could, in your own interest confine yourself to the duties of the Principal Secretary to the National Chairman, if our respected leader, the National Chairman decides to forward your name to the Office of the National Secretary for appointment and issuance of your letter of appointment.
“I state most unequivocally that until all the necessary regulations are amended by the competent organs of the PDP, it is illegal to parade yourself by any other name whatsoever that is alien to the regulations of the PDP. It is also in your own interest to take the necessary steps to complete the formalities that would result in the issuance of a letter of appointment to you if you must continue to have official transactions within the PDP National Secretariat as a political appointee in the Office of the National Chairman.
Replying, Habu-Fari in a
letter dated 8 June, 2012 to Oyinolola said he was acting the script of the national chairman saying that there was no letter he wrote that did not have the endorsement of Tukur.
“I want to visit your persistent emphasis on establishment manual and your attempt to recognize it far and above the constitution of the party. In order to educate you substantially the constitution came first above the establishment manual and any regulations governing the party.
“The establishment manual which we produced in the year 2000, before you joined the party, was with a singular intention to run the National Secretariat smoothly. The said establishment manual is currently under review. It was reviewed by the immediate past NWC without its adoption and approval by the National Executive Committee (NEC) hence its present review status. For the fact that the document is to be reviewed has given room for consistent inputs to accommodate new ideas for the best interest of our great party.”
On allegations that the office of the national chairman was prepared to cause a division within the NWC as well as settle some differences, Tukur’s Chief of Staff in the letter said, “It is most regrettable that in your capacity as the National Secretary, you listen and believe in speculations without substantiating and recourse to facts. I cannot imagine how we can set the NWC on collision course with the PDP Governors and how I intended to settle scores with staff of the National Secretariat over disagreement in the past. All these are unfounded allegations and were figments of your mere imaginations.
“I will like to remind you that my appointment as the Chief of Staff to the National Chairman was strictly at his pleasure. I do not think there is any guiding regulations or law that prohibits the National Chairman in doing so. I am certain that this is applicable to other appointments made by his excellency, the National Chairman. I also wondered why you erroneously declared my Office as nonexistent. For what reasons and on whose authority”.
As the PDP chieftains fought in public the President intervened with a meeting with the NWC members. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a spin told newsmen that there was no serious issue describing the face off as administrative errors.
But barely twenty-four hours after the press briefing, Tukur moved to axe Fari. In a letter date June 12, 2012, he wrote: “I write to refer to the spate of exchange of correspondences which is now in the public domain, between your good self and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, National Secretary of our great Party, the PDP.
“With due consideration for the measures required to reposition our Party, and the need for a cohesive NWC to drive our programmes of reconciliation, reform and rebuilding, it is now quite obvious to me that you and the National Secretary of the Party cannot work together harmoniously. It has therefore become an urgent imperative to request that you step aside and disengage forthwith from discharging and function(s) on my behalf or for the party.
“By this letter, you are requested to kindly return all Party’s records, files and other properties in your possession to me.
‘’I wish however, to express my profound appreciation to you for the services you rendered to me before and after my election as the National Chairman of PDP.”
It was the second time that Fari would be sacked from the administrative hierarchy of the PDP. The second national chairman of the party, Chief Barnabas Gemade had sacked him from office as the pioneer Administrative Secretary of the party.