By Henry Umoru
ABUJA â€” THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has disowned the legal action of its member, Dr. Andy Uba, at the Appeal Court for it to sack Mr. Peter Obi as Governor of Anambra State and declare himself (Uba) governor.
However, ahead of the 2011 general elections, President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua said yesterday that the biggest problem of the PDP is internal squabbles which, according to him, must be addressed urgently.
According to the President, there was the urgent need for all stakeholders in the PDP to work in harmony with the National Assembly to conclude the electoral reform aimed at ensuring that the forthcoming elections in the country were internationally accepted.
Meanwhile, the partyâ€™s National Executive Committee, NEC, has passed a vote of confidence on the National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor and other members of the National Working Committee, NWC, for what it describes as their diligent discharge of their duties.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, answering reportersâ€™ questions on the partyâ€™s position on Andy Uba, noted that as far as the party was concerned, Uba is on his own against the backdrop that the Supreme Court had nullified the election which brought him in as governor, adding that it was for that reason that the party was conducting primaries to field a new candidate for the party in the February 6, 2010 election.
According to Yarâ€™Adua, â€œElections are coming, we should all work hard with National Assembly to make sure that the electoral reform processes are concluded so that elections will have less bickering and we would conduct the elections to be accepted nationally and internationallyâ€, he said.
Declaring open the 48th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the PDP yesterday in Abuja, Yarâ€™Adua who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, warned that all hands must be on deck to ensure that elections across the country in the year 2011 were simple and hitch-free
According to Jonathan, â€œthe President asked me to convey his personal greetings to all members of our party and all you senior members of our party, on the various roles you have been playing to stabilize the party.
â€œHe specifically requested that I should impress on our leadership, national and state levels to know that as we are getting close to 2011 we will be expecting some problems within the party because of political interests.
â€œAnd he asked me to request that the leaders at the national and state levels, the governors, the national leaders in all the states should work together because from the previous elections we contested we have seen that the greatest problem we have is within the party. We believe that if we work together as a party, in most of the states of the Federation, elections would be very, very simple.
â€œMost of the challenges we have is selecting candidates and that led to a lot of people not being happy, internal protest, anti-party activities. He pleaded with us to see how we can resolve all our crises before we get close to the next round of elections.
â€œHe has assured you that we have a challenge as a nation in term of security but that the government is working on it. We believe we would be on top very soonâ€.
In his opening remarks, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, called on the leadership of the country and members of the party to eradicate poverty which he says is ravaging the land, just as he urged members of the party to accommodate one another to remove the impression that the greater opposition to PDP is internal opposition.
According to Ogbulafor, â€œLet us prove once again to our opponents that we have the nerve and the will to lead our country to greater heights.â€
Confidence vote passed on Ogbulafor
The vote of confidence passed on Ogbulafor has put to rest speculations of whether Ogbulafor and some of his NWC members would return to their various offices as national leaders of the party at the end of yesterdayâ€™s 48th NEC meeting.
â€œNEC passed a vote of confidence on the National Chairman, Prince Vincent Eze Ogbulafor and the National Working Committee and commended the NWC for diligently discharging their duties and steering the Party to greater heightsâ€, the party said.
Addressing newsmen yesterday at the end of the NEC meeting, the National Publicity secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali stressed that NEC ratified NWCâ€™s decisionÂ on the State Executives of Zamfara, Bauchi, Kano and the appointment of Caretaker Committees in some States, adding that it also ratified the readmission of some returning members of the PDP from the South East geo-political zone.
Alkali who noted that NECÂ urged the NWC to take the issue of party discipline very seriously where erring members could be brought to book, said it also approved decisions taken so far on Anambra State Governorship Primaries as well as the need to appoint External Auditors to audit the party annually in line with PDPâ€™s constitution.
Present at yesterdayâ€™s NEC meeting were Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator David Mark, Dimeji Bankole, Speaker House of Representatives;Â Senator Ike Ekweremandu, Chief Tony Anenih, Chief Barnabas Gemade, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Chief Solomon Lar, Chief Bode George, Senator Ken Nnamani, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Hassan Adamu.
Others are governors of Delta, Enugu, Kogi, Benue, Bauchi, Ebonyi, Ondo, Ogun, Adamawa, Plateau, Kwara, Ekiti and Deputy Governor of Imo, among others.