By Henry Umoru
ABUJAâ€”THE National Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said yesterday that no amount of blackmail, intimidation from any group, especially the PDP Reform Forum would make it derail from working in line with the partyâ€™s constitution.
According to the party, it will not in any way have sleepless nights because of the forum in running an open and transparent party where the will of its members would prevail â€œrather than the dictates of a few.
â€œWe shall continue to uphold the rule of law and promote the ideals of internal democracy, respect for individual liberties and consideration for human dignity in all our actions.”
Expresses disappointment over Nnamani
The PDP which however, expressed concern at the involvement of former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani in the forum, stressed that before now, he used to have a reputation of a defender of democratic ideals.
â€œIf statesmen like him who should inspire younger generations by upholding laid down rules choose to desecrate the institutions they belong to, then we have a long way to go in consolidating our democracyâ€, the PDP said.
In a statement yesterday by the its National Secretary, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the PDP said, â€œwe wish to remind our party members and indeed all Nigerians that this ignoble campaign to discredit the current leadership of the party has its roots in our refusal to make ourselves rubber stamps for a few power hungry individuals who wish to turn our great party into their personal estate.
â€œThe so-called â€œcharter of reformâ€ as presented by them are issues that have already being addressed and have taken root since the current National Working Committee came into office in 2008. â€œOur attention has been drawn to paid advertorials in several newspapers by the so-called PDP Reform Forum in which they stated what they called â€œCharter of Reform for the Peoples Democratic Party.
â€œThe publication is yet another evidence of acts of indiscipline and disregard for rule of law and judicial process in high places. It further establishes the level of desperation by those who do not wish for a stable, democratic and well administered Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
â€œMuch as we do not want to join issues with lawless organisations, it has become pertinent to set the records straight without necessarily impugning on a matter already before a court of law. Apart from the publications being laden with self serving pontifications and outright falsehoods, the signatories have also attempted to mask their evil agenda with snippets of populism to deceive unsuspecting party members.
â€œThe Dr. Bello Mohammed Committee recommendations based on the Ekwueme report has led to the current expansion of the democratic space where the party now operates on laid down rules rather than the whims and caprices of certain individuals.
â€œIt is an irony that members of the so called PDP Reform Forum never submitted a single memorandum when debates on the Alex Ekwueme Report were going on as a prelude to the Special National Convention in 2009 that amended the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party. â€œThey have also remained silent in the face of current efforts to amend the Party Constitution to ensure greater representation of party members
Accuses the Reform Forum of mudslinging
â€œIt is also very curious to note the contradictions in the statements by this group in this demeaning exercise of mudslinging against the leadership of the party.
â€œAt their meeting, one of their members, Alhaji Umaru Dahiru carelessly lied that N4 billion was left in the coffers of the party for the Prince Vincent Ogbulafor-led NWC. Now that the detailed accounts of the party as at the time of take over have been published, they have come up with another fallacy, accusing the party of mismanaging N500 million meant for the Anambra State Gubernatorial primaries.
â€œThis is yet another futile attempt to unfairly cast aspersions on the NWC to justify their ultimate goal of causing confusion, contempt, hatred and breaking the cohesion within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP))
â€œAll Nigerians are indeed aware of the great efforts the NWC made in ensuring that a Governorship Candidate emerged for the Party in Anambra State. Several Committees of eminent Nigerians were set-up to see the process through.
Sadly, some of these elements now crying wolf deliberately sabotaged and undermined the process of ensuring the emergence of a candidate for the party. The Anambra saga remains one of the most difficult in terms of logistics till date.
“We also wish to decry the attitude of ordinarily respectable senior citizens of our country who have chosen the path of destruction to air their views rather than take advantage of the new era of debate provided by the current NWC. â€œThe highest level of anarchy in any organization is for members to undermine their own very Constitution and Code of Conduct.
The so called PDP Reform group has demonstrated through their publications and activities that they lack the discipline and team ethic to belong to an organized association.
â€œAs a law abiding organization, the NWC has provided the so called PDP reform forum every opportunity to appear before it and explain their roles in this project of undermining the party. They have chosen to arrogantly rebuff this invitation and have rather gone ahead to hold illegal meetings.
â€œThe NWC therefore has no choice but to invoke provisions of Article 21.4 and 21 (l) of the Party constitution and suspend them and refer their case to the disciplinary committeeâ€.