By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—MOVED by the lingering political crisis in some state chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party, the National leadership of the party has ordered a fresh congresses in six states of Anambra, Bayelsa, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, and Oyo, commencing today with ward congresses.
Vanguard gathered that the decision was taken at the end of the meeting of the National Working Committee, NWC, held on Monday with the National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, presiding.
According to the PDP National Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who spoke on the development, Delta State is also included as one of the states where fresh congresses must take place, but the party decided it will not conduct any congress there because of the pending court order served on the party.
He also said until the party disposed off the suit, it would amount to contempt of court if it went ahead to conduct the congress in Delta State.
Excludes Delta State over pending law suit
Baraje, who noted that the conduct of congresses will take place in the affected states, excluding Delta State until the suit was disposed, stressed that the conduct of these congresses was in compliance with Section 85(1) and (2) of the Electoral Act and INEC’s observations that the former congresses in the affected states were not acceptable and therefore demanded for fresh congresses.
Other NWC members present at the meeting were the Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Haliru Bello, National Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, Deputy National Secretary, Dr. Musa Babayo and National Legal Adviser, Olusola Oke.
According to Baraje, “our action is in compliance with the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, but there is nothing the party could do at the moment as regards Delta State.
“There is a court order and as a law abiding institution, PDP as a party in Nigeria has to obey the court order.”
Also speaking in line with the National Secretary, the Party’s National Legal Adviser, Chief Olusola Oke while commenting on the present political scenario, noted that the party had been served the court order, adding that PDP will obey the court order until the order was disposed off.
According to a suit filed before a Federal High Court with file number;FHC/ABJ/CS/725/2010 presided over by Justice Abdu-Kafar Arati, the court directed that PDP and INEC be restrained from dissolving and conducting any fresh congress in the state until the suit before it is disposed off.
The court order further directed that the state executive committee should not be restrained from participating in the processes or taking actions and decisions in respect of the forthcoming 2011 general election pending the determination of the motion on notice before it.
Following the reaction of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC of the need for PDP to conduct fresh primaries in some state, the PDP in letter to INEC from the office of the National Secretary and dated, September 30 2010, said ward congresses will take place in the following states; Oyo, Enugu , Imo, Kogi, Plateau and Anambra state today being October 21, while local Government Council Congresses will take place on Saturday October 23 and the State congresses to hold on Monday October 25.
According to him, “In view of this, fresh congresses will only take place in Anambra, Bayelsa, Enugu , Imo, Kogi and Oyo state.