BY HENRY UMORU
ABUJA—THE Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday boasted that the court will force the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise the group as the authentic PDP and not the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee, NWC, just as it gave the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed 48 hours to reopen the sealed Adamawa State Governor’s lodge and apologise to the people of the state.

The group also described the disciplinary committee headed by Second Republic Minister of Transport, Alhaji Umaru Dikko as a set up by the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to witch-hunt members of the Baraje-led new PDP.

It argued that setting up such a committee at the time President Goodluck Jonathan was holding meetings with aggrieved members to find lasting peace, was an indication that Tukur was working at cross purposes with the President.

Kawu Baraje
Kawu Baraje

In a statement signed by the Baraje-led PDP National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukuemeka Eze, the group said, “On the turning down of our letter for recognition by INEC, we are expectedly disappointed but we thank God that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Chapter 1V Section 40 recognizes our right to associate amongst ourselves.

To say the least, this decision by INEC to recognize Tukur’s faction is unfortunate because INEC is aware of the flawed nature of the last convention where some of the aides of President Jonathan who are not our party’s delegates were allowed to vote. This alone nullifies the outcome of that illegal convention. We need not to say much on this as we are very convinced that the court will give us fair hearing and by that time, INEC will be compelled to recognize us accordingly.”

It will be recalled that INEC in a letter by its Acting Secretary, U.F Usman to the Baraje- led group, had rejected the Baraje faction, insisting that Bamanga Tukur’ NWC was the authentic one. The electoral body said that it would not withdraw the recognition it accorded the Bamanga Tukur-led NWC because as an electoral umpire, it witnessed the processes that led to his emergence as National Chairman as well as other members of NWC.

On the ultimatum to FCTA Minister, Bala Mohammed to reopen the sealed AdamawaState governor’s Lodge, the new PDP said, “The sealing off of the Adamawa Governor’s Lodge by the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, only demonstrates his lack of understanding about the status of a Governor’s Lodge. What the minister has brazenly done is to indirectly attack the people and Government of Adamawa State in his desperation to impress the PDP tin god, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. This unwarranted and rash action by Senator Mohammed can be equated with the recent attack against the Nigerian Embassy in Bissau by the Guinea-Bissau authorities, which sparked outrage and for which that country’s government swiftly apologised.”

“We advise the misguided minister to within 48 hours not only apologise to the people and Government of Adamawa State but also to unseal the Lodge, which serves as our temporary National Secretariat following the sealing of our National Secretariat by the police. The Government of Adamawa State has not committed any offence by allowing us to use the Lodge as contact office.

“Senator Mohammed is usurping powers that do not belong to him. His unjustifiable action is yet another evidence of impunity by some overzealous people in government intent on blackmailing President Goodluck Jonathan and portraying him as draconian and undemocratic President

“Such people must be stopped forthwith! We, therefore, appeal to Mr. President not only to call Senator Mohammed to order but also sanction him accordingly for portraying Jonathan’s government as lawless, evil and anti-people.”

“Finally, we urge our members and supporters neither to worry nor be demoralised by the rascality of the Tukur faction as we are ever ready to ensure that undemocratic elements will not go near the leadership of our party anymore. We are on course and by the grace of God we shall surely come out victorious for the greatness of our party and growth of democracy in Nigeria.

It will be recalled the crisis  rocking the PDP took a  new twist on Saturday with the seal off by the  FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed of the Adamawa State Guest House,  Maitama, Abuja.

The Adamawa Guest House, Number, 12, Gurara Street, Off Yedseram Street, Maitama, Abuja is managed by the Adamawa State government and it has since become the operational base of the Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of the PDP following the closure of the proposed office of the group located on Number 4, Oyi River Crescent, Maitama by heavily armed Policemen.

On the Dikko led Disciplinary Committee set up by Tukur, the new PDP Publicity Secretary said, “The Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is amused by the news of the setting up of a Disciplinary Committee by the faction of PDP led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. If, as reported in the media, the purpose of the said disciplinary committee led by Alhaji Umaru Dikko is to continue the witch-hunting of the progressive PDP members led by Alhaji Baraje, then there would be no need for further evidence that Tukur and his illegal National Working Committee (NWC) are indeed not ready for peace.

“By reviving the so called disciplinary committee at a time when the Party Leader, President Goodluck Jonathan, is busy holding peace meetings with the Baraje-led PDP shows that he is working at cross purposes with Mr. President. To call a spade a spade, it is tantamount to anti-party activities and exposes, exposes Tukur’s hypocrisy and vindicates our stand that he is an obstacle to peace in our great party.

“If indeed a disciplinary committee has been set up by Tukur, we make bold to say that he should be the first with his illegal NWC members to appear before it for usurping the office of the National Chairman of our party even when he is not legally a member of the party as he did not revalidate his membership of the party during the 2011 revalidation exercise.

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