Baraje and Tukur
By HENRY UMORU, Abuja
NATIONAL Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has held out an olive branch to the seven aggrieved governors and members of the Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje led new PDP, just as he pleaded that they put all burning issues behind them.
In a statement signed yesterday by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP urged all aggrieved members who broke away to form a new PDP during the last Special Convention to as matter of urgency drop personal interest and join Tukur to achieve the set goals of having a virile and strong PDP.
Metuh said, “Following the upholding of the leadership of the PDP under the National Chairmanship of Alhaji (Dr.) Bamanga Tukur by INEC, the party has extended an olive branch to the Abubakar Baraje-led breakaway group urging them to return to the fold.”
The PDP spokesperson who noted the position of INEC has laid to rest all contentions regarding the leadership of the party, said, “The position of INEC in affirming the leadership of the PDP under the National Chairmanship of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and rejecting the demand for recognition by our aggrieved brothers has indeed laid to rest all contentions regarding the authentic leadership of our great party.
“However, we wish to state categorically that this is not a time for us to gloat or preen ourselves over victory. We must use this window of opportunity to engender true reconciliations, put all the issues behind us and move ahead as one big united family that we are.
“In this light, we call on all our aggrieved brothers to relegate all personal interests and return to the fold so that we can ward off all external aggressions and forge a common formidable political front. We wish to assure that the PDP as the only true national party is large enough to accommodate all interests and persons as we remain loyal to the provisions of our constitution as a party.
“We must at this time close ranks and rally around President Goodluck Jonathan and our leaders at all levels so that collectively, we will ensure that our great party delivered on its mandate and promises as enshrined in the PDP manifesto, the ideals of our founding fathers and the Transformation Agenda of the PDP-led government for the overall good of our people.
“The challenges of the last few months, rather than detract, have proven that the PDP remains the pre-eminent party that will continue to win elections at all levels in the country.”
The statement urged all party leaders, elders and indeed all members of the PDP across the board to continue to support President Goodluck Jonathan and his Transformation Agenda.
It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC through its Acting Secretary, U.F Usman in a letter to the Baraje led PDP rejected the group, insisting that Bamanga Tukur’s National Working Committee, NWC was the authentic one.
Also in the Baraje group are former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, aggrieved Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Aliyu Babangida of Niger, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto state, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers; Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano; and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa
The INEC’s letter to Baraje’s faction with the title “ Notification of Change in the change of leadership of PDP and request for formal recognition”, read , “The Commission acknowledges the receipt of your letter dated September 1 and 23 2013 respectively wherein you requested the commission’s recognition of the Abubakar Baraje faction of the newly elected National Working Committee.
“You will recall the commission monitored the national convention and the special national convention of the PDP held on March 12, 2012 and August 31, 2013 respectively which took place at the Eagle SquareAbuja, after notices to the commission. A National Working Committee was elected at the two conventions wherein Alhaji Bamanga Tukur emerged as the national chairman.
“The commission will not withdraw recognition from the leadership of the PDP elected at the election duly monitored by the commission.
“Please be guided, INEC said in the letter addressed to Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Oyi River Crescent , Off IBB Boulevard, Maitama Abuja.”
No cause for alarm over Lagos court ruling — new PDP
Meantime, the Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has noted the ruling by a Lagos High Court, presided over by Justice Oludotun Adefope-Okojie, who on October 10, 2013, threw out the suit instituted against what it describes as “the illegal party regime of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and his National Working Committee (NWC)”.
The faction in a statement by its factional Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze assured their teeming members and Nigerians in general that “there is no cause to worry”.
The faction noted that the ruling has nothing to do with the merit of the case but the place of filing, adding that it shall hasten to re-file the suit, in Abuja, given what it describes as “the merit of our case”.
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