PDP Convention: How consensus failed in S-West, S-East, N-East, S-South

…As Okowa promises integrity-based accreditation exercise

By Dirisu Yakubu

An Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt will on Thursday,  decide the fate of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, slated for October 30th and 31st, 2021.

This is even as the appellate court has fixed Thursday, 28th of October, 2021 to hear and rule on motion for Interim order of injunction brought by former suspended national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus.

Secondus through his counsel, Tayo Oyetibo is asking the court to suspend the convention, arguing that the manner of his client’s removal from office is a violation of the party’s constitution.

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When the matter was mentioned in court, six other members of the PDP drew the attention of the court on their application for joinder which was not opposed by counsel to Secondus.

Their request was subsequently granted by the three man panel of the appeal court.

The defense counsel including those who joined in the suit however, opposed to the motion for Interim injunction by Secondus’ counsel seeking to stop the PDP forthcoming national convention and asked for time to respond to the process.

The three-man appeal panel led by Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani after listening to the argument from the parties, ordered counsel to the plaintiff to “serve the process to the defendant’s counsel within twenty-four hours while respondents counsels should similarly respond within twenty-four hours.

He adjourned the matter to Thursday, 28th of October, for hearing and possible ruling on the motion.

Speaking to newsmen outside courtroom, counsel to Secondus, Tayo Oyetibo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria explained that, “we were in court to get an order but saw people who said they want to join in the matter.

“We had to trash that out and the court allowed them. So, we will come back on Thursday for the main reason we came to court.

“We hope that the court will take a decision about the national convention of the PDP on that day,” he said. 

Addressing journalists earlier at the party’s secretariat, chairman of the accreditation sub-committee and governor of Delta state, Ifeanyi Okowa said the committee would do everything possible to get the accreditation process right. 

“We are hoping that the committees we will be collaborating with would have also put everything in place- I mean the security committee, transport committee, accommodation and venue committees.

“Having put all these things in place, we will now be reassured that the rest of the work is what we have to do, to ensure an accreditation process that is integrity based. I used the word integrity because it is very important to us and we don’t want to get into the convention venue to see persons coming in to vote, who ordinarily shouldn’t have been in the position to cast their votes. That will definitely discredit us,” he said.

Meanwhile, secretary to the convention planning committee and governor of Oyo state, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has described party members who took the PDP to court to stop the convention as misguided, saying the convention will go on as planned. 

In a statement he personally signed, Makinde said party members have nothing to fear concerning the convention.

“The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Convention Organizing Committee, NCOC, is using this medium to alert members of our party and members of the public that we are aware of the actions of a few misguided PDP members who have approached the High Court in Kaduna in an attempt to prevent our great party, the PDP from holding its national convention on October 30 and 31, 2021.

“Notwithstanding their right to approach a court of competent jurisdiction to air their grievances, we maintain that the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the PDP has acted in good faith in fixing our convention for October 30 and 31. It is not meant to witch-hunt anyone or to truncate anyone’s mandate.

“Therefore, we call on all members and supporters of the PDP to ignore this distraction as we prepare to host a convention that will send a clear signal to Nigerians that the PDP is the only party that has the will and the might to rescue Nigeria from the catastrophe that we have been enduring for the past six years.

“We are aware that a clearly united PDP is a threat to the forces that seek to divide us. Therefore, we urge our teeming supporters nationwide to keep the faith as we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that we will not be distracted from our goal.

“We are determined to strengthen our party structure and put in the work needed to unify and restore our great nation back on the path to economic prosperity and greatness.

We therefore urge all party faithful to continue to rally support as we prepare to host our national convention on October 30th and 31st, 2021.

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