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April 21, 2024

PDP: Damagum’s survival not defeat or victory for Atiku, Wike – Abba Moro

PDP: Damagum’s survival not defeat or victory for Atiku, Wike – Abba Moro

Abba Moro

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

The lawmaker representing Benue South Senatorial District and Senate Minority Leader, Comrade Abba Moro has said that the retention of Amb. Umar Damagum as the acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by the National Executive Committee, NEC of the party was not a victory or defeat for anybody but a decision that was unanimously agreed on by the relevant stakeholders for the party to forge ahead.

Senator Moro’s comment came against the backdrop of rumors in some quarters that Amb. Damagum’s survival, against the call for his resignation, was a victory for the former governor of River State and Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, and a defeat for the PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Alh. Atiku Abubakar.

In a statement issued weekend in Makurdi by his Media Adviser, Emmanuel John, the Senate Minority Leader, cautioned against tying the activities and inactivities of PDP to Atiku and Wike.

According to him, “we cannot translate the entirety of PDP’s activities and inactivities to Wike and Atiku, out of millions of other members of the party across the country who also have their own thinking and reasons for being in the party. The whole issue was not about Wike or Atiku, or victory for Wike or defeat for Atiku, the issue was existential.

“We came together and reasoned together, that in the present scenario where Nigerians are hurting due to the maladministration of the APC government, what do we do to provide an alternative platform for Nigerians to look up to? In those circumstances, we decided to thread with caution so that we do not throw away the baby with the bath water.”

On why the National Caucus of the party allowed Mr. Wike into its meeting, Senator Moro said the Minister couldn’t have been stopped from the meeting since he had not been found guilty of any crime and penalized by the party. He said if the party’s disciplinary committee, headed by Senator Bukola Saraki found Wike guilty of the alleged antiparty activities and had him sanctioned, he would stop attending the party’s meetings.

He said: “The constitution of our party is very clear on who is a member and who is not a member of the caucus of the party and I dare say, at this point, that as a former governor who is still a member of the party, Nyesom Wike is a member of the National Caucus of the party.

“If actions had been taken immediately after the elections and people who are perceived to have acted contrary to the desires and yearnings of the PDP have been sanctioned, then we can say that having been expelled or suspended, you can not be here, but as it is, non of such actions have been taken, so you cannot just ban people from attending meetings.

“One of the fallouts of the last NEC meeting was the resuscitation of the Reconciliation and Disciplinary Committee, which is saddled with the responsibility of identifying the area of antiparty and the dramatis personae involved in the activities and recommending appropriate punitive measures against those who have been found guilty to serve as deterrent to future occurrence.

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t been done, and so to that extent, as a voluntary organization, if the members involved insist they are still members of the party until actions are taken by the Reconciliation and Disciplinary Committee we want to take that they are still members of the party,” he added.

On expectations from the next NEC meeting scheduled for August 15, as it concerns the position of the National Chairman of the party, Senator Moro said, “the PDP constitution has a well spelled-out succession plan. Section 35 (3C) states that where a vacancy exists, someone from the zone of the immediate past occupier of the office shall be appointed by NEC to complete the tenure of the person who vacated the office.

“For the position of the National Chairman, we will look at the succession plan of the party, in accordance with the constitutional provisions, and produce a replacement for Senator Iyorchia Ayu from North Central now that he has heeded our plea and withdrawn his case from the court. We will go to the next NEC meeting with open minds and invoke the relevant sections of the constitution to produce his replacement.”

While appealing to PDP members and stakeholders of the party to have some level of circumspection and restraints in their actions and utterances so as not to further polarize the party, Senator Moro assured that everything humanly possible would be done to reposition the party for victory in order to rescue Nigerians from the grinding poverty and sufferings that the ruling APC had plunged the country into.