Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) are set to clash over moves to replace the court ousted National Secretary of the party, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and the PDP South-west zonal executive committee.
The South-west zonal executive committee, headed by Mr. Segun Oni, was sacked following a court judgment that invalidated the zonal congress that produced the members along with Oyinlola as the geopolitical zone’s candidate for the PDP national secretary post at the last national convention of the ruling party.
In a bid to resolve the crisis in the South-west chapter of the party, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF), Chief Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, set up a committee to mediate in the crisis.
The committee, chaired by Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, has as members Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; Benue State Governor, Mr. Gabriel Suswam; and the Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi.
Twice, the committee had tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to resolve the matter, resulting in its directive that South-west stakeholders in the party should go and resolve their crisis and report back to the committee.
The PDP-GF since then is yet to meet to receive the report of the Shema committee.
However, while the forum is awaiting the report of the Shema committee, the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, said last week that the party would soon meet to conduct congresses in the South-west with a view to electing a new national secretary.
But speaking on the crisis in the South-west chapter of the party, a governor from the North-central who does not want to be quoted, said: “It is not fair for the NWC to be planning a congress for the South-west to elect officers for the zone when the matter is still under review by the PDP governors.
“A committee was set up and chaired by Governor Ibrahim Shema with other governors as members, but that committee is yet to submit its report and the NWC is rushing to conduct a congress. To some of us, we think that there should a political solution to all these crises, so that it will not look like it is planned to shut the South-west out of the PDP.”
Oyinlola, in a letter to the Shema committee, had accused Tukur of deliberately plotting his exit with the hurried implementation of the January 14 court judgment that ordered his removal from office.
According to him, “The truth is that majority of our members in the South-west are disenchanted as a result of many issues. And the manner in which we resolve issues confronting us today will largely determine the future of our political activities as a united and cohesive mass movement that is destined to rule Nigeria for a longer period."