River political crisis: PDP, Lamido trade words
The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has reassured all members and supporters that its interventions in Rivers State are yielding the desired results.
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba on Thursday declared that the party remains united and firmly on the ground in Rivers State and other parts of the country despite the challenges.
The PUNCH reports that the crisis rocking the Rivers State House of Assembly took a new turn on December 11, 2023, with 27 members defecting from the ruling PDP in the state to the All Progressives Congress.
A few days after their defection, two of the lawmakers quietly returned to the PDP.
On Monday, at the instance of President Bola Tinubu, Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, signed an eight-point peace agreement with his predecessor and Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, to end the political crisis in the state.
Reacting to this, former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido in a statement on Wednesday berated the PDP NWC’s inability to broker peace in Rivers State.
Lamido stated, “Pray, do we still have the National Working Committee of the PDP? Or better still, do we have a party called PDP?
“If we have one of the two, how come their total absence in the saga playing out in the PDP Family in Rivers? Is the docility of the leadership of the PDP so comatose to the extent that President Tinubu of APC, our sworn rival and opponent is now the grand patriarch of the PDP?
“It is inconceivable that a political party will simply sit back and allow its fortunes taken over by a rapacious scavenger, the APC. What President Tinubu did in the so-called peace meeting is not brokering peace in Rivers State, but using his office to enhance the fortunes of his political party.”
Reacting, Ologunagba insisted that the NWC under the leadership of the Acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum remains unwavering in providing steady and effective leadership that ensures the stability, growth, and effective management of interests despite the APC move to allegedly decimate opposition parties.
The statement read in part: “The NWC, however, expresses serious displeasure over incautious conduct, activities and unguarded utterances by certain leaders who are out to disparage critical Organs of the Party, inflame passions, cause division among members and bring our dear Party to public disrepute for their selfish reasons.
“Of particular reference is the deleterious public statement credited to the former Governor of Jigawa State, His Excellency Sule Lamido, which was made apparently with the intent to inject bad blood and drag down our party for self-seeking motives.
“The NWC has received very disturbing reports that such unscrupulous individuals are recruited by the One-Party-State seeking APC administration to undermine the cohesion that exists within the PDP which will enable it to effectively perform its opposition role for the sustenance of Democracy and the wellbeing of Nigerians.
”It is rather unfortunate that such inexcusable conducts, comments, utterances, and betrayals are coming from individuals who have benefitted immensely from the PDP but who have the record and notoriety of brazenly betraying the Party in various elections and at the slightest opportunity for their selfish interests.”
PDP national publicity scribe noted that some of the challenges that plagued the party in the recent past and those confronting it at the moment are traceable to the comments, utterances, and actions of these unpatriotic individuals.
Ologunagba, who described the comment as inconsistent, said the minimum the PDP expected from Lamido and others was to show appreciation and commitment to the party and the nation by engaging in constructive suggestions that will be in the interest of the Party and Nigerians.
He urged party stakeholders not to engage in actions that undermine the genuine efforts being made by the leadership of the Party which may not be in line with their selfish political venture and expectations.
It continued “These leaders must understand and recognise that their actions and utterances are not only inimical to the wellbeing of Nigerians but also in gross violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP, especially Sections 57, 58 and 59 of the Constitution of the PDP.
“The NWC therefore in very strong terms cautions such leaders to be mindful of their actions, utterances, and conducts which are contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP.
“The NWC, in its responsibility to protect the integrity of our party from such further unwarranted aggressions, will henceforth not hesitate to take appropriate disciplinary or punitive action against such individuals in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP.
“The NWC charges all members to remain united, alert, and focused in resisting the antics of the APC and its agents to destabilise our Party and impose a One-Party system on the nation.”