The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deepened as the National Working Committee (NWC), Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman Senator Walid Jibrin and Secretary and former Senate President Senator Adolphus Wabara openly before journalists disagreed over the contending House of Representatives minority leadership.
PDP had announced Hon. Kingsley Chinda as minority leader; Hon. Chukwuka Onyema as deputy minority leader; Hon. Yakubu Barde as minority whip; and Hon. Muraina Ajibola as deputy minority whip for house minority leadership.
But the Speaker Rt. Hon Gbajabimila and other house members opted for Hon Ndudi Elumelu as minority leader, Toby Okechukwu from Enugu, deputy minority leader; Gideon Gwami, minority whip and Adesegun Adekoya as deputy minority whip.
Consequently, PDP suspended Elumelu and others after they failed to attend a meeting with the NWC.
Though, Elumelu recounted that he had sent a letter to the party explaining that he, and other suspended members couldn’t attend because they were already out of town.
In an attempt to end the internal rancor, PDP BoT within seven days ultimatum set up a committee in July, which has former Senate President, Iyorchia Ayu as Chairman; a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara; a former Senate President, David Mark; a former deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, and a former Senate President, Chief Adolphus Wabara.
As the committee failed to submit its report and with several allegations that the committee’s report was drafted and submitted to favour some persons, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who is a known supporter of the Hon. Chinda’s caucus said, “the Committee set up by the PDP on the illegal emergence of Ndudi Elumelu is the most corrupt committee ever set up by the party.”
Reacting to Wike’s allegation, BoT Chairman who hinted that his committee would consider the report this Thursday said, “He who alleges must show evidence of corruption. It is not enough to accuse anyone of any wrongdoing.”
PDP BoT members arrived Wadata Plaza, headquarters of the party in Abuja, Thursday and went into a closed-door session around 11am to consider the Ayu committee’s report.
While the meeting was on, PDP NWC in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, hurriedly declared that it has not received any report, saying Elumelu and others remain suspended.
After six hours meeting behind close doors, Chairman BoT Senator Jibrin, flanked by BoT Secretary, Senator Wabara, addressed journalists at the party headquarters.
The Chairman said, “Concerning the internal matter of the party, we are not going to say anything about it until we finalized. We shall continue to give our support to the party on its decision concerning the 2019 presidential election.
“We met with the Presidential candidate and other leaders of the party to discuss issues of peace and unity in PDP. All PDP leaders and members need to be united and peaceful. We should avoid all internal rancor, it is only when we come together we can think of next steps for our party. We call on all our members to go about their business peacefully,”he said.
When asked about the report of the Ayu’s committee, BoT Chairman said, “All those issues are internal party issues, we are handling it in the best way. And very soon, you won’t hear of issues like that.”
In total dissatisfaction with the response of the BoT Chairman, Secretary, Senator Wabara interjected, “Concerning the Ayu’s committee, we at our meeting today considered and handed over the report and the recommendations of the committee to the National Working Committee (NWC).”
In anger and total disagreement, the BoT Chairman interrupted the Secretary and said, “We have not submitted any report to the National Working Committee. The process is still on and not yet concluded. We have not submitted any report.”
As they were walking out, Wabara said, “What is the meaning of all these”, then Jibrin respond, “why would you say that, I’m the chairman.”