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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

PDP Retains Damagum as Chairman Until August



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Ambassador Umar Damagum is to remain at Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) till August, the National Executive Committee (NEC) said yesterday.

The decision-making organ also urged party leaders, including members of the National Working Committee (NWC), Board of Trustees (BoT), Governors’ Forum and other party officers to embrace the challenge of fostering peace and unity in the party.

The National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba,  who disclosed the extention of Damagum’s interim leadership till August to reporters in Abuja after the NEC meeting said the party has decided to focus on reconciliation and peace building.

He said: “Our party emphasises the need for reconciliation and stability at this time. Therefore, the issue of the National Chairman, Damagum, has been deferred to the next NEC meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for August 15, 2014.”

There was tension at the PDP National Secretariat when the NEC meeting commenced. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bennett Igwe, and officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) cordoned off the area and barred rival groups of hired protesters from causing trouble.

Part of the 15-point communique by NEC reads:

“NEC commends all the Organs of the Party for their collective resilience, steadfastness and commitment towards the unity, stability and sustenance of our great Party despite dauting challenges

“NEC also commends members of the PDP, with particular reference to the youths and women for their courage in resisting the antics of the divisive and anti-people All Progressives Congress (APC), especially, its desperation to emasculate the opposition and foist a one-Party State on our nation.

“NEC charges all Organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP to close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people.

“Consequently, NEC received and approved the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country.

“NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the Party.

“Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

“NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.

“NEC charges all Party members to continue to work together for the success of the PDP for the benefit of Nigerians and sustenance of Democracy in our country.”

Speaking with reporters, Damagun said he was unperturbed by efforts by some party chieftains to unseat him.

He said: “This was not a matter of life and death. I am still an elected member of this NEC. Even, if I revert to the position of deputy national chairman, I’m still a member of PDP NWC. So, the issue of worrying over surviving or not does not exist.”

The chairman of PDP Governors ‘ Forum, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed told reporters tbat the party has overcome a tendency towards an implosion, hailing party leaders for averting a doom..

He said: “You can see there was no dissension and rancour. it was planned that the party will have an implosion, but PDP is more than that. We have grown beyond all these idiosyncrasies. This party is a united party that is guided by experience and constitutionality.

“There were a lot of permutations and mischievous thinking out there, but we looked at all the issues and we worked along our guidelines and constitution. There is no problem or dissension and problem among members.”

Mohammed said calls for leadership change and the interest of the Northcentral Zone would be addressed at the proposed NEC meeting in August or September.

He added: “In the next two months, we will see a lot of activities. Leadership is a responsibility. We said that  in September, we would have come out from our congresses; we will look at the issue of leadership and look at the issue of our constitution and we will do it with no rancour.”

PDP must rebrand, says Wabara

PDP BoT Chairman Senator Adolphus Wabara has said the party must rebrand to survive.

He spoke with reporters after the77th meeting of the party organ.

He said: “Together, we have the power to surmount any obstacle, overcome any challenge, and realize our collective vision of a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive party ready to take overpower at the center in 2027.”

At the meeting held at the PDP National Secretariat of the party were BoT Secretary Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Damagum, National Secretary Sen. Samuel Anyanwu, Senate Minority Leader, Abba Moro, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives,  Kingsley Ogundu Chinda, Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Bala Mohammed, and former and incumbent governors.

Wabara lamented that calls for leadership change have polarised the party.

He also observed that “the contentious issue surrounding the office of the National Secretary has regrettably sown seeds of discord.”

Wabara, a former Senate President,  said:”The ambiguity surrounding this position has led to confusion and internal strife, hindering our collective efforts to pursue our noble objectives. “The solutions to these two challenges are clearly imbibed in our party’s constitution but deliberate litigations have made the application of these constitutional solutions impossible.

“It is incumbent upon us to resolve this matter with utmost urgency, guided by transparency, fairness, and the best interests of our party and its members.”

Wabara emphasized that the ongoing changes offer the party new and genuine hope for repositioning and revitalising itself towards a brighter future.

“As we stand on the cusp of a new era, marked by the impending expiration of the Ward and LGA executive structures of our party across several states, we are presented with a pivotal opportunity to reinvigorate and reposition our party for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“The forthcoming congresses at various levels serve as a beacon of hope, offering us a platform to reaffirm our commitment to democratic ideals, grassroots participation, and inclusive governance; let us seize this moment to embrace change, foster unity, and chart a course towards a brighter and more prosperous future for our party and our nation.

“In conclusion, let us approach the deliberations of this meeting with a spirit of fellowship, mutual respect, and unwavering dedication to the ideals and principles that bind us together as members of the great People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Damagun, who addressed BoT members, said PDP “is facing internal strife, fueled by inactions disagreements.”

He pleaded that the actions of a few should not be allowed to overshadow the collective vision that unites the party.

Damagum urged the BOT to address the crises that have arisen from the recent challenges surrounding the leadership and actions of the National Working Committee (NWC).

He said: “Let us heed the call of history and rise above the challenges that confront us today; together, we can overcome the obstacles that lie in our path and emerge stronger and more united than ever before.”

Credit: The Nation