by Stanley Azuakola
As things stand right now, the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, has the clear upper hand in the battle to take firm control in the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC).
It’s been tough for him since the current NEC was sworn in. Loyalists of the governors’ forum as well as those of President Olusegun Obasanjo within the NEC had been locked in a pseudo battle with Bamanga Tukur and a few other NEC members known to be loyal to President Jonathan.
Things began to turn around in January, when a court ordered that the PDP national secretary and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola vacates his office because he came in through an illegal congress. The deputy national secretary of the party, Solomon Onwe, has since replaced Oyinlola as acting national scribe of the party.
Now two other Obasanjo men have lost out the power game. They are the National Vice Chairman, South-West, Engineer Segun Oni and the National Auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha. With this development, all loyalists of former president and immediate past chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, have been removed from the national secretariat of the party.
On Friday, the PDP said in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, that the party will now conduct a fresh congress in the South-West to constitute a new executive due to the court pronouncement, which said that the zonal congress that produced Oni as national vice chairman and Mustapha as national auditor of the party from the zone as invalid.
According to the statement: “The PDP NWC premised its action to conduct a fresh zonal congress on its respect for the rule of law.
“The National Working Committee of the party met on 14th February 2013 and gave careful consideration to the issues and decided that, in line with respect to the rule of law, which is a cardinal principle of the present administration, the PDP, as a law abiding party, will immediately comply with the said judgment. This is all the more so that same has not been set aside or reversed by any superior court.
“The PDP also promised to organise a fresh South West Zonal congress which will have delegates elected at congresses conducted by or under the supervision of the Soremi-led Ogun State Executive. Also, it will accept the candidacy, for offices zoned to Ogun State, only the persons nominated at the said congresses for the said offices.”
With the recognition now given to the Dayo Soremi led executive which is loyal to Chief Buruji Kashamu as against the Dipo Odujirin faction which enjoys Obasanjo’s support, the PDP NEC is making no pretences about where it stands.
To replace the national auditor, Alhaji Fatai Adewola Adeyanju has been appointed; while Chief Ishola Filani, an aide to the chairman has been appointed caretaker zonal chairman pending elections during a new congress. Filani will head a 17-member caretaker committee.
Other members of the committee are:-
• Chief Pegba Otemolu – Zonal Secretary
• Adedeji Doherty – Organizing Secretary
• Rasak Adekonla Akanni – Auditor
• Bolaji Jeje – Youth Leader
• Orimolade Olanrewaju – Treasurer
• Olawunmi Oshinmoluke Yuba – Woman Leader
• Banji Obasanmi – Financial Secretary
• Barrister Shola Oludipe – Legal Adviser
• Lawal Waheed Olatunde – Publicity Secretary
• Emmanuel Oladejo – Ex-Officio
• Olalekan Abubakar – Ex-Officio
• Seun Adesanya – Ex-Officio
• Samiu Babatunde – Ex-Officio
• Prince Tope Ademiluyi – Ex-Officio
• Tunde Olowofoyeku – Ex-Officio
• Prince Omoniyi Alo – Ex-Officio