No faction in PDP, governors speak as Ayu withdraws suit

Ahead of its much-anticipated National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting coming up Thursday (today), the National Working Committee (NWC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a confidence vote on the party’s acting national chairman, Ambassador Umar Iliya Damagum.

This was contained in a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba.

The decision of the NWC came at the end of its 584th meeting held at the party’s national secretariat Tuesday.

The commendation, according to the NWC, came against the backdrop of efforts and commitment of the acting national chairman to stabilise and reposition the PDP as the main opposition party in Nigeria.

Deputy National Chairman (South) Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja presided over the motion for vote of confidence which was moved by the National Vice Chairman (South East), Chief Ali Odefa, and seconded by the national treasurer, Hon. Yayari Mohammed.

“The NWC assures of its commitment in ensuring the continued stability, growth and success of our great Party at all time,” the statement partly stated.

…No faction – Govs

Also, the PDP Governors Forum Wednesday declared that there was no faction in the party.

They urged the main opposition party to set in motion the machinery to conduct credible congresses in all the states where tenures of party officers have expired. 

The governors, led by its chairman and Bauchi state Governor Bala Mohammed, among other things, reviewed recent developments in the party and also reaffirmed the Rivers state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara’s commitment to work assiduously towards resolving all the issues in the state with a view to uniting all warring factions and stakeholders. 

The declaration was coming less than twenty-four hours to the much-anticipated PDP NEC meeting billed for today in Abuja.

It was contained in a three-point communique issued at the end of the five-hour meeting held at the Akwa Ibom state’s Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.

While Governors Seyi Makinde and Ademola Adeleke of Oyo and Osun states were absent at the meeting, Edo state Governor Godwin Obaseki was represented by his new deputy, Godwin Omobayo.

Present at the meeting were Bauchi state Governor Mohammed,  Siminalayi Fubara of  Rivers state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa state, Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom state, Douye Diri of Bayelsa state, Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta), while Edo state Deputy Governor Godwin and the deputy governor of  Enugu state, Ifeanyi Ossai, both represented their governors.

The governors said: “The Forum noted that there are no factions in the PDP and everybody is working together. We equally want to use this opportunity to reaffirm that in Rivers State, the Governors would work assiduously towards resolving all the issues in the State with a view to uniting all the Stakeholders. 

“The PDP Governors congratulated the host, His Excellency, Governor Umo Basey Eno, for his hospitality in hosting of the meeting.”

Fielding questions from journalists after the meeting, Bala added: “The issues have been resolved and we are looking forward to doing everything within the constitutional provision of the party. So, we are not here, this NEC that is preceding this meeting to discuss about change of leadership.

“We are talking about resolving all the issues and going forward, so that at the end of the day, the timeliness allowed in the constitution for Congresses and what have you, would have been done. But certainly, the public are free to permutate, to discuss and off course NEC will decide on some of these issues. 

“There is no any contending forces. Who is NEC? NEC is the PDP Governors Forum and other stakeholders, so we are just a portion of NEC, we cannot talk on behalf of NEC until we get there. 

“NEC will take decisions on such issues not the Governors, I know the Governors normally take leadership position, but we have an acting person in leadership capacity leading the party and NEC will decide whether it is time to fill the vacancy looking at the legal implications of doing that, knowing that they are so many lingering litigations in court and of course we don’t want to disparage ourselves, because we know that they are some marauders hiding somewhere trying to factionalise our party and take one faction to go and do coalition, we are not going to allow that as governors. 

“We are very responsible and we are very credible and we make sure we resolve all the issues and unify the party for maximum efficiency and success in the next election.”

…Ayu withdraws legal suit 

Meanwhile, Blueprint has gathered that the former national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, has withdrawn the ‘controversial’ suit which has hitherto been a clog in the wheel of the party’s progress.

A notice of withdrawal of appeal tagged CA/MK/88/2024 SUIT NO: MHC/85/2023 dated April 15, made available to journalists, at the Court of Appeal of Nigeria in Makurdi, Benue state capital, revealed that Ayu withdrew the appeal against the respondents, filed on the 27th day of June 2023 via Notice of Appeal dated the 26th day of June 2023.

The lawsuit was between Ayu (Appellant) and Engr. Terhide Utaan and the PDP as the respondent, read in part,

 “Take notice that the appellant herein intends and doth hereby wholly withdraw the appeal against the respondents filed on the 27th day of June 2023 vide Notice of Appeal dated the 26th day of June 2023.”

In a related development, a former national chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus has cautioned the party against falling the FCT minister, Nyesom Wike’s gimmick, saying he was using the party to remain relevant in the Tinubu-led administration.

The former party helmsman, who had sent out an advisory to PDP leaders assembling for the party’s 98th NEC meeting tomorrow, further urged them to do everything humanly possible and within the law to rescue and restore the party’s glory.

The warning was contained in a statement signed by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi.

He said:  “Nyesom Wike’s busybodying gimmick should not distract us as the drowning Minister of FCT, is trying hard to create a non-existent crisis in the party to make himself relevant before his boss, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is already getting fed up with his nuisance of bringing politics into the governance of the FCT.

“By deviously trying to create the impression that he is in a tussle of supremacy with the 2023 Presidential Candidate of the party and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Wike who is copiously losing political relevance everywhere from Rivers to Abuja is trying to give the impression that he is a factor in PDP and holding it for his APC interest.

“The critical structures of this party, NEC, BOT, National Caucus, forum of Governors, Chairmen of states and National Assembly caucus of the party must rise to the challenge and isolate mischief makers and meddlers like Wike and move the party forward.”