Ahead of next week’s crucial meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) have raised six posers for National Chairman Bamanga Tukur and his team in the National Working Committee (NWC).
Tukur’s response to the posers may determine his fate and whether or not the crisis in the party will be resolved, The Nation has learnt.
It was also learnt that the continued retention in office of Prof. Olawale Oladipo as the party’s National Secretary in the light of the reinstatement of ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola by a court may be a major issue at the NEC session on Wednesday.
According to sources, members of the NEC, especially governors, are unhappy with the state of things in the party.
The governors feel the party can not go into any election in its present divided form and win.
Some of the posers, which are contained in a document obtained by our correspondent last night, are as follows:
•what accounted for the breach of the PDP’s constitution on convening of NEC meeting?
•what informed arbitrary and illegal suspension of top PDP members, including governors,and high-handedness by Tukur?
•the rationale for unilateral dissolution of state Executive Councils by Tukur and NWC.
•why did Tukur’s NWC usurp NEC’s powers on the appointment of the Disciplinary Committee for the PDP at the national level?
•Tukur’s position on the grievances of the governors and ways to prevent more defections, and
•the party’s perspective on court rulings on the office of the National Secretary of the party.
A source, who is a party to the document, said members were angry over the violation of the party’s constitution on NEC meetings.
Part VIII, S.31 (4) of the PDP constitution prescribes the mode of summoning NEC meetings.
The section says: “The National Executive Committee shall meet once every quarter, at the instance of the National Party Chairman or at the request of two-thirds of its membership….”
PDP has held only two NEC meetings since Tukur was elected 21 months ago.
“By simple arithmetic calculation, PDP NEC meeting ought to have held at least seven times since Tukur assumed office as PDP national chairman,” said the source, who added:
“Also being called to question is the validity of several decisions which Tukur’s opponents regard as serial violation of the PDP’s constitution through alleged unilateral dissolution of state Executive Councils, arbitrary and illegal suspension of top PDP members and high-handedness.”
Another source gave an insight into other issues bothering NEC members.
The source said: “Another matter that would put to test the power of PDP NEC is the alleged usurpation of its powers by Tukur’s NWC on the appointment of the Disciplinary Committee for the PDP at the national level.
“Chapter X, S.57 (2) of the party’s constitution stipulates that ‘’The Disciplinary Committee shall be appointed by the appropriate Executive Committee of the party.
“If that aspect of the PDP constitution would be followed, the Umaru Dikko panel is an illegality because its composition was not authorised by the PDP NEC.”
There is also “the moral angle”.
“No sincere leader of the status of national chairman of a political party would allow disintegration to get to this stage before applying wisdom and damage control mechanism in the interest of the party. No good leader fights on all fronts without re-assessing tactics, especially when the style of leadership is alleged to be autocratic and injurious to the interests of the party.
The party’s NEC may also upbraid the NWC for not taking decisive actions to assist Tukur in managing the crises.
The NEC may ask Tukur and NWC members questions on the office of the National Secretary, which Oyinlola and Oladipo are laying claim to.
Concerns have been raised on the legality of Oladipo’s continued occupation of the office – a development which sources say may backfire; if the Supreme Court invalidates his stay in office.
Said the source: “Everybody heard the ruling of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division which in November 2013, upturned the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja and pronounced Oyinlola as the validly elected PDP national secretary at the party’s national convention of March 24, 2012.
“The report of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, whose officials monitored the convention, affirmed that Oyinlola was duly elected. Herein lies the moral angle. Following the ruling of the Federal High Court which invalidated Oyinlola’s election on January 11, 2013, he was asked to vacate office to pursue his appeal and report back if his appeal succeeded.
“When his appeal succeeded, the tune changed as the NWC was
of using different yardsticks in the interpretation of justice as Oladipo, who never purchased a nomination form for election into the office of national secretary, and was accused of coming in through a flawed process vowed to stay in office as national secretary.
The PDP constitution at Chapter VII, S.49 stipulates that the national secretary shall be elected at the national convention of the party.