PDP Exempts Atiku, G7 Governors from Facing Disciplinary Panel
Contrary to the perception that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would make former vice-president Atiku Abubakar and his associates in the New PDP face the disciplinary committee set up by the party, the PDP has said that there was no such plan.
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, seven governors of the party, as well as two former PDP national secretaries, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and Olagunsoye Oyinlola, among others, had stormed out of the PDP special national convention last August to announce the birth of the splinter group, christened New PDP.
But the party’s spokesman, Mr. Olisa Metuh, told reporters that it has exempted its aggrieved members from facing its disciplinary committee, headed by Second Republic Minister of Transport, Alhaji Umar Dikko on the grounds that it want to give the ongoing reconciliation efforts in the party a chance to succeed.
According to him, the decision by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to excuse them was because of the ongoing reconciliation in the party.
He said: “Members of the G7 governors and others in the so-called faction will not face any disciplinary committee. There is none in the offing. There is no move to impose any sanction on them.
“We are doing this because our doors are still open for reconciliation. The leader of the party and other members will commence further reconciliation when they return from the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. So no disciplinary measure is being contemplated against them.”
On whether the party will review the suspension of the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, who is one of the seven aggrieved governors of the party, Metuh said: “The matter is in court and we did not take Governor Amaechi to court; but by and large, PDP wants peace, mutual respect based on equity and justice.”
He explained that the members of the New PDP were still committed members of the party and therefore had no other party to go to, saying, “They believe in the same principle in the management of the party to ensure equity and justice.”
However, he warned that despite the olive branch by the party, it would not entertain further distractions nor would it condone other people destroying it.
Earlier at the swearing-in of the disciplinary committee, Tukur said the PDP would adhere to party discipline as enshrined in its constitution.
On why the party picked Dikko to chair the committee, Tukur said his choice was informed by his defence of democracy that made the military government uncomfortable, leading to a failed attempt by the Major General Muhammadu Buhari regime, which overthrew the civilian administration in 1983, to smuggle him to Nigeria from Britain where he had sought asylum.
“You are chosen to this important committee based on your past record and love for democracy,” he said to Dikko.
He also eulogised the committee members, noting that “they are people who will not witch hunt anybody, but you can be sure not to come to them when you cross the line.”
Notwithstanding the party’s bid not to sanction members of the New PDP, the splinter group said it had filed a notice of appeal against the Federal High Court order restraining it from using the PDP’s logo and colours and recognising the Tukur-led NWC as the authentic leadership of the party.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, the faction said the notice of appeal was filed yesterday by its lawyers.
According to the statement, “The decision to file the appeal was taken at an emergency meeting of the New PDP National Working Committee (NWC) following the return of the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, from the 2013 pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
“The decision was taken after the NWC carefully studied last Friday’s ruling by the Federal High Court and after due consultations with our team of lawyers.
“We once more wish to reiterate that we remain convinced that we have a good case and are thus determined to ensure that Tukur and his cohorts are not allowed to hold sway as the leaders of our great party.
“Our teeming members and supporters should therefore entertain no fears whatsoever and should remain steadfast as we seek to legally establish our case and logically conclude our mission to rescue the PDP from anti-democratic forces so as to restore the noble vision of the party’s founding fathers.”
He also said the planned meeting of the group had been put off until next week.
“One of the major issues slated for discussion is how to receive our new members, particularly the five additional PDP governors who have indicated interest in joining us,” the faction added.
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