The internal conflict within the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, showed no sign of abating, yesterday, as it emerged that the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, may have swayed one of the governors to his camp.
However, most of the governors, yesterday, demanded a convocation of a National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the party.
The agitation of the governors came as the party also, yesterday, denied news reports that the replacement of Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the National Secretary of the party, by his deputy was the personal agenda of Tukur, the national chairman.
An unsigned statement issued in the name of the party said the replacement of Oyinlola by his deputy, Mr Solomon Onwe, was in adherence to provisions of the party’s constitution.
The provisions of the PDP constitution which Tukur cited to appoint Onwe has provoked controversy as different sections were quoted in different press statements issued by the party on Monday and yesterday.
On Monday, Tukur, in the press statement announcing Onwe as the new national secretary had said: “Pursuant to the powers conferred on the National Chairman by Chapter V Section 35 (1), 35 (1)(b) as well as section 36(2) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (as amended), the Deputy National Secretary of the PDP, Barr. Solomon Onwe, is hereby directed to assume duties as the Acting National Secretary of the PDP.”
Yesterday, the party in the unsigned statement had said: “The National Working Committee wants to make it very clear that what happened was nothing more than obedience of a court judgment, and the consequential application of the relevant sections of the party’s constitution under the circumstance.”
Section 45 of the party constitution states: “45 (1) If a National Officer of the party is removed or resigns from office, he shall immediately hand over to the National Secretary all records, files and other property of the party in his or her possession. (2) In the case of the National Secretary, he shall hand over to the Deputy National Secretary.”
Remarkably, the two provisions quoted by the party are not in the PDP constitution generally available to party members. Party officials were, however, insisting that the provisions were built in the latest amendments which are yet to be circulated.
Many party officials, nevertheless, expressed embarrassment over the discrepancies in the sections of the PDP constitution cited by Tukur and the unsigned statement, yesterday.