PDP waiver row grows as Mu’azu rejects report
The division in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the admission of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and his bid for the ticket to contest for Adamawa Sate governor widened yesterday.
Ijaw leader and PDP elder, Chief Edwin Clark warned the party leadership against granting a waiver to enable Ribadu to contest for the ticket.
Ribadu, who joined the PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC) this month, requires a waiver to be able to contest. His application is being considered.
The former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was the Presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the 2011 election. The ACN is one of the parties that fused to form the APC.
Governors on the PDP platform are said to be opposed to a waiver for Ribadu. The party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman Tony Anenih is also believed not to be disposed to the waiver.
On Wednesday, there was a huge row at the National working Committee (NWC) meeting of the PDP when the waiver was being considered. The meeting was deadlocked.
A committee was raised to offer advice on the matter.
The committee, according to one of its members and the PDP National Publicity Secretary Mr. Olisa Metuh, submitted it report yesterday. It will be considered by the NWC today.
The position of party leader, President Goodluck Jonathan was not known yesterday.
There was another major disagreement between Muazu and the NWC members last night.
At issue is the leakage of the decision of a sub-committee of the NWC rejecting waiver for some aspirants.
Muazu sought last night the President’s intervention, taking all NWC members to the Villa at about 9pm.
Muazu is said to be disturbed by the disposition of the committee to blade waivers for Ribadu, Marwa and Gundiri.
It was learnt that Muazu had suspected that some interests were behind the “conclusion” of the sub-committee headed by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha.
Mu’azu got wind of its recommendation and decideded to “move fast”.
Said a source: “The leakage upset Muazu and decided to drag the NWC members to the Villa to find a solution which could accommodate all aspirants.
“Muazu decided to take a pre-emptive step because once the report of the Sub-Committee becomes public knowledge, it will be difficult to change.”
As at press time, the PDP National Chairman and the NWC members were locked in a meeting at the Villa.
Southsouth leader Clark queried the rationale behind such consideration especially when Ribadu, according to him, does not have the political weight.
He said it would be in bad light should the committee clear Ribadu who just join the party in less than a month.
He however exempted former Lagos state military Administrator, Gen. Buba Marwa and a former governorship candidate, Mr. Markus Gundiri who are also seeking waiver to contest in the coming governorship election.
Clark told a news conference in Abuja yesterday that he suspected the defection of the former EFCC chair to be a grand conspiracy by some people in and outside the party to use Ribadu to destroy the chances of President Goodluck Jonathan in Adamawa State in next year’s election.
In an open letter to PDP Chairman Adamu Muazu, Clark said: “Welcoming Alhaji Ribadu so enthusiastically, granting him an obnoxious waiver to pick up party governorship nomination papers is nothing other than grand plan against our president, party and the innocent people of Nigeria. How can we so brazenly break our own rules to destabilise our party, if not in a dangerous palace coup in the interests of high-level element within and beyond the party for reasons best known to them. What is this man of many, and no distinct co our, bringing into the party? His antecedents are many; alas, not clean.
“My respected chairman, is this the paperweight politician in his Adamawa state which gave the president the highest number of votes, behind Taraba, that is being celebrated as a viable candidate to fly the party’s flag in 2015? A Presidential candidate turned governorship aspirant, being celebrated? And you are from that zone, and should know much more than I. Why do we seem so unmindful of the collateral damage this abnormal development, its timing and all, would cause he party, in terms of loss of enthusiasm, indeed, membership in massive numbers. Has something gone into our eyes and brains, or we are all locked in voodoo charms of some fifth-columnists working out some wicked, unpatriotic, subterranean agenda, in league without opponents, to undercut the President, therefore, the party and nation?
“Also note that that the recrimations over, God forbid, the downfall of the president and the party, will first be visited upon the leadership.
“Please note that names of possible internal blacklegs are beginning to pop up here and there. It appears that our party has begun to feel so self-assured that it is not mindful of the very present danger of well-planned infiltrations by the opposition. How else can anyone consider Alhaji Ribadu as a reasonable person to join the party at the top, given an unheard of less than one-month waiver, by the powers that be in the party, knowing his channel of sustenance and strategic directives?
“Where did Ribadu get the more than N1billion and 100 vehicles he has launched his campaign with?
“In conclusion, My Chairman, I boldly aver that the party, indeed, all Nigerians know very well that Alhaji Ribadu carries no political or electoral value.
“His entry into this dirty fray is no more that the use of a political prostitute, being brought in as a willing pawn, by some internal party blacklegs, with their external collaborators, in an invidious clique, desperate, even defying the constitution, to carry a coup against the person, rights and constituency of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This is no more than one of many schemes to infiltrate the PDP, hoping that, God forbid, their moles would win elections on the popularity of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and switch over to the opposition.
“I write and publish this Open Letter, for the benefit of the party leadership as well as the rank and file, indeed, all Nigerians, for necessary vigilance. I do with the purest sincerity of a heart troubled by the possibilities of a man-made disaster to the party, and its inexorable cascade of unfathomable consequences for the entire national body polity.“
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