The last has not been heard of the last national elective convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a splinter group emerged in Abuja, yesterday.
The new group is called Fresh PDP.
The faction consists of Chief Godwin Chinedu Duru, an aspirant for the position of National Organising Secretary and Comrade Franklyene Edede, an aspirant for the position of National Youth Leader in the December 9 convention.
Among members of the group is the Deputy Director General of the Professor Tunde Adeniran Campaign Organisation, Chief Olukayode Akindele, and one Alhaji Hassan Adamu.
But, Adeniran, national chairmanship aspirant in the convention, has disassociated himself from the new group.
In a statement by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Shehu Garbam, Adeniran said although he had reservations about the outcome of the convention, he has submitted himself to the internal dispute resolution mechanism of the PDP and that Akindele, who is part of the splinter group, is there in his personal capacity.
On Monday, one of the chairmanship aspirants, Professor Taoheed Adedoja, filed a suit before a Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking nullification of Prince Uche Secondus’ election as national chairman, over alleged omission of his name from the ballot paper.
Regardless, Fresh PDP said its emergence is borne out of the manner PDP’s last convention was conducted.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, leader of the group, Prince Emmanuel Obi-Nwosu, who spoke on behalf of “concerned candidates and stakeholders of the PDP” said the last convention was a “charade.”
Obi-Nwosu, who was a member of the PDP Convention Planning Committee, said it produced a pre-determined result.
He said Fresh PDP, which also opened its secretariat, yesterday, will announce its National Working Committee (NWC) early next month, “so as to “accomodate major stakeholders, who have stood solidly behind us ever since the grand deception that took place at Eagle Square.”
He said henceforth, all its activities would be conducted at its factional secretariat in Asokoro, Abuja.
“You are all aware that our national convention was supposed to be an elective convention where a new NWC of the party would be elected. Most tragically, there was no election on that day but a selection of predetermined persons who were eventually announced as the new NWC members.
“As concerned candidates and stakeholders of our great party, we deem this perfidy that took place at Eagles Square a charade.
“The entire process of selecting the purported NWC was concluded days before the convention and a list of those selected was published; which eventually was circulated at the Eagle Square; long before voting commenced.Evidence is available to show that some names in the fraudulent Unity List collected nomination forms after the official closing date and some others were not even screened; as required by the electoral guidelines.”
To Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Ayodele Fayose, in saner claims, sponsors of Fresh PDP would have been clamped in jail for “disrupting the peace of the nation.”
Fayose said this in reaction to the development in Abuja, yesterday.
He spoke in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, while hosting Secondus, in company with other national executives of the party.
They were in the state, on the governor’s invitation, for a Christmas carol Fayose organised for the people of Ekiti.
Secondus said: “We are not distracted by elements of distractions, we are focused; we know the enemies are at work, we know several things have been going on, with some wanting to prevent our convention. But, since we have had a peaceful convention, they are not happy. We know these people, even those from outside and we will name them when the time comes.”
In a visibly angry mood, Fayose said: “In a civilised society, those parading themselves as Fresh PDP should have been clamped into jail. They are simply charlatans. In a society like Nigeria, where we need a virile opposition, we need to continually put the government of the day on its toes; for them to know that Nigeria is greater than all of us.
“In a proper democracy, they are supposed to have been arrested and detained for breaching the peace of the society as their action is unwarranted and uncalled for. But, we are not going to celebrate such idiocy by making an issue out of it. Nigeria needs peace at all times…”
From Abuja, the PDP reiterated it is not bothered by Fresh PDP.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said it is pleased by the efforts of its Reconciliation Committee, chaired by Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, to reconcile aggrieved members.
“PDP is completely unperturbed by the comical act of some individuals who make outlandish claims in the media, regarding our party. The fact is that we are happy with the efforts of the governor Seriake Dickson-led Reconciliation Committee, as well as the responses from all the respectable and responsible leaders of our party in that regard.
“We will, however, not be responsible or respond to any person or groups of individuals who decide to allow themselves to be used by forces from another political party, in a laughable and childish attempt to distract us…”
Meanwhile, Dickson said the committe has fixed an interactive meeting with aggrieved members for January “to address their concerns, with a view to building a strong, united PDP.”