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PDP: Damagum’s survival not defeat for Atiku or victory for Wike –Sen Moro



Abba Moro

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Abba Moro, has said that the survival of the Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ambassador Umar Damagum at the just held National Executive Committee, NEC meeting of the party was not a victory or defeat for anybody, but a decision that was unanimously agreed on by the relevant stakeholders for the party to forge ahead.

Reacting to what he described as rumour in some quarters that Damagum’s survival, against call for his resignation, was victory for the former Rivers State governor and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike, and a defeat for PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senator Moro said the activities and inactivities of the PDP should not be translated to the duo.

In a statement issued by his Media Adviser Emmanuel John and circulated on Sunday in Abuja, the Senate Minority Leader, insisted that the whole issue was not about victory or defeat for anybody but about PDP; about providing an alternative formidable platform for Nigerians to look up to.

“We cannot translate the entirety of PDP’s activities and inactivities to Wike and Atiku, out of millions of other members of the party across the country who also have their own thinking and reasons for being in the party. The whole issue was not about Wike or Atiku, or victory for Wike or defeat for Atiku, the issue was existential.

“We came together and reasoned together, that in the present scenario where Nigerians are hurting due to the maladministration of the APC government, what do we do to provide an alternative platform for Nigerians to look up to? In that circumstances, we decided to thread with caution so that we dont throw away the baby with the bath water,” he stated.

On why the national caucus of the party allowed Wike into their meeting, the lawmaker, who represents Benue South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, said the minister couldn’t have been stopped from the meeting since he has not been found guilty of any crime and penalized by the party.

He said if the party’s disciplinary committee, headed by the former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki found Wike guilty of the alleged anti-party activities and have him sanctioned, he will stop attending the party’s meetings.

“The constitution of our party is very clear on who is a member and who is not a member of the caucus of the party and I dare say, at this point, that as a former governor who is still a member of the party, Nyesom Wike is a member of the National Caucus of the party.

“If actions had been taken immediately after the elections and people who are perceived to have acted contrary to the desires and yearnings of the PDP have been sanctioned, then we can say that having been expelled or suspended, you can’t be here, but as it is, non of such actions has been taken, so you can’t just ban people from attending meetings.

“One of the fallouts of the last NEC meeting was the resuscitation of the Reconciliation and Disciplinary Committee, which is saddled with the responsibility of identifying the area of anti-party and the dramatis personae involved in the activities, and recommend appropriate punitive measures against those who have been found guilty to serve as deterrent to future occurrence.

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t been done, and so to that extent, as a voluntary organization, if the members involved insist they are still members of the party, until actions are taken by the Reconciliation and Disciplinary Committee we want to take that they are still members of the party,” he explained.

On expectations from the next NEC meeting scheduled for August 15 as it concerns the position of the national chairman of the party, the Senate Minority Leader said: “The constitution of our party has a well spelt-out succession plan. Section 35 (3C) states that where a vacancy exists, someone from the zone of the immediate past occupier of the office shall be appointed by NEC to complete the tenure of the person who vacated the office.

“For the position of the National Chairman, we will look at the succession plan of the party, in accordance with the constitutional provisions, and produce a replacement for Senator Iyorchia Ayu from North Central now that he has heeded to our plea and withdrawn his case from the court.

“We will go to the next NEC meeting with open minds and invoke the relevant sections of the constitution to produce his replacement.”

He, therefore, appealed to PDP members and stakeholders to have some level of circumspection and restraints in their actions and utterances so as not to further polarize the party, assuring that “everything humanly possible would be done to put the party on its winning ways, to rescue Nigerians from the grinding poverty and sufferings that the ruling APC has plunged them into.”

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