Some elected national officers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some members of the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, have called for the resignation of the acting national chairman, Uche Secondus, as well as that of acting chairman of the board of trustee (BoT), Bello Mohammed. They equally asked the embattled National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, to step down from their offices.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Deputy National Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge-Niyi; the Deputy National Legal Adviser, Bashir Maidugu, the Deputy National Organizing Secretary, Okey Nnaedozie and the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Jalo, who said they spoke on behalf of all deputy national officers of the party and some members of the National Executive Committee of the party.
While calling on all relevant members and organs of the party to rescue the party “from fortune hunters who have hijacked its very soul,” they said;
“We hereby strongly dissociate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the ongoing trials of Dr. Bello Halliru Mohammed (Acting Chairman of Board of Trustees) and Chief Olisa Metuh (National Publicity Secretary) on various charges of anti graft agencies.
“They are said to have received funds using accounts of their private companies without the knowledge and instructions of any organ of the party. All those mentioned in the ongoing corruption trial are, therefore, on their own and the party was not involved financially or in anyway with the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, or any organ of the federal government in the last regime.
“They must bear full responsibility for their actions and must henceforth refrain from dragging the name of the party into the mud.”
The national officers while reacting to the wide public interest the party officials’ trial has roused, called on the national caucus of the PDP, the BoT and the PDP Governors’ Forum, “to prevail on the two accused persons to honorably step down until they clear their names, thereby saving the party from further damage.”
While clarifying that their call was not a pronouncement of guilt on the two officers of the PDP, they described it as a “passionate appeal to halt the erroneous concept that the party tolerates corruption.”
The national officials also called on the NEC of the party to convene a meeting immediately to formalize the appointment of a new spokesperson in line with the party’s constitution, urging the NEC not to continue with the reign of impunity, which they said characterized the PDP in the past and led it to its current position.
While calling for an adherence to the Abuja High Court ruling of December 15 last year which directed Secondus to step down for any qualified person from the Northeast to takeover, the officials said,
“This is a declaratory ruling where no order of stay of execution from any other court has been granted. The NEC must do the needful by selecting a suitable national chairman from the north east to complete their tenure in accordance with our tradition and the party’s constitution”.
“In pursuance of this therefore, Prince Uche Secondus should revert back to his constitutional position of Deputy National Chairman of the party as a matter of urgency,” they said.
They further requested the NEC to order a proper audit of the finances of the PDP by certified external auditors. They said the audit period should be from March 2012 to date.
“All committees set up by the irregularly constituted national working committee should be dissolved and new committees constituted by NEC in good faith and the general interest of the party.
The national officers also argued that in the light of the court ruling and other matters related to it, the timetable recently released by the National Working Committee, without recourse to the NEC, for the forthcoming national convention of the party should be considered null and void.
“Finally, we urge the National Caucus and the Board of Trustees as a matter of urgency to convene a meeting of NEC to address all these burning issues. Any further delay will exacerbate the situation,” they said.
Metuh and Mohammed are currently under trial over corruption allegations,for receiving monies from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), out of the $2.1bn meant for arms procurement to aid the military’s fight against Boko Haram. The fund was alleged to have been diverted for political spending.