PDP Members Differ Over Party Leadership

pdpThe leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is far from over, as the factions of the acting National Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, and Mr Ali Gulak, an ex- aide to former President Jonathan, continue to lay claim to the party’s leadership.

Mr Gulak and his supporters including Dr. Doyin Okupe, also an ex- aide to the former President stormed the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja on Wednesday where he told a news conference that he was assuming office as the National Chairman of the party.

Mr Gulak claimed that he had a court judgement in his favour.

Meanwhile, the National Legal Adviser of the party, Victor Kwon, who is a member of the Secondus faction, said there was no court judgement ordering Gulak to assume office.

However, the PDP has vowed to reclaim the power it lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the 2015 elections.

The party claimed that it remained the only true national political party well equipped to hold the national character.

PDP Set To Review Party’s Constitution

pdpThe leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up a committee to review its constitution ahead of the party’s national conference.

The Acting Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, on Tuesday, said that the committee was expected to present proposals that would reposition the party for victory in 2019.

The committee is also expected to review the report of the Post Elections Committee and use some of its recommendations in the new constitution with the aim of correcting the party’s mistakes in the last general elections.

The decision is also in line with the advice of the Country Director of the International Republican Institute, Sentell Batnes, who asked the PDP to pay attention to its campaign guidelines and review its finance regulations.

Aside the recommendations, the Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Victor Kwon, said that the team would address gender issues in the party’s leadership structure.

The PDP has remained the main opposition party after it lost to the All Progressive Congress in the last general elections.

Since then, it has continued work on how to re-invent itself ahead of the 2019 polls.

Court Clears Jonathan To Contest 2015 Presidential Election

Jonathan wavesA Federal High Court in Kaduna on Monday struck out a suit seeking to restrain President Goodluck Jonathan from seeking re-election in the 2015 general elections brought before it by two leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The plaintiffs, Richard Mneaga, and Shuaibu Lill had sought for, among other prayers, an order of the court to disqualify Jonathan from presenting himself as a presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2015 election, and for the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to restrain the PDP from accepting nomination of Jonathan as its presidential candidate in the 2015 election.

In the suit, filed on October 7, 2013, they insisted that Jonathan had completed eight years in office as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria calculated from May 29, 2007.

The plaintiffs also sought for “a declaration that President Jonathan is not entitled to tenure of office as President exceeding eight years calculated from 2007, till last holder of the said office”.

Ruling on the case, the presiding judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike  said the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to drag President Jonathan to court based on section 308 of the Constitution which gives him immunity not to  sue or be sued, and therefore affirmed that  Jonathan has the constitutional right to contest for presidency in 2015 if he so desire.

She also said the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter since the plaintiffs did not follow the due process of filing their case, saying the petition was served out of jurisdiction. She however dismissed the case for lack of merit.

Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mohammed Ibrahim, faulted the technicalities on which the judge relied to deliver her judgement instead of looking at the matter from its merit.

He, however, said they would proceed to the Appeal Court for further interpretation of the lower court judgement and also for the upper court to determine whether President Jonathan had the constitutional right to seek another term in office in 2015.

But Counsels to the first and second defendants, President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, Nnamdi Ekwem and Victor Kwon respectively, hailed the judgment, describing it as another landmark victory for democracy and rule of law.

They faulted the petitioners for dragging Jonathan to court since he has not declared his intention to contest for the presidency in 2015.