What seems like internal revolt is brewing within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as some angry members of the party called for the resignation of the chairman of the party’s board of trustees, Bello Haliru Muhamed and its spokesman, Olisa Metuh.
Mohammed and Metuh are currently standing trial for corruption.
They also called on the acting national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, to vacate his seat for the party to install a new chairman from the North East, in line with a recent court pronouncement.
Muhamed, who is also a past chairman of the party and Metuh, its spokesperson are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for receiving monies from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, allegedly from the $2.1 billion meant for arms procurement.
The call for Muhamed and Meuth’s resignation is contained in a statement issued by the foursome of Dennis Alonge-Niyi, the deputy national youth leader; Bashir Maidugu, the deputy national legal adviser; Okey Nnaedozie, the deputy national organizing secretary and Abdullahi Jalo, the deputy national publicity secretary.
The signatories said the statement was also the view of all deputy national officers and some members of the National Executive Committee of the party.
According to them, it was time for all well-meaning members of the party and all its organs to ““to prevail on the two accused persons to honorably step down until they clear their names thereby saving the party from further damage.”
The statement reads in part; “We hereby strongly dissociate the Peoples Democratic Party 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 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.”
They said their call was not a pronouncement of guilt on the two officers of the PDP, but a “passionate appeal to halt the erroneous concept that the party tolerates corruption.”
They 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.
The officers also called on 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, to respect the Abuja High Court ruling of December 15 last year.
“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.
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.
They said aside from the offices of the National Chairman, National Secretary, National Financial Secretary and the National Auditor, the national convention that produced the other national officers was held on August 30, 2013.
They said based on the four-year tenure envisaged by the constitution of the party, all the remaining officers’ tenure of office would terminate on August 30, 2017.
They also called on 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.
“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.