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Friday, 20 September 2019

Drama as PDP BoT chair, scribe sing discordant tune over ‘report’

Drama as PDP BoT chair, scribe sing discordant tune over ‘report’

It was all drama as the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Walid Jubril and its Secretary Senator Adolphus Wabara disagreed over the submission of an investigative report on Thursday.

Briefing journalists shortly after a marathon meeting of the Board at the party’s Abuja secretariat, the two elderly chieftains contradicted each other on the status of a report of the committee that investigated.

At issue was a report of a five-man committee set up by the BoT on July 9, to investigate why PDP members in the House of Representatives elected Mr Ndudi Elumelu as Minority Leader, against the party’s choice of Mr. Kingsley Chinda.

Miffed by the Reps’ action, the leadership of the party had suspended Elumelu for one month.

Besides Elumelu, others affected by the suspension order were Lynda Ikpeazu, Wole Oke, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid.

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The BoT investigation committee, chaired by a former Senate President, Dr Iyiorchia Ayu also had two other former Senate Presidents, Chief David Mark and Chief Adolphus Wabara as members.

A former Deputy President of the Senate, Alhaji Ibahim Mantu was also a member while a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara served as secretary of the committee.

However, Opara resigned from the committee before it concluded its assignment.

During a question-and-answer session at the briefing, the BoT chair Jubril said the Board had received the Ayu committee report but had yet to submit same to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

Jubril said: “We have received the report from the Ayu committee but we have not submitted it to the NWC because we are still deliberating on it and we have not taken a decision on it yet.”

But he was swiftly countered by BoT Secretary Wabara, who said that the Board had indeed submitted the report to the NWC.

Wabara said: “We have considered the report and we have submitted the report on Elumelu to the NWC”.

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This was followed by muffled disagreement between the two elderly party chieftains with the BoT chair raising objection to the Secretary’s statement even as the latter stood his ground.

Their verbal exchange was in hushed tones but was audible enough for journalists to hear their voices.

The disagreement dragged till the end of the media briefing, with the two Board members frowning and mumbling at each other as they left the venue and walked through the drizzling rain into their waiting cars.

Curiously however, while the BoT meeting was still ongoing, the leadership of the party had issued a statement regarding the disputed report.

The statement, signed by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the NWC had not received the said report from the BoT.

The statement reads in full: “In the light of public enquiries and conflicting reports on the position of the leadership of our great party on issues related to the minority leadership of the House of Representatives;

“The National Working Committee (NWC) hereby clarifies that it has not yet received any report from the Board of Trustees (BoT) concerning the outcome of the five-member committee it set up to intervene on the contentious matter.

“Consequently, the NWC maintains that it has not taken any decision to review its subsisting stance on the minority leadership of the House of Representatives.

“The NWC therefore urges critical stakeholders, party members and the general public to completely disregard any report to the contrary”.

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