By Yemi Adebowale
Contrary to media reports on Thursday which suggest that the Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has passed a vote of confidence on its Chairman, Captain Olatunji Shelle (rtd), majority of the Lagos PDP Executive Council members have maintained their resolve to remove the embattled Chairman.
A communiqué issued at the end of a Lagos PDP Executive Council Meeting summoned by Shelle at the party’s secretariat in Ikeja on Thursday claimed the meeting was attended by majority of its members with Shelle presiding.
However, an informed source in the Lagos PDP crisis who spoke to this newspaper on Friday dismissed the claim as a sham noting that the meeting violated the PDP constitution as Shelle unilaterally convened the meeting bypassing the Secretary of Lagos State PDP. “As I speak to you, of the 53 members that constitute the Lagos PDP Executive Council, 35 members are solidly against Shelle and have declared their commitment to see him removed. Yesterday’s meeting unilaterally called by Shelle without our party’s constitutional due process is a mere propaganda by a drowning man clutching at dry straw. The outcome of that meeting is null and void”, the source disclosed.
In May 2015, a committee set up by the Lagos State PDP to investigate allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation of campaign funds leveled against him found Shelle culpable and then proceeded to suspend him from office.
However, Shelle’s factional communiqué issued on Thursday said that the National Working Committee (NWC), of PDP last week, in Abuja, nullified the purported suspension of Shelle and re-instated him in office.
In a swift response, the Lagos State PDP Secretary, Hon. Wahab Owokoniran noted that though the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP waded into the Lagos PDP crisis, it directed the aggrieved faction to redirect its petitions to the NWC, which they have done. “It’s not over yet. The petition against Shelle is intact and has been re-routed to the PDP NWC in Abuja and the petition is before them right now. In the NWC’s letter, it was clearly stated that investigations on him are still ongoing. His high-handedness and inability to carry other executives along is one of the issues against him and this was again reflected in yesterday’s meeting he convened without contacting the Lagos State PDP Secretary. The case against Shelle remains that he has no moral standing to remain as the Chairman of PDP in Lagos State until the outcome of the petition against him currently before the NWC. He should vacate”, Owokoniran said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the Thursday’s event, Shelle said that the vote of confidence had accorded him some greater energy to do more for the party.