Being A Text of Press Conference by the PDP National Caretaker Committee on the Violent Invasion of the National Secretariat by former National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff.
Yesterday, Monday 13th June 2016, the former National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, former National Secretary, Prof. Olawole Oladipo and former National Auditor, Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju accompanied by three lorry load of thugs sand bandits invaded the National Secretariat of the PDP as early as 6:00am. When rumours of the planned invasion filtered out on Sunday, we took steps to alert the Police to secure the building and to protect the lives and properties of members.
Up to a point, the Police discharged their responsibilities satisfactorily, however, later on without any justification whatsoever, Ali Modu Sheriff and other renegades were allowed to gain entry into the Secretariat, where they later proceeded to address a press conference. While we are still trying to understand the role of the Police in the entire saga, it is curious that the Police made no arrest of the thugs who openly brandish various dangerous weapons in and around the premises of the Secretariat in the full glare of the Police. It is also curious that the Police claimed to be acting on “Order from above” in allowing Sheriff and his cohorts to gain entry into the Secretariat. if we may ask, who is the authority that issued the “order from above”?
What we are however very certain about is that Sheriff and his fellow renegades are being used by the enemies of PDP to destroy the Party and to prevent it from reorganising itself, so as to provide a credible opposition and alternative platform for the forthcoming Edo State Gubernatorial election and 2019 elections.
The All Progressive Congress, APC, has contracted Sheriff and his cohorts to scuttle the chances of the PDP in the Edo Governorship elections. We have credible intelligence that Sheriff had a meeting on Sunday night with an APC Governor from North West, where it was agreed that he will be given a full security and financial support to exacerbate the crisis in the PDP with the objective of preventing the PDP from presenting a candidate for the Edo State Governorship elections, or at the very least to prevent the PDP from offering a serious challenge to APC whose electoral fortunes has continued to nosedive.
We assure our teeming supporters in Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general that the Party will take all necessary measures to prevent the Party from being hijacked by political merchants. The process for the elections of the PDP Governorship candidate in Edo State commenced yesterday with the peaceful and successful conduct of the Ward congresses for the elections of three Ad-Hoc delegates. We urge Party officials who are involved in the conduct of the remaining exercise to remain focus and dedicated to their responsibilities. We are determined to produce a credible and a strong candidate who by the grace of God will win the Edo Governorship election.
In his press conference yesterday, Senator Sheriff gave the false impressions that he has a court order that empowered him to continue as National Chairman of the PDP. Despite his bravado, he did not display or make available the Court Order to the gentlemen of the press. The truth of the matter is that Senator Sheriff has no court order to back his claims. He and his cohorts continue to shop around to buy any court order at any price, but so far, they have not succeeded, thanks to the vigilance and integrity of the Judiciary.
Senator Ali Sheriff was appointed not elected by the National Executive Committee of our great Party to complete the tenure of Alhaji Adamu Muazu. The tenure of Alhaji Adamu Muazu legally would have ended on the 14th of February, 2016. Senator Ali Sheriff was given an extension of three months by the NEC of our Party to organise a National Convention. The appointment of Senator Sheriff was not ratified by any National Convention of our Party; so, Constitutionally, he has no other mandate which can extend beyond 21st May 2016.
The case before Honourable Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, was instituted by Sheriff and others to restrain the PDP from conducting elections into the offices of the National Chairman, National Secretary and National Auditor. The court did not restrain the PDP from conducting the National Convention. The National Convention is the supreme organ of the Party under Article 33 (2) of the PDP Constitution. In the exercise of its power under Article 33(5)(b) and (e) of the Constitution, the National Convention removed all National Officers of the Party and set up a Caretaker Committee to plan and organise a National Convention within 90 days.
The National Convention of PDP can only be called by NEC and once that is done, it is only the National Convention that can cancel or postpone its proceedings. No individual or other organs of the Party can postpone or cancelled the National Convention. The National Convention, therefore, took place legally and Constitutionally. The former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus acted for the National Chairman who was absent in accordance with the provision of Article 35(3) (b) of the PDP Constitution.
The Federal High Court in suit N0 FHC/PH/CS524/2016 has endorsed the decisions of the National Convention held in Port Harcourt on the 21st of May, 2016. The Order of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice A. M. Liman is still subsisting and has not elapsed contrary to the insinuation of Senator Ali Sheriff. The Order will subsist until the determination of the Motion on Notice. The Motion on Notice will come on hearing on Thursday. Only three of the members of the defunct National officers are still parading themselves but constitutionally they cannot form a quorum for any legitimate business of the Party. Under Article 29(4) of the PDP Constitution as Amended, the quorum of the NWC is two-third of the membership drawn from at least two third of the zones in the country. It is therefore very clear that three people cannot make up the National Working Committee (NWC). We also wonder who Sheriff will be Chairman over when he is already rejected by 99.99 percent of the Party.
The entire stakeholders of the Party, including Governors, National Assembly Members, Board of Trustees (BOT) members and others were at the party Secretariat last week Tuesday to usher in National Caretaker Committee. Immediate past members of the National Working Committee except the trio of Sheriff, Oladipo and Adeyanju were also on hand to hand-over to the National Caretaker Committee.
The National Caretaker is not distracted by the activities of the fifth columnist in the Party. We remain very focus on the assignment and the mandate given to us at the National Convention held in Port Harcourt. With the continued support of all Party members, we shall surely deliver on those mandates and together build the Party of our dreams.
Prince Dayo Adeyeye,
Member of National Caretaker Committee in Charge of Publicity