PDP’S BOT, NWC at war over demands for resignation of National Secretary

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THE main opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is battling a fresh crisis following a demand by the party’s Board of Trustees (BOT) for immediate resignation of the PDP National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu.





The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party insisted yesterday that Anyanwu should remain in office.





Anyanwu, who doubles as the party’s governorship candidate in next month’s election in Imo State, risks disqualification from the poll.





The Acting Chairman of the BOT, Senator Adolphus Wabara, conveyed the decision of the organ to the Acting National Chairman of the party, Ambassador Iliya Umar Damagun, in an October 12, 2023 letter.






The BOT accused Anyanwu of constitutional breach by holding the office of the National Secretary and hanging on to the governorship ticket of the party at the same time.

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The organ described Anyanwu’s action as morally wrong.

The letter reads: “It has recently come to the attention of the Board of Trustees (BOT) that the current Imo State Gubernatorial Candidate of our Party, Sen. Anyanwu is still holding on to the Office of the National Secretary of the party.





“Not only is this morally wrong as no one is allowed to hold dual positions; but also, against the constitutional provision of our Party which provides for a mandatory requirement of resignation for any party office holder who wishes to contest any elective position. Please see section 47(5) of our constitution as amended.





“The usual practice is for him to have resigned earlier than now.

However, in the wisdom of the NWC, he was allowed to continue in office till now.

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“Nonetheless, the BOT, as the conscience of the party, has the constitutional authority to call to order any member of the party acting in a way contrary to the guiding principles of our party, and this is one of them.”





The BOT asked the National Chairman and the NWC to ensure immediate resignation of Anyanwu.





It said:”It is therefore against the background of the above, the Board wishes to put it on record and state categorically that the NWC should do the right thing by ensuring that the Imo Gubernatorial Candidate resigns from office immediately and focus on the election which is less than 30 days away.





“While thanking you for your unwavering support and commitment to the party, please accept the assurances of my highest regards.”






Apart from Anyanwu, other party leaders copied by Wabara were the Presidential Candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; the National Vice Chairman of PDP, South-East Zone, High Chief Ali Odefa; the Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Peter Mbah and a former Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.

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It was gathered that the BOT’s letter has ignited a cold war in the party between Atiku’s group and those loyal to the former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.




Although Wike bankrolled the election of Anyanwu as the National Secretary of the party, the duo are no longer together after Anyanwu pitted her tent with Atiku.




Anyanwu was also said to have irreconcilable differences with Ihedioha, who was the last PDP governor in the State before he was sacked by the Supreme Court in favour of Governor Hope Uzodinma.





There were fears last night that some elements in the party sympathetic to Wike may push for the disqualification of Anyanwu.

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The opposition, including the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP), may also ask the court to disqualify Anyanwu for not resigning before the party’s governorship primaries.





He’ll continue to function in office — NWC

The PDP NWC however insisted yesterday that Anyanwu would continue to function as its National Secretary.





National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement, dismissed claims by a ‘mischievous group’ within the party that Anyanwu had been removed from his position.





He said: “The attention of the NWC of PDP had been drawn to a statement by a group mischievously purporting that the NWC had relieved Anyanwu of his elected position as National Secretary.






“The NWC states in very clear terms that the claim by the group is completely false as the NWC did not at any time relieve or contemplate relieving the National Secretary, Anyanwu, of his position.

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“The NWC therefore strongly condemns the action of this group, which is obviously the handiwork of those who intend to embarrass, cause disaffection and division in our party in their attempt to distract the PDP, our candidate, Anyanwu and the people of Imo State in the quest to rescue the state from the stranglehold of the All Progressives Congress (APC).




“The NWC states and cautions that no matter how strongly an individual or group feels about an issue, resorting to fabrications, lies and claiming a non-existent decision by the NWC is highly condemnable.”





Ologunagba urged Nigerians, particularly PDP’s teeming members and supporters in Imo State to disregard the said false claims as Anyanwu remains the PDP National Secretary and candidate for the party in the November 11 Governorship election.





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