By NBF News

Abuja LG poll: Ogbulafor, legal adviser in power tussle

From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
Friday, March 12, 2010

Chief Vincent Ogbulafor

A power tussle between the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) National Chairman, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor and its National Legal Adviser, Chief Olusola Oke over the valid candidate for the Abuja local council polls may jeopardize the party's chance in presenting a candidate for the FCT council election.

Aggrieved members of the party from the Bwari council staged a peaceful demonstration yesterday at the party's national secretariat in Abuja over what they called a desperate effort by the national legal adviser who allegedly is working in concert with some members of the party to impose an unpopular candidate on the PDP in Bwari local council.

Daily Sun gathered that a letter dated February 8, 2010 and signed by the party's national legal adviser and addressed to Independent Natrional Electoral Commission (INEC) had advised the electoral body to substitute Honourable Yohanna Peters who won the party's primary with Mr Musa Dikko for the election slated for April 10, 2010.

In the letter, Oke had premised the party's stand to remove Peters on the ground that the candidate did not properly withdraw from the service of the National Assembly Service Commission.'

Dissatisfied with the position taken by Oke, members of the party had reported the matter to Ogbulafor on his return from overseas trip.

Not comfortable with the position taken by the legal adviser over the issue, Ogbulafor in a five-paragraph letter had written to INEC, restating the party's position that Peters remains PDP's candidate for the April 10 local council poll .

In his letter to INEC dated March 1, 2010, Ogbulafor informed the electoral body to disregard the letter written by the national legal adviser.

'I wish to inform you that a final committee set up to investigate allegations against the candidacy of Mr Peter Yohanna Ushuffa did not find any legal basis to justify his substitution with Mr Musa Dikko… you are by this letter authorized to maintain the candidature of Mr Peter Yohanna as our rightful candidate for Bwari Area Council, Abuja, the letter stated.

Not comfortable with INEC's alleged disregard for Ogbulafor's directive, party members led by its chairman for Bwari Area Council, Mr Isah Dara staged a protest over INEC's insistence to retain the name of Musa Dikko in its list of party candidates for the election. Addressing newsmen at the PDP national secretariat, director of campaign for Peter Yohanna, Mr Bello Bullus Dikko called on Ogbulafor to intervene so that sanity could prevail.