PDM: Crisis looms as party leaders fight for custody of Certificate of Registration

By The Citizen

The ripples over the registration of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) continued Tuesday, as  some members of the new party, who were pro-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have demanded custody of the Certificate of Registration (CoR) of the new party.

But the interim PDM National Chairman, Basher Yusuf Ibrahim, and other members of the party have refused to hand over the PDM Certificate of Registration issued by INEC, insisting that the certificate would remain in the custody of the legal consortium, which registered the party and the certificate would be handed over to a constitutional recognised National Working Committee (NWC) of the party after its national convention. By the constitution of the newly registered PDM, a national convention was expected to be take place after six months of the registration of the PDM as a political party.

It was learnt through a recorded video clip of the PDM members at the residence of the Secretary of the PDM Management Committee, Dubem Onyia, that a heated argument had ensued over who should have custody of the PDM Certificate of Registration by INEC. At the meeting, the Chairman of the Management Committee, Senator Abubakar Mahdi, Onyia and Abduallahi Yauman had demanded the certificate of PDM registration issued by INEC, but the following members of the management committee, Titi Ajanaku, Wole Ajewole, Prince Tonye Princewill, Muritala Yar'Adua and Basher Yusuf Ibrahim, rejected the move that the certificate should be handed over to any individual because of the mistrust amongst the members. In the video recording, the members were said to have strongly objected that the certificate should be handed over to any individual because of the fear that it would be handed to a top PDP member, who was a member of the PDM as a movement. According to the video recording, 'we had agreed that the certificate of registration of PDM by INEC should remain with the legal team that we entrusted with the registration of the party. The certificate should remain with the legal team pending the outcome of the national convention where national officers would be elected and the certificate handed over to the working committee.' Also, at the meeting at the residence of Onyia, Mahdi accepted the registration of the new party, saying, 'the new party, the PDM, is our responsibility as the Management Committee,' but at another  meeting at the residence of  the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, he (Mahdi) recanted his acceptance of PDM as a political party, describing PDM as an 'error of judgment', pleading that the error should be forgiven.

The meeting with the PDM members with Anenih was attended by Ajewole, Ajanaku, Yauman, Onyim, Mahdi, while Princewill was absent. It was gathered that some prominent members of PDP had made futile attempts against the registration of PDM as a political party. For instance, a source said: 'The decision to register PDM as a political party was taken on February 15 and PDM filed its papers for registration as a political party on March 15, but some PDP top officials stood against the registration. For three times, INEC's management committee met, but no decision to approve PDM was taken. 'We waited till the All Progressives Congress (APC) applied in July and was registered, then we wrote to remind INEC of the registration of PDM. That was when PDM was eventually registered.'

It was further gathered that the campaign to discredit the new party, prompted the meeting that took place in Abuja recently, where the zonal executives of the PDM allegedly met in order to discredit the newly registered party.

For instance, the PDM South-south zonal leader, Ejiofor Onyia, was expected to hold a meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, to disclaim the new party, as it was against the position of the zone in supporting President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election. - Thisday.