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PDP ACCUSES NNAMANI, WABARA, MASARI, OTHERS OVER ALLEGED ANTI-PARTY, ACTIVITIES

By NBF NEWS
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TWO former Senate presidents – Adolphus Wabara and Ken Nnamani – as well as an erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, have been summoned over alleged anti-party activities by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

They were accused of operating under the guise of a “PDP Reform Group.”

A statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, said: “The National Working Committee is in possession of facts linking some respectable members of our party with a scheme to subject our great party to disrepute, contempt and hatred.

“The said members and others, meeting under the umbrella of PDP Reform Group are reported to be engaging or to have engaged in conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party or otherwise engage in anti-party activities or precipitate faction and belong to a group under the guise of the party by whatever name called, not being one provided for in the constitution of the party.”

But the PDP Reform Forum yesterday in Abuja insisted that the NWC must be peopled by men of proven capability and high integrity as the effectiveness “of any organisation depends on the personalities at the helm of affairs of that organisation.”

The group, which has Nnamani as chairman of its steering committee, met in a location in Maitama District of Abuja yesterday, maintaining that it prefers that key national officers of the party “must be thinking men, people of integrity and people with proven track-records of performance.”

The group last night described the current leadership of the party as an “effete NWC PDP leadership, which is neither imaginative, nor creative in generating ideas to re-inforce the founding ideals of the party; the ideals which made the PDP the party of first choice in 1999.”

It predicted that if the current NWC leads the PDP into the 2011 elections, it would be a recipe for party and national disaster.

It is believed to have in its fold serving ministers, senators including Nimi Barigha-Amange, and others like former Deputy Speaker of the House, Austin Opara.

On its mission, the Reform Group said it seeks to return the party to its founding ideals; re-engineer it to make it more people-oriented; be more creative in the generation of party funds; streamline extant parallel structures in PDP states; and ensure “internal democracy” that allows for free and fair primaries and elections by and within the party.

They maintained that they are bona fide members who are genuinely concerned that the party has “progressively and incrementally drifted away from its founding ideals and has completely lost focus under the watch of the current NWC.

“The PDP Reform Forum is not about agitators, professional grumblers and protesters. Rather it comprises PDP members who have played major roles in the growth and development of the party and have had the privilege of holding office at government and party levels at various times in the past,” a statement from the group said yesterday.

They want the PDP to be more active in agenda-setting and generate ideas for good governance, peace and security of the nation, and stability of the polity.

The group observed that impunity and the absence of internal democracy in political parties in the country will destroy the country's democracy.

“We believe that since our party – PDP – prides itself as being the number one party, its leadership should be number one in promoting reform ideas that will enhance party democracy in Nigeria,” it stressed.

Apparently fearing reprisals for its stand, members said they refuse “to be bullied, cajoled or intimidated from holding” their views, adding that they will continue to meet to enrich the party.

The party explained that the action being taken was in consonance with the PDP constitution and asked them to appear tomorrow to clear themselves.

“In consonance with our commitment to the principles of justice and fair hearing, the National Working Committee of the PDP at its emergency meeting of 20th April, 2010 acting under and by virtue of powers conferred on it in Article 21.4 of our party constitution, resolved to invite the following PDP members to appear before it on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at noon to clear themselves of allegations linking them to these plots”, the party further stated.

Other members invited include Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Chief Tony Ukasanya, Chief Sunny Iroche, Senator Agboti, Senator Ngele, Senator Ifeanyichukwu Ararume, Chief Achike Udenwa, Chief Rochas Okorocha and Chief Ekpeyong.

Chief Abiye Sekibo, Hon. Awwal Tukur, former Chief Whip Hon. Buhari, Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu, Dr. Peter Odili, a former Commissioner of Works in Edo State and Kelechi Igwe were also on the list of those invited.

“The concerned members are advised to take full advantage of this invitation by attending promptly, please”, the statement added.