From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has denied media reports that the elevation of the deputy national secretary of the party, Mr Solomon Onwe to the office of the acting national secretary was informed by the personal desire of Alhaji Tukur to remove Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola as national secretary of the party. A statement from the office of the national chairman of the party yesterday noted that the action to make Mr Onwe the acting national chairman was premised on the PDP 2012 Constitution, as amended.
The party further assured that the embattled national secretary of the party would assume his position, once the judgment ordering his removal by Justice Abdul Kafarati was vacated at the appeal court. The statement reads: “ The attention of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to the headlines on the assumption of office of the deputy national secretary of the party as the acting national secretary, following the decision of the Federal High Court, Abuja to annul the election of Prince Olagunsoye Onyinlola as the national secretary of the party. The reports create the impression that the change was occasioned by the personal desire of the national chairman of the party to remove Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from the position of the national secretary of the party.
The National Working Committee wants to make it very clear that what happened was nothing more than obedience of a court judgment and the consequential application of the relevant sections of the party’s constitution under the circumstance. Section 45 of the party’s constitution states: “45 (1) If a national officer of the party is removed or resigns from office, he shall immediately hand over to the national secretary all records, files and other property of the party in his or her possession. (2) In the case of the national secretary, he shall hand over to the deputy national secretary. Given the judgement of the Federal High Court, a situation was created for invocation of Section 45 and this was done.
The matter has absolutely nothing to do with any imagined rift between the national chairman and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. For the avoidance of doubt, we want to say unequivocally that there is no personal rift between Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as the national chairman of the party and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola to warrant the headlines that have been published in newspapers on the issue. In any event, reports have indicated that Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola had appealed against the court’s judgment and the NWC wants to say that as soon as the appeal is decided, the party will, in the same way as it did in the case of the Federal High Court ruling, obey the appeal decision.
We want to make it clear that our great party is a law abiding party, which bases its conduct and activities on internal democracy and rule of law. Whatever a court of competent jurisdiction decides on any matter involving the party, the PDP will have no hesitation in obeying and implementing the judgment.”