He advised that the PDP should first put its house in order before criticizing APC’s anti-people policies
Ogor also said that it was illegal for Sheriff to continue touting himself as the national chairman of PDP
In response to public outcry for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to resolve its leadership crisis and rise to the occasion of providing viral opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, has provided a background on the crisis to educate the public and let them understand why the party needed to put its house in order before criticizing the ‘anti-people’ policies of the government.
Mr Ogor said: “It is my core responsibility to educate the public and let them understand what actually happened, where these whole unacceptable decisions were coming from.
“We had a convention and I keep telling those that care to listen that Justice Buba Mohammed of Lagos High Court stated very clearly that there should be no election into three offices which are; the national chairman, the secretary, and the auditors. He didn’t stop the convention neither was there any injunction, I stand to be corrected, that he stopped the convention.
“We must appreciate that the convention itself is the most important organ of the party. It is there very clear in our constitution.
“Let me point out very clearly that the national executive committee of the party which is also the supreme organ of the party called for a convention. Sheriff was supposed to serve three months period in completion of former governor Adamu Muazu’s tenure. Muazu also was serving the Bamanga Tukur tenure.
“So these three months were clearly the tenure Sheriff was supposed to serve. His tenure was supposed to end on the 21st of May, 2016. On that was the day the convention was supposed to hold, and it was held.
“The NEC appointed the convention committee headed by Governor Nyesom Wike. The convention process had already started and was on, and Sheriff, who was the then chairman; whose tenure was about to expire on that same convention day, participated in the convention.
“I want to point out clearly that Sheriff was a contestant himself. He went through screening to run as a chairman but when he realized that he cannot win the election, he went and single-handedly said he is canceling the convention. A single man cannot cancel a convention. The convention was called by NEC and it is only NEC that can cancel the convention.
“So we went ahead and continued with the convention. Let us get some points very clearly. The convention is not about the party election. The election is a minute aspect of the convention. The convention has the power to dissolve the party. It has the power to hire and fire. It has the power to do and undo in the party.
“When someone tells me that the convention is illegal, I wonder where the illegality is coming from. The convention was summoned by the powers enshrined in NEC, and NEC made the decision to ensure that we had a convention. One single individual cannot stop the convention. I am a member of NEC, which is made up of over 100 people.
“The PDP constitution says that the ‘National Convention shall have and exercise authority to appoint such committees as it may deem necessary, desirable or expedient and assign to them such powers and functions as it may deem fit.’ So, the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee that was appointed by that convention could not have been illegal.
“Let me bring to your attention some unacceptable positions. Dr. Cairo Ojuogbo, who is parading himself as the Deputy National Chairman was in our zonal convention as the zonal chairman and actually presided over the zonal convention in Port-Harcourt. He lost re-election, according to the provision of chapter seven of our constitution which spells out the modalities and methodologies in which principal officers of the party can be elected.
“Can somebody tell me which convention elected Dr. Cairo who is parading himself to be the Deputy National Chairman? You can clearly see it is a question of birds of a feather flocking together in this situation. This is not what this party desires and I state with all emphasis that the National Caretaker Committee was appointed in line with the PDP constitution.
“I think the best option is to go to the Supreme Court to interpret the provisions of our constitution, because there is no court that actually stopped our convention.
“We are in the opposition. Those who are defecting to the APC citing the crisis in the PDP as their reason are men and women who cannot really stand the opposition politics. I am not too disturbed.
“But let me caution that democracy thrives only when there is viral opposition. A situation where you have a constitutional democracy without viral opposition what you will have is a one state party”.