Commission says Tukur-led NWC is the authentic leadership of the ruling PDP
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Thursday turned down the request by the Kawu Baraje faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to recognise its National Working Committee, NWC, as the authentic leadership of the ruling party.
The Commission, in a letter dated October 2, to the factional National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said it would not withdraw recognition of the National Working Committee, NWC, led by Bamanga Tukur, as the authentic leadership of the party because it monitored the conventions that produced it.
The faction had, in two separate letters, dated September 1 and 23, requested INEC to recognize its own NWC as the authentic leadership of the party.
The faction had emerged last August 31 when a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and five governors left the party’s National Convention at Eagle Square, Abuja in protest.
The governors were Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Abdulfathah Ahmed (kwara) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto).
They were later joined by the Governors of Rivers and Adamawa States, Chubuike Amaechi- who was on suspension from the party- and Murtala Nyako -who was not accredited to attend the convention- at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, where they addressed a conference proclaiming the birth of the faction, they christened “New PDP.”
But, the INEC in its letter titled, Re: Notification of Changes in the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party and Request for formal recognition, rejected the request, saying members of the Tukur-led NWC were duly elected at two conventions it monitored.
The letter signed by the Acting Secretary to the Commission, U.F. Usman, said, “The commission acknowledges the receipt of your letters dated 1st and 23rd September, 2013 respectively wherein you requested for the commission’s recognition of the Baraje led faction and the newly elected National Working Committee.
“You will recall that the Commission monitored the National Convention and Special National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party held on 24th March, 2012 and 31st August, 2013 respectively at Eagles Square, Abuja after notices to the Commission. A National Working Committee was elected at the two conventions with Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as National Chairman.
“The Commission will not withdraw recognition from the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elected at the elections duly monitored by the Commission.
“Please be guided.”
When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP, Chukwuemeka Eze, said he had not been briefed about the letter and would not comment on it.
Mr. Eze told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that he had already sent a text message to Mr. Oyinlola requesting the factional National Secretary to confirm receipt of the letter. He said he was yet to receive Mr. Oyinlola’s reply.
Although he could not confirm the authenticity of the letter, Kayode Idowu, the media aide to the INEC Chairman, said the contents were not different from what the Commission had on its website.
According to Mr. Idowu, in a telephone interview, Mr. Tukur was recognised on the website as the National Chairman of the PDP