The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be on the increase as some aggrieved members of the party who want the removal of the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, have cried out over their exclusion from the ongoing presidential campaigns.
Recall that some NWC members including the Deputy National Chairman (South), Taofeek Arapaja; the National Woman Leader, Stella Effah-Attoe; National Vice Chairman, South-South, Dan Orbih; National Vice Chairman, South-East, Alli Odefa Olasoji Adagunobi-Oluwatukesi; National Vice Chairman, South-West and the Deputy National Secretary, Setonji Koshoedo, had some few weeks ago returned millions of naira into the party’s account.
The NWC members had said they returned the money to the party coffers due to a media report claiming that the money was a bribe to silence them on questions bordering on Ayu’s financial accountability.
In memo released on Wednesday and titled: “Deliberate attempts to undermine my office, Office of the National Woman Leader and to sideline my humble person: An unacceptable hindrance,” the National Woman Leader of the party, Stella Effah-Attoe, has said there is a deliberate plot to undermine her office in the ongoing campaigns by the party.
She said: “At the flag-off ceremony of the PDP campaigns in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on October 10, 2022, serious attempts were made to prevent me from addressing the PDP audience at the Uyo stadium. It must be stated here that it is a customary tradition in our party for the National Woman Leader and the National Youth Leader to address rallies in conjunction with party candidates, party chairmen, et al.
“Unfortunately, in Uyo, every attempt was made to prevent me from addressing party faithful. I was told that there was a clear directive not to allow me to speak to the crowd. It got to the ridiculous extent of these agents calling on Senator Uche Ekwunife to speak to the audience on behalf of PDP women.
“Senator Ekwunife was very embarrassed but she was prodded to do it. Iyom Josephine Anenih, a former PDP National Woman Leader drew the attention of some party leaders to this anomaly. It was then that I was reluctantly called to address the audience on behalf of the PDP women. This unfortunate development did not go unnoticed by the party faithful, who found the whole drama very embarrassing and childish.”
According to Stella Effah-Attoe, she was also prevented from speaking at the opposition party’s rally in Kaduna State, despite the PDP National Youth Leader given the chance to address the crowd.
She said: “At the PDP Kaduna rally on Monday, October 17, 2022, the National Youth Leader was called upon to address the crowd on behalf of the PDP youths, which he did perfectly well, to the admiration of the populace. I was present at the event in Kaduna. I was even seated beside the National Youth Leader but nobody called me to address the audience on behalf of the PDP women.
“Rather, the spectacle was a very ridiculous announcement calling on Dr Baraka Sani (Director of the PDP Support Groups, in the Campaign Council), to address the crowd on behalf of the PDP women. The entire audience was surprised and confused.
“People started asking questions there and then. Many wondered why the National Youth Leader was called upon to perform his traditional and official role, while the National Woman Leader was deliberately prevented from doing hers.
“There and then, some people tried to explain that unfortunate scenario in different colourations. While a lot of people found the occurrence very offensive, I smiled over the unfortunate incident in total sympathy with the perpetrators of such childish displays.
“It may interest you to know that the happening has gone viral, to the disgust of many Nigerians. Specifically, the Kaduna occurrence has seriously painted our great party in a negative light. Very, very sad indeed!
“Well, on this note, it has become very obvious that there are some distracting elements within our great party who are determined to frustrate me in the performance of my statutory duties as the PDP National Woman Leader. This is very unacceptable. I state clearly here that I cannot and will never succumb to any unnecessary attempt to frustrate me in the performance of my official duties.”
The PDP women leader said she will continue to perform her duties to the best of her ability and to the benefit of the PDP, within the confines of her safety.
Governor Wike’s People
Also speaking, an aggrieved NWC member said he and five others who rejected the housing allowance had been branded “Wike’s people.”
According to him, the embattled national chairman of the party has dumped them, adding that the NWC is no longer functioning.
Confiding in bellnewsonline.com, he said, “Those of us who refunded money has been totally sidelined. They called us Wike’s people and they don’t want us to have anything to do with the campaigns.
“For now, the NWC is not functioning. The campaigns have taken over every other thing. The presidential candidate does not know what to do but it appears he wants Ayu to remain. As a result, Ayu is ready to fight Wike to the finish.
“Look, a lot of things went wrong. In the 2019 Presidential Campaign Council, the Financial Secretary then, Abdullahi Maibasira was the Chairman of the Finance Committee. In the Present PCC, the same Maibasira was named again as chairman of the Finance Committee, leaving out the current National Financial Secretary, Mr Daniel Woyengikuro, who is from the South-South. What is going on?”