A serious crisis is brewing in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as some national officers of the party have called on the party’s Acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Alhaji Haliru Bello, and others to, without delay, step down from their position.
They also said the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, should vacate office as well.
“All those mentioned in the ongoing corruption trial are therefore on their own and the party was not involved financially or in any way with the office of the National Security Adviser or any other organ of the Federal Government in the last regime.”
They made the call in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
The officers, who were acting on behalf of members of the party’s National Executive Committee, hinged their position on the corruption charges, which the two men currently face in their prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
While Bello has been released on bail, Metuh is currently being remanded at Kuje Prisons on the order of the court while his bail application is to be decided on Tuesday.
The statement, requesting the officers to step down, was signed by the Deputy National Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge-Niyi; Deputy National Legal Adviser, Bashir Maidugu; Deputy National Organising Secretary, Okey Nnaedozie; and Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi Jalo.
These officers also called on the party’s Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to revert to his position as the deputy national chairman and allow the party’s caucus from the North-East to produce the substantive chairman as ordered by an Abuja High Court.
The statement argued that the sacking of the men, who are on trial for alleged fraud, was the only way to move the party forward, saying the actions and “omissions of a very few individuals, who parade themselves as leaders” were negatively impacting on the PDP.
The officers and NEC members also called on Bello and Metuh to separate the party from their corruption cases, arguing that the duo didn’t carry the party along when they collected money.
The statement reads:
“In the light of this, the Deputy National Officers of the PDP along with other members of the National Executive Committee, having carefully deliberated upon and reviewed the current situation of our party, wish to state and demand as follows:
“We hereby strongly dissociate the PDP from the ongoing trials of Mohammed (Bello) and Metuh on various charges by the anti-graft agencies.
“This is because the charges against them are in their individual capacities and not acting on behalf of the party. They are said to have received funds using accounts of their private companies without the knowledge and instructions of any organs of the party."