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Damagun: PDP Reps Caucus’ Meeting Ends In Chaos As Pro-Wike Group’s Confidence Vote Fails

The meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives ended in a commotion with the lawmakers sharply divided along the lines of those in support of the party’s Acting National Chairman, Umar Damagun, and those against his continued stay in office.

The meeting, summoned by the leader of the Caucus and House minority leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, was held on Tuesday at House Committee Room 301 in the National Assembly Complex Abuja, ahead of Thursday’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the opposition party.

However, the main agenda of the Pre-NEC meeting, which was to pass a vote of confidence on Damagun by lawmakers loyal to the Minister of FCT, Nyesom Wike, could not sail through.

This was as a group of over 60 lawmakers under the auspices of Coalition of Opposition Lawmakers led by Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere maintained their ground that the acting PDP national chairman should resign and someone from the North-central zone take the position.

They also insisted on the expulsion of FCT minister Wike and any other politician involved in anti-party activities.

Recall that last week, the group of 60 PDP federal lawmakers threatened to quit the party if the doctored list of Caretaker Committees in Rivers and 10 other States, which was filled with members and loyalists of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is not nullified.

The group under the aegis of Opposition Lawmakers Coalition also demanded the resignation of the acting national chairman of PDP, Damagun, to pave way for a North-Central person to emerge as acting chairman of the party pending the conduct of a convention as required by the party’s constitution.

The opposition lawmakers coalition at a press conference addressed by their Spokesperson and the member representing Ideato federal constituency of House of Representatives, Hon. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said they cannot be in a political party where the activities of such party are determined by another political party.

“We call for immediate resignation of Umar Iliya Damagun as Ag National Chairman of PDP for anti-party activities and allow North central produce the acting chairman as clearly stated in the PDP constitution or watch us reconsider our membership of the party in the months ahead if the right thing is not done.

“The NEC of the Party should ensure that the list of party Caretaker Committees in Rivers State and all other 10 states tampered by Damagun and his APC friends are reversed and announced as originally agreed, that is by extension of the tenures of the outgoing leadership. Any tampering in any state will be resisted and not acceptable. They should also ensure that disciplinary action and punishment are meted out on FCT minister Wike and his cohorts for anti party activities,” he had stated.

A member of the Hon. Ugochinyere-led Opposition lawmakers coalition, who revealed the outcome of the meeting on the condition of anonymity, said the move to pass vote of confidence on Damagun failed.

The lawmaker said: “We are glad that the plan of the pro- Wike group supporting Damagun fall like a pack of cards as we refused all entreaties to perpetuate illegality and stoking of crisis in the party. Our position remains that Damagun must go for someone from North-central to take over and complete Ayu’s tenure.

“Our party needs total overhaul and reformation. We currently have in the PDP a national leadership that is in bed with the APC and is working extremely hard to hand over the party to the APC. This is quite shameful disheartening. But we won’t fold our hands and let gat happen. We are aside other demands insisting on 100 percent formation of caretaker PDP executive list at all levels without any tampering or inclusion of new names outside the earlier resolution that members of the expiring excos should act as caretaker for 3 months pending the conduct of substantive election. Our party will not be overtaken by APC, we are here to serve the Nigerian people not to the whims and caprices of some selfish politicians.”

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