Some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) yesterday disobeyed the directive by its leadership that none of them should campaign for the party’s presidential aspirants ahead of the October 6 presidential primaries of the party.
The BoT members who flouted the directive were unveiled as part of the 59-member national nomination campaign council of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar which was inaugurated yesterday in Abuja.
Members of the council drawn from several states of the country are eminent stakeholders in the PDP and are expected to mobilize support from their respective states for the emergence of Atiku as the PDP presidential candidate.
The BoT chairman, Sen Walid Jibrin, had directed members of the board to desist from campaigning for any presidential aspirant.
Jibrin had said, “If you are a member of BoT, you remain as a member of BoT and conscience of the party. They should not move about with any aspirant. If we are really the conscience of the party , we should not move about with aspirants. That was what happened during the last national convention when we elected the national chairman.
“Some of us went and pitched camp with aspirants , taking them all over the place. This time , we will not allow that to happen.
“Anyone of us who moves about with any aspirant should resign from the BoT. We are the ones that will settle the complaint. But if we are involved it will not be fair. So, we have told members not to campaign with the aspirants; we are also the delegates”.
But against this directive, some prominent members of the BOT, including Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu (who chairs the council), Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Stella Omu and Prof ABC Nwosu were at the inauguration of Atiku’s council.
While inaugurating the council, Atiku noted that even though the struggle for national renewal is usually a difficult one, it is one that patriots must engage in if they hope to improve the lives of their compatriots.
He said, “Assembled here today (Thursday) is a diverse group of Nigerians, including experienced political leaders representing all regions and segments of our country. You are all here because you want a better deal for Nigeria and Nigerians. You are here because you are committed to fighting for a better Nigeria, a Nigeria that works. “Nigerians are yearning for jobs, for opportunities, for unity and security. We must work with them to deliver these. We must also restore truth in politics, justice and fairness in governance, and a genuine federal system that helps us address local priorities and run a more effective and efficient government”.
He named Iwuanyanwu and 58 other persons as members of his presidential nomination council ahead of the PDP presidential primaries.
Announcing the membership of the council, the Director General of the Atiku campaign organization and former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel said, “The work of this council – as the name connotes – is to mobilise PDP delegates from all the states of the country for Atiku to emerge as the presidential flag-bearer of our great party.
“Of course, when by the grace of God our aspirant becomes the candidate of the PDP, membership into this council will be expanded and more people will be drawn into the council.”
Responding on behalf of other members of the council, Chief Iwuanyanwu said they owe the Waziri (Atiku) a huge sense of gratitude for finding them worthy of the national assignment.
He said, “I have been in politics for nearly fifty years and in all those years I have never seen our people this poor and I am sad when I see all of these things. My worry and my concern is ‘how do we reverse this situation?’ The Waziri (Atiku) is somebody I know very well.
“He has enormous strength and he has what it takes to bring PDP back to power and make life more abundant for our people. Therefore, I urge us all as members of this council to see our nomination as a call to national service to rescue our people from the claws of poverty and bad governance.”
Other members of the council are Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Dr.Auwalu Anwar, Babangida Aliyu, Sen. Abdul Ningi, Ibrahim Shema, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Achike Udenwa, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Idris Wada, Chief Dubem Onyia, Prof. ABC Nwosu, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, Mr Akin Ogunbiyi, Alh. Awwal Tukur, Barr. Eyitayo Jegede, Dr. Abimbola Ogunkelu, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Sen. Aniete Okon, Sen. Helen Esuene, Hon. Adamu Maina Waziri, Col. Bala Mande, Prince Tony Omoaghe, Chief Yusuf Ayitogo, Chief Henry lkoh, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, Sen. Stella Omu, Alh. Kiryo Yabo, Hon. Saleh Shehu and Alh. Abubakar Mustapha.
Others include Alh. Abubakar Mallam, Sen. Sa’idu Umar Kumo, Dr. Daudu Kurfi, Hon. Ibrahim Bunu, Chief John Mankilik, Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji, Mr. Gideon Ikhine, Dr.Jophia Gupar, Haj.Zainab Maina, Madam Juritmwa Goyit, Lady Ime Udom, Ms.Monique Ogon Chief Ms.Nkechi M. Udeala, Ms.Obianuju Ogoko, Hon. Jeje Samuel Abiola, Abagun Kole Omololu, Chief Saka Balogun, Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola, Dr. Remi Bakare, Sen. Bala Mohammed, Mr. Oseloka Henry Obazee, Sen. Nimi Amanghe, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, Sen. T.A Orji, Prof. Echefuna Rotimi Onyebadi, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, Tunde Odanye and Emmanuel lbeshi.
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