|Dr. Olusegun Mimiko|
New Telegraph - Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has raised fears over the possible survival of the party, saying the opposition party may go into extinction.
The National Headquarters of the PDP is yet to be reopened, 52 days after it was shut. Mimiko hinged his fears on indiscipline among the rank and file of the party members which has given rise to several litigations in different courts on the leadership crisis in the party. He spoke at the zonal meeting of the PDP held in Akure, the state capital, yesterday.
Both Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi factions are in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja courts contending over the leadership crisis in the party. Mimiko said it was indiscipline that made people to rush to court over issues that could be settled without interference of the judiciary. This indiscipline, he said, must be kicked out of the PDP before it kills the party.
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Apparently referring to Sheriff, Mimiko wondered how somebody would think of running a political party based on court judgements when all organs of the party have not given him the nod.
These courts cases, he said, may eventually lead to the death of the party and foster one-party state and dictatorial tendency on the citizens.
His words: “Unless, let me repeat it, unless we exorcise this demonic tendency to rush to the court, this party will never find its feet: the future is jeopardised, the future will continue to be uncertain if each time anybody feels abused the next thing is to go to court. “I think this is one area we must tackle as a party if we must move forward. That is the biggest threat and challenge we have as a party.
Nobody should deceive himself, especially those who are not direct political practitioners, nobody should deceive himself that trouble in PDP will necessarily translate and remain as trouble within PDP alone. Ultimately, the PDP that is unsettled is a veritable origination of dictatorship in our land.”
According to him, the high level of indiscipline in the party has culminated into series of leadership crises at the national level and challenges that also have overbearing effects in some state chapters of the party.
According to him, “there is no question about the fact that recent events within our party can challenge anybody no matter how strong hearted you are. Recent events in our party can set people asking; is this party really jinxed?” “One of those weaknesses is this demonic propensity to rush to the court for issues that can be settled within.
I think the level of indiscipline in the PDP is the number one challenge we have.” Mimiko compared the PDP with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying “as divisive as APC is, in spite of all the different tendencies working themselves out in APC, I have not heard of their cases in court.
But, PDP has endless cases in courts. That is the demon we must exorcise from PDP if this party must progress.” Meanwhile, Sheriff has denied media reports that the senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu, is his political godfather.
This is as former National Vice Chairman (South-South), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, has predicted that PDP would come out stronger after its present crisis. There have been media reports that the leadership crisis in PDP was because of Kashamu who have been nudging Sheriff to keep on laying claim to the party’s leadership.
But Sheriff, in a statement yesterday by his media aide, Inuwa Bwala, described it as a smear campaign and urged PDP loyalists to work towards finding lasting solution to the crisis in the party.
“While it remains obvious that the said report was part of the mischief and orchestrated smear campaigns embarked upon by some people against the National Chairman, we wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that, he has no godfather in politics and Senator Buruji Kashamu could not have been one.
“It is becoming clearer that the PDP National Chairman’s critics have run out of ideas on how to achieve their selfish agenda, hence the resort to blackmail and blatant falsehood in order to distract Sheriff from manifesting his capacity to reposition the PDP,” the statement noted.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited the party’s national secretariat yesterday reports that its entrance was still locked and manned by men of the Nigeria Police. As at 2p.m., the time of visit, no fewer than 10 police officers were seen within and outside the secretariat. A police Hilux vehicle from Wuse Division, marked NPF 6684C, was used to block the access road to the complex. However, few members of staff of the secretariat were seen hanging around under trees, nursing the hope of having the office reopened soon.
Armed police officers had, on May 22, blocked all the entrance gates to the secretariat, preventing human and vehicular movements to the facility. The action, according to the police, was to prevent crisis from springing up following the party’s May 21 national convention held in Port Harcourt.