PDP: Removal of 5 State Governors Major Setback


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  Sunday expressed dismay and bewilderment over the judgment of the Supreme Court that removed from office, in one fell swoop, five governors elected on the platform of the party.
According to a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, the party said the judgment no doubt had thrown a major challenge to Nigeria’s determination to deepen democracy in the country.

It said: “For us in the PDP, it is a huge setback considering the time and resources spent in the last one year to ensure smooth transition in the affected states.”
It said while it awaits a clear position from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the status of elections in the affected states, it called its members to remain calm and be rest assured that it shall continue to stand by them and do everything legally possible to maintain the party’s dominant position in those states.
The statement said that it expressed its solidarity with the five governors and wished to assure them that the leadership of the party shall spare no effort in ensuring that the current situation “does not derail our preparations for elections”.
Meanwhile, top functionaries in the Presidency, national leaders of the PDP and critical stakeholders of the party were weekend locked in series of meetings in Abuja over the Supreme Court judgment which voided the tenures of the five governors.
The judicial pronouncement, which effectively terminated the tenures of Adamawa, Bayelsa, Cross River, Kogi and Sokoto governors, threw up questions about what should have been the “consequential orders” in Kogi State.
In one of the meetings in Abuja, pertinent questions were raised about a gaping lacuna in the judgment on what should obtain in Kogi State where INEC had duly conducted a governorship election and presented certificates of return to the winner and his deputy.
The deficit in the judgment threw up a situation where Capt Idris Wada, the duly elected governor, and his running mate, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, were sworn in after the Supreme Court judgment.
Hours later, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, was also inaugurated as acting governor.
Worried that the judgment did not exclude Kogi State, which had already consummated its electoral process from the list of states where speakers were to step in, the Presidency and the PDP spent long hours trying to get it right concerning the state.
THISDAY gathered that the meeting was chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo in the absence of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, who was reportedly outward bound for a short holiday, was recalled to be in attendance.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Wada and Awoniyi were also reported to have been in attendance.
The meeting, according to a source, drew attention to the failure by the counsel to Kogi State Government in the matter to file a supplementary plea to the jury, with respect to the peculiarity of the state.

And having noticed this lacuna, THISDAY further gathered, the AGF as the nation's chief law officer, was expected to have interpreted the situation and prevented the impasse of the double inauguration.

The meeting resolved to fast-track legal and political procedures which will ensure Wada/Awoniyi's assumption of office in a matter of days

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