By Chinelo Obogo
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Fatai Owoseni, yesterday handed over the keys to the state secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to a member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Bode George.
The Lagos Police Command had recently barricaded the party’s secretariat and shut out staff and members of the party loyal to the ousted factional state chairman, Segun Adewale following a letter issued from the party’s national secretariat and addressed to the Commissioner of Police.
Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal which upheld the leadership of the now the now ousted acting national chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, he(Sheriff) had issued a letter to the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) affirming the leadership of Adewale in the state.
But after the Supreme Court judgement which affirmed the leadership of the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, the national secretary of the party, Chief Ben Obi, wrote a letter to the commissioner of police, requesting his assistance in ensuring that the Supreme Court judgment was enforced and also directed that the keys of the secretariat be handed over to Bode George in the presence of any other BoT member. After he received the keys, Chief George said he would work hard to ensure that peace returns to the state chapter of the party.
He said: “I have collected the keys in the presence of Mrs. Aduke Maina who is also a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT), which was part of the instruction sent from the party secretariat. I would now hand over the keys to those authorised to operate the secretariat. The notion that there is crisis in Lagos is not true We held a meeting at the National Secretariat and it was decided that we have only one executive in Lagos. We still have the national caretaker committee who will decide what is to be done. As a member of the board of trustees, I have carried out the instruction I was given and I am going to hand over the keys to the legitimate state executive headed by Moshood Salvador. If there are people who have grievances, there are ways that it can be addressed. The only states that are yet to have congress in the South West is Ondo State.
“Before now, Sheriff sent a letter to LASIEC and sent a letter to Segun Adewale saying that he (Adewale) was the authentic chairman in Lagos. I told our people to back off and not cause any violence. After the Supreme Court judgement, Sheriff ceased to be the chairman and by virtue of that, all his directives were null and void. Should Sheriff’s people now continue to linger on with the support of some members of the BoT? Impunity and lack of respect for constituted authority led us to where we are.
“Ben Obi wrote clearly in the letter addressed to the Commissioner of Police that the secretariat keys should be handed over to Chief Bode George and any other BoT member. Mrs. Aduke is now saying that we should wait before meetings are held at the secretariat, but that is against the directive of the national executive. When there are lots of economic problems in the country, some people will not patriotic on an empty stomach. In the weeks ahead, the issues would be sorted out, we need a lot of patience at this game because we need to know the unseen hands that are undermining At the NEC meeting, Lagos was not listed as a crisis state.”