From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The embattled Bayo Dayo-led executive committee of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, on Thursday, declared that the National Caretaker Committee of the party lacked the power to dissolve the state executives, and vowed to fight the dissolution to the Supreme Court, if the need arises.
The Ogun State exco, which announced its total rejection of the dissolution, also cautioned the National Caretaker Committee, to avail itself of the provisions of the rule of law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as minimum consideration in handling the business of the party especially in the aftermath of last Saturday’s Special non-elective National Convention.
The chairman of the dissolved state executive committee, Bayo Dayo, made these known while briefing newsmen at the party secretariat, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Recall that the PDP National Caretaker Committee, after the non-elective national convention of the party in Abuja last Saturday, dissolved executive committees of seven states, including Ogun.
But Dayo, who read from a prepared speech titled ‘Setting the Records Straight’, said “our executive is a creation of the party’s extant processes and also of the Law – as guaranteed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
According to him, “for now, nothing has changed and the party executives at all levels in Ogun State under my leadership remains constitutionally valid and judicially sacrosanct till 2020”.
He said he was bewildered by a section of the media, particularly in Ogun State, which have erroneously accorded recognition to Sikirulahi Ogundele as the authentic chairman of PDP in the state arguing Ogundele never emerged from any valid congress.
He, therefore, wondered why the the National Caretaker Committee, through the National Convention, tried to appropriate to itself, the powers of the Court of Appeal by unilaterally and arbitrarily vitiating the Judgement of a Federal High Court noting “rather, the Makarfi committee should have approached the Appeal Court if at all it wants our executive disbanded and of course should the Appelate court sustain or disregard the FHC verdict recognising us, either of us will then approach the Supreme Court for a final interpretation; just as it happened in the Makarfi committee versus Sheriff NWC scenario”.
“You all will recall that the protracted crisis between Ahmed Makarfi committee and Ali Modu Sheriff NWC lasted until the Supreme Court judgement decided in a particular direction. It therefore suggests that by being a product of the rule of law, the National caretaker committee should be circumspect and guided by same law in all of its actions, especially as affects state chapters of the party; Ogun State particularly.
“It is on the basis of the above and also on the supremacy of the law, that we reject the purported dissolution of Ogun State PDP executives, notwithstanding the powers of the National Convention.
“We again reiterate for the umpteenth time that the 71st NEC meeting of this party, predating the May 2016 Port-Harcourt convention, ratified the congresses of 31 states – Ogun State inclusive – to which the Makarfi National caretaker committee had also taken cognizance of in their public utterances (to the effect that they will not revert a previous NEC decision) and also through its letter written to us dated 17th July, 2016. It was also in recognition of our authenticity that the committee listed our delegates for the aborted second Port-Harcourt convention.
“We were therefore shocked and dumbfounded at what could be the premise and basis for which Ogun and Osun State executives will be so dissolved at the recently held special nonelective National Convention, whereas, the same convention ratified other 29 states that had been earlier cleared alongside our state.
“This is selective injustice and we again urge the Makarfi committee not to be used by antidemocratic and desperate elements seeking to have party control in Ogun State and the southwest through the back door”, Dayo stated.
He, however, declared that no fresh Congresses would take place in the state until 2020 maintaining “any attempt to do so would amount to illegality, impunity and contempt of court. Just like the national caretaker committee did till it got it’s own permanent victory, we are going to fully test this case to the highest level of judicial intervention”.